Hawaiian singer Keali’i Reichel has two new recordings. The most attractive is the double album Collection One – Kamahiwa. Here, on disc two, Reichel is at his best, singing brilliant traditional Hawaiian songs, using percussion and hula chants, creating sounds that connect Hawaii to its Polynesian neighbors. Disc one features songs that are a little more radio friendly, in a pop and easy-listening folk manner. The other CD, Kawaipunahele, goes in a folk-pop direction.
The Dancing Cat label has done a tremendous job in the promotion of Hawaiian slack key guitar music. The label released two new guitar CDs recently. One of them, Sunny Rain, is by one of the few female recording artists on the label. Cindy Combs has an excellent fingerstyle technique and has recorded an inspired album of guitar solos that is both melodic and technically wonderful. The album includes arrangements of several Hawaiian classics and composers, as well as five of her original compositions. “A life lived well is a life filled with aloha,” she muses, “and Slack Key is an expression of that aloha. I sincerely hope my music reaches out to the listener and that it touches their heart as it has touched mine…bringing hope, healing, peace, and joy.”
Veteran guitarist Cyril Pahinui is back with He’eia, a beautiful instrumental collection of some of Hawaii’s best known songs. “Dad always said, ‘Stick to your Hawaiian music, you can play other music, too, but stick with playing Hawaiian music.’ I followed his advice, and I am more and more thankful every year, that I did,” says Cyril. “The things my dad did for me opened doors. He paved the road for me, and that road even brought me to Carnegie Hall two times.”