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 New Solo CD from Na Kama's Eric Lee
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markwitz
`Olu`olu

USA
841 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2009 :  03:44:09 AM  Show Profile
Check out this phone interview that I did with Eric Lee. Eric is part of the Na Hoku award winning group Na Kama. He is coming out with his first solo CD "Crossroads", which will be available for purchase by download from Amazon.com and also iTunes, on May 1st.

The interview can be found by going to the KAPU website at;

http://kapu.org/

Click on the link "Kaukini Norm Interviews Eric Lee of Na Kama"

I think "Crossroads" is a great CD. Congratulations Eric, on your first solo project!!


"The music of the Hawaiians, the most fascinating in the world, is still in my ears and
haunts me sleeping and waking."
Mark Twain

lynn
Lokahi

289 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2009 :  11:02:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit lynn's Homepage  Send lynn a Yahoo! Message
Here's the press release, for more info :
(kala mai - for some reason I can't upload the album cover pic!)

Lee Enterprises

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2009

CONTACT: Kim Okazaki-Peltier
Phone: 808-927-2715
e-mail: kim @ ericleehawaii.com

Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award Winner Eric Lee Releases Debut Solo Recording


HONOLULU – Eric Lee, founding member of the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning group Nā Kama, releases his debut solo recording “Crossroads” May 1, 2009.


The recording, available exclusively on iTunes and Amazon.com, consists of eight original songs and two classics, including an up-tempo arrangement of the Seeker’s 1965 hit, “I’ll Never Find Another You,” and a beautiful remake of Palani Vaughan’s “Ku‘i Ka Lono.”

As part of the group “Nā Kama,” Lee is primarily known for his expertise in writing and performing contemporary Hawaiian music – something his fans will find on this recording as well. However, “Crossroads” also showcases Lee's versatile playing and vocal styles and the influence rock, blues, country, folk, jazz and other genres have had on him. With its blend of Hawaiian and contemporary music, “Crossroads” invites you to see a side of Lee’s music many have never before experienced.

Lee performs all vocals and most of the instrumentation (acoustic and electric guitar, ‘ukulele, electric and upright bass), but several guest musicians are featured on individual tracks, including John Koko of the Mākaha Sons on upright acoustic bass, Bruce Shimabukuro on ‘ukulele, Kit Ebersbach on piano, and more.

When asked why he wanted to be among the first musicians in Hawai‘i to release his recording directly to digital download format, he cited the industry’s growing concern in areas such as the decline in CD sales, which have affected many music artists’ careers. With the dramatic increase in consumers and fans moving to digital downloads, Lee felt the timing was right to make this move. To address the concern of fans who miss having a CD insert in hand with liner notes, credits, and song lyrics, Lee stated that the information would be made available on his website at http://www.ericleehawaii.com/

Although Lee is well known for his writing/producing and performances with Nā Kama band mates Brian Mersberg and Danny Naipo, his lifelong love affair with music began at age 9 with his first
instrument - a $15 ‘ukulele purchased at Woolworth’s. He switched to keyboard lessons (given by Patrick Whittington) while attending intermediate school at Kamehameha. He further expanded his musical versatility through high school by learning to play guitar and bass, as well as to sing and compose. He won second and third place in the “Brown Bags to Stardom” competition and recorded his first studio album at the age of 19, with a group called The Kanile‘a Collection. That recording included Lee’s first published Hawaiian composition (with the help of good friend, Hailama Farden), “Nā Nalu Ha‘i O Mā‘ili,” a song on which he was able to jam with one of his guitar inspirations - the legendary Peter Moon. Along with band mates Jay Kauka and Brian Mersberg, the Kanile‘a Collection traveled all over Hawai‘i and Japan, played for hālau at various hula competitions (including the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival), and opened concerts for headlining acts such as Robi Kahakalau, Hapa, and 5:05.

Lee also performed with other groups, traveling to Sāmoa, Hong Kong, and Japan, and worked as a part-time studio musician, composing jingles and background music for commercial vendors, providing instrumentation and background vocals for other entertainers, and assisted in the production of recordings for various artists.

When Lee and Mersberg released their first recording, “Ke Ala Hou,” under their new name, Nā Kama, Lee was also playing with an island music group called the Ka‘ala Boys, a group that released three recordings and a Christmas single, and that traveled extensively. With the addition to Nā Kama of Danny Naipo on bass, and the group now as his full-time commitment, Lee strives to guide the band through music and performance, remaining steadfast to the group’s mission of excellence in Hawaiian music entertainment and language awareness. In addition, Lee continues to compose and produce music, as well as provide services as a studio musician for various recording projects, make guest appearances with other bands, and performing as a soloist in the many venues of Waikīkī. In June 2007, Lee released a CD single entitled “Camp Lē‘ahi,” a song he composed for the Camp Lē‘ahi summer program where he works as music teacher. He also recorded a Japanese version of the song for the Japanese students who attend the program in late summer.

In his “spare time” from Nā Kama, Lee’s ambition is to continue working on independent recording projects of his own, showcasing the numerous other facets of music that have been a part of his lifelong musical discovery.

Preliminary reviews of “Crossroads,” Lee’s debut solo effort, have been uniformly positive:

“An assortment of Hawaiian, hapa-haole and pop tunes presented in clean contemporary Hawaiian arrangements. Fans of Nā Kama can count on liking Lee as a solo artist.” – John Berger, Honolulu Star Bulletin, Hawai‘i

“An outstanding first solo effort!” – Don Bradway, KFOK FM, California

“All the songs just pull you into them… you can tell the hard work and thought that went into them. The vocals are fantastic, the instrumentals flawless… wonderful pacing and tempo... The quality of the music just forces you to listen to it, and pay attention to what you are hearing.” – Kaukini Norm, KAPU FM, California

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Retro
Ahonui

USA
2368 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2009 :  11:23:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit Retro's Homepage
It's a good disc - I plan to play a track or two on this weekend's radio shows.
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wcerto
Ahonui

USA
5052 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2009 :  12:22:11 PM  Show Profile
Eric can play just about anything you can throw at him. I hope he will keep playing at Tiki's for breakfast. It sure makes a fine way to start the day. And I wish he had hard copy CDs to sell. I wonder if I need to buy an iPod thingie.


Me ke aloha
Malama pono,
Wanda
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