CD Reviews: Ken Emerson and Napua Makua


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LISTEN: Ken Emerson

Slack and Steel

Cord International

This reissue of Ken Emerson’s 1997 instrumental album gives listeners two Hawaiian guitar traditions for the price of one: slack key serves as a backdrop for the languorous sounds of steel guitar, both in its acoustic and electric forms. Read the descriptive liner notes for a veritable history lesson, as Emerson plays in a variety of historic styles, and wields vintage instruments ranging from a 1928 metal-body National acoustic steel guitar to a 1956 wood-body Guild f40. Guitar geeks take note.

 

 



 

LISTEN: Napua Makua

Mohalu

Pihana Productions

Makua’s debut album scored her a 2008 Na Hoku Hanohano “Female Vocalist of the Year” award, and this autobiographical follow-up offers a satisfying progression, both musically and thematically. Original compositions mix well with standard hula favorites, and there’s even a rousing chant, “‘O Kane, ‘O Kukapau,” to close out the album, showcasing Makua’s background as an award-winning kumu hula.    

 

 

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