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Young Hawaii Plays Old Hawaii

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Album Review

Now considered one of the seminal Polynesian albums, the 1972 debut by Hawaiian trio Hui Ohana introduced the world to twin brothers Ledward and Nedward Kaapana along with their cousin Dennis Pavao. As suggested by the album's title, the group represented a sort of reclamation of traditional Hawaiian music, infusing the old island sounds with a youthful fervor and an inherent grace. With their thrilling three-part harmonies — usually delivered in effortless falsetto — and the emergence of Ledward as a slack-key guitar ace, Hui Ohana put their own stamp on the Hawaiian sound, blending in electric bass and guitars dripping with reverb. Standouts like "Nani Waimea" and "Kaloaloa" are among the album's more dynamic cuts, full of nimble guitar work, strong vocals, and inventive breakdowns. Elsewhere, Ledward's graceful handling of wistful slack-key instrumentals like "Salomila" and "E Liliu E" lay the groundwork for the guitar legend he would eventually become.


Formed: 1972 in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Consisting of twin brothers, Ledward and Nedward Kaapana (born: 1950), and their Portuguese-Hawaiian cousin, Dennis Pavao (born: 1952), Hui 'Ohana ("group of the family") is one of Hawaii's leading bands. Accompanying their falsetto harmonies with melodic slack-key guitar picking, the trio has taken their music from the rural Hawaiian village of Kalapana to the international stage for a quarter of a century. Although none of the three musicians received formal training, they mastered the lessons...
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Young Hawaii Plays Old Hawaii, Hui Ohana
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