Henry Kapono has just released a 15th anniversary "special edition" of his "Home in the Islands" album.
First released in 1997, the album documented his love for our island way of life. In the CD's new liner, Henry writes: "Home in the Islands is the story of my life as an island boy born and raised in the middle of the sea and loving everything about it. I am blessed."
The classic title song, more commonly associated with the Brothers Cazimero, was actually composed by Kapono around 35 years ago. It was recorded first by the Island Band, followed by the Caz, and finally by its composer.
Henry Kapono will play songs from his remastered album, “Home in the Islands” along with a mix drawn from his C&K and solo days when he appears at the MACC Saturday.
The Maui News file photo
"I was driving in Colorado heading to North Dakota and I was really missing home," Henry explains the inspiration for his song. "We were doing a lot of traveling, out on the road for 6 months, but I still felt that strong connection to Hawaii. I was actually writing it for the Island Band, who I was producing. They worked out a cool arrangement and then I guess Robert Cazimero heard it and wanted to do it and so history was made."
Over time it became a signature song for the Brothers, so when it came time for Henry to release his own version he crafted a more rocking arrangement.
"I was playing it at Dukes, but I didn't want to record it the way I wrote it and how the Cazimeros did it, so I added a Bo Diddley beat," he explains. "It's been working for me ever since."
The remastered album provides an opportunity to revisit some classic material and appreciate his talent as one of our premier song writers.
"I was listening to it driving around one day and it really sounds good, it has a good feeling to it," he says. "I had a really good band at the time and everyone was in tune with the songs. It sounds just as good now as it did then, so why not put it out again?"
As an added incentive Henry includes two new songs, "Chillin' on the Rock" and "Taste of the Tropics," plus the added track "Kona Winds."
With "Chillin' " he ventures into blues boogie territory, while "Taste" has the feel on one of U2's anthemic ballads. "I had that thought in mind," he notes. "I put a little guitar thing in there that's kind of U2-ish."
Maui is referenced in a number of songs on the album from "Taste of the Tropics" ("have you seen the sun rise over Haealakala") and "Trilogy" ("off the starboard bow, sweet Lahaina") to "Chillin' on the Rock," which opens with: "Went to Hana to get away."
Playing the Castle Theater on Saturday, Kapono will include songs from the album along with a mix drawn from his C&K and solo days.
"It will be like a release party, the complete Henry with everything from C&K to my stuff and the 'Wild Hawaiian,' to hopefully keep everyone grooving in their seats," he says.
Along with his own band, he reports the show will include, "some hip-hop dancers from Maui, some hula dancers from Honolulu, taiko drummers and Clifford Naole will be part of it with a group of chanters. We did a show at the Hilton Hawaiian Village with all these components and talent and it worked out so well."
* Henry Kapono brings his "Home in the Islands 2012" show to the Castle Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $12, $28, $37, and $85 VIP (plus applicable fees).
Watching the magnificent Dukes of September at the MACC last Thursday was like being invited to live jukebox feast celebrating the joys of seminal soul, R&B and funky blues played by some masters.
As befitting the Revue title of this supergroup, the trio of Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs, relished the opportunity to regale us with a bevy of classic "songs that we loved," noted Steely Dan's co-founder.
So it was fitting that after opening with the Isley Brothers' "Who's That Lady," they launched into Arthur Conley's 1967 hit "Sweet Soul Music." "Do you like good music, that sweet soul music," McDonald crooned.
Backed by a superb, nine-piece band, the three legends alternated between covers, familiar and more obscure, and some of their beloved signature songs.
In between McDonald on keyboards and Scaggs on guitar, Fagen sat stage center, planted behind a grand piano. Taking obvious delight in his role as the shows' maestro, he introduced songs, enthralled all with a handful of Steely Dan's greatest including "Hey Nineteen" and "Kid Charlemagne," and enthusiastically accompanied his compatriots on their tunes. Fagen has reported the collaboration is, "pure fun," and it showed.
The fun included Chuck Berry's Cajun-flavored "You Never Can Tell," (immortalized in "Pulp Fiction") with McDonald on accordion, and they spotlighted less well-known versions of popular songs.
"Remember that tune by Marvin Gaye, 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine'?"
Fagen inquired in the midst of the 23-song show. "Well we're not going to do that." Instead they delivered Gladys Knight & The Pips' more uptempo version featuring one of their terrific back up singers, Carol Leonhart, on lead vocals.
Highlights abounded with the audience responding most favorably to the stars' hits including Scaggs "Lowdown" and "Miss Sun (dueting on a rousing finale with Catherine Russell), McDonald's "Takin' It To The Streets" and "What a Fool Believes," and Fagen's "Peg" and "Reelin' in the Years."
Drawn back on stage for an encore the super smooth ensemble returned for a four-song set that began with "Lido Shuffle," segued into the "dance music" of Sly Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" and a glorious "Pretzel Logic," and closed with McDonald driving his band mates on Buddy Miles' funk classic "Them Changes."
The "Island Roots Bash" at the MACC on Saturday showcases some of our best reggae influenced bands. The lineup includes Common Kings, Maoli, Ekolu, Josh Tatofi, Inna Vision, Manali'i and Lia Live & The Kryptones with Kalisi & Leylani.
* Gates open at 5 p.m. Show at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 day of show, and $55 for VIP which includes private meet-and-greet with the artists, private bar, table seating (plus applicable fees).
Teen singer Tiffany became a star touring malls back in the 1980s. These days, she's out on the road performing her old hits and celebrating her country roots.
Her most recent album, the excellent "Rose Tattoo," finds her rocking country style on a bunch of songs she composed. Tiffany told OK Magazine that: "It's very country blues." It's, "Bonnie Raitt with a Stevie Ray Vaughan vibe. I'm a rocker at heart. I love country music, started in country music. I'm really just going back to my roots."
Tiffany became a teen singing sensation in 1987 at age 16, when her self-titled debut album went quadruple platinum. She actually began her career even younger, belting out country music at the tender age of 10 onstage with Jack Reeves in a country music nightspot in Chino, Calif.
She was discovered by country star Hoyt Axton and his mother, Mae Axton, who took Tiffany to Nashville to perform on the Ralph Emery Show.
Signed to MCA Records at 13, she began performing at shopping malls during summer school vacation in 1987, and by October she had scored a number one album.
"That came about because the label didn't really know what to do with me," she told Parade. "They put me in clubs and I was 16 and it wasn't working because I wasn't even old enough to be in a club."
Tiffany sold more than 15 million albums and had hits like "I Think We're Alone Now," "Could've Been" and "All This Time."
In 2011 she teamed with fellow former teen star Debbie Gibson for a "Journey Through the 80s" tour.
"I've always loved country music," Tiffany reported to Taste of Country. "I tried to keep that my foundation, even when I ended up getting signed as a pop artist. I really want to be doing country music. It's cool having people know me as not only Tiffany the artist, but Tiffany the songwriter."
n Tiffany performs tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Castle Theater. Tickets are $29, $39, $90/VIP (plus applicable fees).
On March 20, 1935, six young Kamehameha Schools graduates sailed from Honolulu aboard a U.S. Coast Guard cutter for destinations unknown. Carefully recruited for their physical and mental fitness, they believed they would be collecting specimens for Bishop Museum.
Instead, they found themselves on remote desert islands in the middle of the Pacific, living for months at a time in total isolation. The ability of these young Hawaiians to survive would eventually enable President Roosevelt to claim jurisdiction over the islands of Jarvis, Baker, and Howland. Over time the initial group expanded to around 130 adventurers.
* This fascinating tale is relayed in the doc "Under a Jarvis Moon," screening at 3 p.m. on Sunday in the McCoy Studio Theater of the MACC. Tickets are $10 (plus applicable fees).