George Kahumoku, Jr.'s Notes


For a Native Hawaiian, the journey into the Wao Akua is a reflection of one’s work as a kanaka, where we rise above

the everyday life of working, living, and surviving, into the extraordinary, spiritual world of the Gods.


These solo instrumentals are the embodiment of my life’s journey through Hawaiian slack key guitar music. They include some family classics as well as newly composed melodies inspired from my recent trek through a Hawaiian forest. Just as there are different layers in the forest: the ground cover, ferns and bushes, understory, and canopy; these songs, too, are representative of the various layers of my musical life. Whenever I play an instrumental “background music” gig, I often drift into a zone of reflection that flows into a spiritual realm where I hope the listener can follow. This CD is meant to delight and to instill a sense of peace, harmony, and lokahi (unity) for the sounds and the silence found within the Wao Akua, the Forest of the Gods.


I wish to thank my family and friends for all their love and support over the years. Thank you, Akua, for this family and the many blessings that have come my way.


Mahalo,

George Kahumoku, Jr.



Reviews



Honolulu Star-Advertiser – May 13, 2011

from Island Mele: Guitarist’s artistry award-worthy by John Berger


While many artists in recent years have included the words “slack-key guitar” somewhere on their album covers, perhaps to capture the attention of Grammy Award voters, as used on the cover of the latest album by slack-key master George Kahumoku Jr., the words provide a clear and concise description of content.


Yes, this is an album of beautiful slack-key instrumentals.


Kahumoku writes in the liner notes, “Whenever I play an instrumental ‘background music’ gig, I often drift into a zone of reflection that flows into a spiritual realm where I hope the listener can follow.” That explanation puts into context these 24 melodies — several originals, two compositions by Leleiohoku and one by Lili’uokalani, and 11 “traditional” Hawaiian songs whose authorship is either disputed or unknown.


The sound quality is excellent, and Kahumoku is certainly worthy of the appelation “slack-key guitar master.” If the Best Hawaiian Music Album category still existed, “Wao Akua” would certainly represent Hawaiian music well on the national level as a finalist in 2012. Kahumoku has three Grammys for his work as a co-producer of three Hawaiian compilation albums with Daniel Ho, Paul Konwiser and Wayne Wong. This one could have earned him a Grammy as an artist rather than a producer. As it is, since the Grammy category no longer exists, Kahumoku is left to hope for local recognition at the 2012 Hoku Awards.



Credits



    Slack key guitar: George Kahumoku, Jr.

    Cover photo: Shane Tegarden

    Sunset photo: Mark Middleton

    Guitar photo: Art Davis

    Recording, mastering & graphic design: Daniel Ho

    Mixing: Daniel Ho, Jason Arimoto & Petrice Oyama

    Hawaiian language consultant: Amy Ku'uleialoha Stillman

    Shirt by Sig Zane


George plays an Art Davis 12-String Guitar

Title: Wao Akua (The Forest of the Gods)

Artist: George Kahumoku, Jr.

Catalog #: DHC 80087

UPC: 644718008721





 
  1. 1.36 Mile Marker  (3:54)  George Kahumoku, Jr.

  2. 2.Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua  (1:49)  traditional

  3. 3.Pūpū A'o 'Ewa  (3:41)  traditional

  4. 4.Nanea Kō Maka Le'ale'a  (2:08)  George Kahumoku, Jr.

  5. 5.Kahakuloa  (3:54)  traditional

  6. 6.No Ke Ano Ahiahi  (1:39)  traditional

  7. 7.Ka Lae 'O Ka'ena  (3:06)  traditional

  8. 8.Aia lā 'O Pele  (1:41)  traditional

  9. 9.Pauahi 'O Kalani  (3:33)  Queen Lili'uokalani

  10. 10.Maluhia Ame Lokahi  (3:11)  George Kahumoku, Jr.

  11. 11.Ka'inapu Lio Li'i Li'i  (2:47)  George Kahumoku, Jr.

  12. 12.Moanike'ala  (1:34)  Leleiōhoku

  13. 13.Ha'uha'u E  (3:25)  traditional

  14. 14.Nā Ali'i  (1:51)  Samuel Kuahiwi

  15. 15.Makalapua  (3:57)  traditional

  16. 16.Waikamoi  (5:16)  George Kahumoku, Jr.

  17. 17.Kūkae Nēnē  (1:45)  George Kahumoku, Jr.

  18. 18.Ka Lama 'Ae One  (2:38)  traditional

  19. 19.Hilo One  (3:52)  traditional

  20. 20.A Kona Hema 'O Ka Lani  (3:29)  traditional

  21. 21.Punalau  (1:56)  George Kahumoku, Jr.

  22. 22.Kapalili Lau Niu  (2:04)  George Kahumoku, Jr.

  23. 23.Alo Hihia  (2:26)  George Kahumoku, Jr.

  24. 24.Kāua i ka Huahua'i  (1:24)  Leleiōhoku

Song List

 

Wao Akua: The Forest of the Gods

George Kahumoku, Jr.


  1. audio demo

  2. hi res album art


Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Instrumentals meant to delight and to instill a sense of peace, harmony, and lokahi (unity) for the sounds and the silence found within the Wao Akua, the Forest of the Gods.

Wao Akua CD - $15

(includes shipping within U.S.)

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