It's Not About Me - It's The Music
My wife and I visited Hilo a couple of years ago. We knew someone with a condominium there and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. I knew nothing about the big island in general and certainly nothing about Hilo in particular.
We had a wonderful time. We explored up and down the Hamakua coast, drove around the volcano and did the usual tourist things.
We kept hearing this wonderful guitar music that seemed to be called 'slack key', whatever that was. We wanted to hear more, so we did the normal thing and went to a book/music store. We were very fortunate to be helped by a wonderful man who said 'yes, I can help you with slack key', and proceeded to make some recommendations for us. We ended up purchasing:
- King of Slack Key by Gabby Pahinui
- Slack Key Guitar Volume 2 with various performers
- Facing Future by Israel Kamakawiwio'ole (let's face it - you gotta have Iz)
What a fantastic start into Hawaiian music. We listened to this music pretty much non-stop for the entire two weeks we were there. On returning to our home on the big island of Salt Lake, I located more slack key music. I fell in love with it, and soon was listening to slack key exclusively. I discovered Led Ka'apana, Ray Kane, Sonny Chillingworth, Dennis Kamakahi just to name a very small few.
Then Ozzie Kotani. I was utterly captivated.
When I heard his song Ku'u Kika Kahiko I was compelled to purchase a guitar and try this music for myself. That was almost two years ago (March 2009), and I have been playing slack key ever since.