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George Kahumoku Jr. releases new CD

By Staff | Dec 31, 2015

George Kahumoku Jr.?recently released a new CD called “Paniolo Slack Key-Songs of the Hawaiian Cowboy.”

NAPILI – George Kahumoku Jr., host of his weekly “Slack Key Show-Masters of Hawaiian Music” at Napili Kai Beach Resort, on Dec. 21 released a new CD called “Paniolo Slack Key-Songs of the Hawaiian Cowboy.”

The CD features traditional and original songs in two slack key guitar tunings celebrating cowboys, horses and ranching in Hawaii.

The CD is being submitted to the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) for the upcoming Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

Three of the 18 songs on the CD are originals, including “He Mele No Na Lio,” a vocal theme song composed for Maui’s newest live attraction; “Na Lio” (The Horses); and “Pi’iholo Sunset,” an instrumental song inspired by a recent horseback ride at Pi’iholo Ranch.

The 15 traditional songs are mostly ones that Kahumoku heard and sang growing up in a large musical family. Titles include such classics as “Kilakila ‘O Haleakala,” “Kona Kai ‘Opua,” “Kupa Landing,” and “Pu’uanahulu.”

“I have been playing and performing slack key guitar, farming and ranching all of my life,” said Kahumoku, “which makes me especially excited about sharing these songs.

“I come from a family of paniolo, fishermen and farmers. My father, George Sr., quit school after the eighth grade and broke horses for McCandless Ranch in South Kona, among other things. My great-grandfather, Willy Kahumoku, was instrumental in building the stone walls that contained the cattle from Kona all the way to Waimea,” he continued.

“My parents, grandparents, great-grandparents all played kiho’alu, or slack key guitar. I continue our Hawaiian family tradition of ranching and farming by raising goats, sheep and miniature horses on our small farm on Maui. I grow a wide array of fruit, taro, vegetables and Hawaiian herbal teas with my wife, Nancy.”

The CD will be available for purchase locally at Lahaina Music, the LahainaTown Action Committee Gift Store, and Request Records in Wailuku.

This newest release, plus a wide selection of Kahumoku’s CDs, can also be purchased online at Kahumoku.com and Mele.com, as well as at Kahumoku’s weekly Wednesday night slack key shows at the Napili Kai Beach Resort.

Generous supporters and fans crowdfunded the production costs of the new release through a successful Kickstarter campaign. They received their CDs in advance of the official release date.