Road Trip Music: Hawaii
Slack key guitar, steel guitar, and ‘ukulele are three instruments which, along with the sounds of chant and the the singing voice, help define the sounds of Hawaii. For the guitar part of things, a good sound track is from the island’s recent musical history, a collection of vintage popular island music from two guitar masters. It’s known just by their names Hawaii's Keola & Kapono Beamer
To learn more about the history of the ‘ukulele in the islands -- and it’s not what you might think -- I’ll point you to this history from Brad Bordessa. Explore his site Live ‘Ukulele while you are there: he has interviews with top players and lots of information on how to play the uke, too.
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole made his mark on the music of the islands too, often refitting popular songs from other styles to a distinctive island sound. Del Suggs, a musician you met back when the road trip was in Florida, offers a bit of the style of Iz, as Kamakawiwo`ole is known for short, in this video.
you may also wish to see
a place to keep up with Celtic music in Hawaii -- yes, there is Irish music in Hawaii, too.
Music Road: Road Trip Music in Louisiana
Music Road: Scotland & Cape Breton: tradition and innovation
This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I’m partnering up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’ll find there. Stop by and see what the Library has in mind to inspire travels in Hawaii.
For more about the road trip (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins