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 Interview: Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar V1
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Posted - 02/27/2006 :  8:21:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Slackhead's Homepage
Just thought I'd give whoever reads this a little background on the Ritz-Carlton gathering on February 15. The Ritz-Carlton has been generous in supporting the weekly Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert Series by providing a small theater (120 seats) in which to do the show. The Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Volume One album that won the Grammy this year was recorded during several of those concerts.

In honor of the Grammy, the Ritz-Carlton was kind enough to propose a reception for those of us associated with the show and about 50 of our friends before our regular Wednesday show. I thought it would be nice to get all of the artists together for this, so we brought them over to Maui from Honolulu and the Big Island to celebrate with us. It was a really special event. We had George and Keoki Kahumoku (celebrating his second Grammy win), Led Kaapana, Cyril Pahinui, Ozzie Kotani, and Da Ukulele Boys, Peter deAquino and Garrett Probst. Martin Pahinui was also there, as he was our regular guest for the show that night.

It was all put together in a few days, and there was no advance publicity. Can you imagine the surprise of the slackheads who happened to turn up that night to find so many of the masters in one show? It was a truly amazing event that is unlikely to be repeated any time soon.

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1526 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  04:50:41 AM  Show Profile
Actually, Paul, it wasn't really a surprise - and that was super good. The coconut telegraph operated in a way that one would wish ATT would operate. Never underestimate the power of true believers. I forget the chain of events, but we got the news just after we returned from Moloka`i and switched our reservations from the 8:00PM show to the early show and, you will forgive me I hope, I used your name to insure that the nice lady in Kihei would do that for us - "Paul said..." And it was made so.

In addition to simply(?) listening to great music, we got to have great conversations with great friends. We hadn't talked to Ozzie or Cyril in 3 years, nor Martin or Led since there was a Hawaiian Regent Hotel (and both remembered events there). Because George and Keoki have come to Deep River a lot (and it was because of you, right?), we had met with them fairly often, but it was fun to to talk and joke with them, too. I told George that I didn't recognise him without his mustache and he told a story about shaving with his glasses off and just shaving and shaving (OK, you hadda be there).

Also, we talked with Garrett and his parents. He was a student of Keoki's as a small kid and had played a benefit at Christ the King Church in Kahului as did Dennis Pavao and Kevin and Ikaika and Ka`ena. (It was Ka`ena's first real public singing appearance, but not the last). That was the first time we heard him play. He was good then and lots better now, of course.

Great Night.

Mike, the acoustics were dominated by the soundboard. If there was one thing I would have changed about the evening, I would have lightend up on the bass a lot. Because it was actually painful, I even pleaded with Larry (Mr. Julie :-) (he is really experienced) to go over and see what he could do. He talked to the guys, but they wouldn't budge - they told him that they were using settings that they used normally in another hall, but weren't about to shift the balance. A small price to pay, I guess.

Of course there were civilians in the audience too. The old guy sitting to the right of me was stiff and motionless through the whole thing, and as I took his hand and rose to sing "Hawai`i Aloha", he jumped away, but I snagged him back. Too funny.

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