Posted on: Sunday, August 22, 2004
By Wayne Harada
Genre: Traditional Hawaiian.
Distinguishing notes: Lono is a Maui-based singer, guitarist, bass guitarist and 'ukulele player with a deep, rich appreciation for the music and the masters of yesteryear - the likes of Sonny Chillingworth, Moe Keale, Gabby Pahinui, Leland "Atta" Isaacs, Johnny Almeida, Eddie Kamae, Joe Marshall and David "Feet" Rogers - and a handful of contemporary aces playing old-style guitar. This CD maintains the strumming and vocalizing style from the gloried past, making Lono sort of a bridge between generations, as he puts his imprint on "Wai O Ke Aniani," "Kalae O Kaena," "Leahi," "Hi'ilawe," "Ho'okena Keia No Beauty," "Lei Hinahina" - plus two classics, "Kanaka Waiwai" and "Hawai'i Aloha" (the latter is an instrumental). The old style acoustic manner is intended to present Island music as folk music. And it works; most tunes are in Hawaiian, but English lyrics penetrate some entries.
The outlook: This is a spirited reflection of a gentler time in Hawaiian music history.
Our take: Lono has endeared the old style and transports the listener to the past in a manner that's simple but splendid.