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Hawaiian Hula Blues: Acoustic Steel Guitar Masterpieces 1927-1928

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 25, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With a repertoire of jazz and blues instrumentals and Hawaiian hulas, Sam Ku West was one of the early masters of the acoustic steel guitar. He was remembered by Tau Moe as one of the two leading players of his era. (Sol Hoopii being the other), and is placed among the elite of National tricone players by Bob Brozman. Stacy Phillips has praised his sweet vibrato and velvet touch, while Rudy Dopyera simply dubbed him "the greatest of them all." This collection contains 26 tracks.

Review

"...wonderful CD of this great artist who died so young." -- Dirk Vogel, Aloha International

"Sam played with a very inventive, off the cuff, sometimes humurous flair characteristic of the period." -- John Ely, HSGA Quarterly

"a superb production, including 16-page booklet containing Sam Ku's story, memorabilia and discography. More please!" -- Tony Burke, Blues & Rhythm magazine

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Hawaiian Hula Blues
  2. Strange Isles Medley
  3. Like-No-Like
  4. Farewell Blues
  5. St. Louis Blues
  6. Sweet Georgia Brown
  7. Old Black Joe
  8. The Memphis Blues
  9. Honolulu Blues
  10. Someday Sweetheart
  11. Sweet Hawaiian Dreams
  12. Aloha Oe
  13. Farewell Blues
  14. Happy Heinie March
  15. Waialae
  16. Hue Hue, Hue Hue
  17. Moani Ke Ala
  18. Minnehaha
  19. Lepe Ulaula
  20. Stack O' Lee Blues
  21. Drowsy Waters (Wailana)
  22. Sunkist Hawaii
  23. Wang Wang Blues
  24. The Rosary
  25. Palolo Hula
  26. Old Black Joe


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 25, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Grass Skirt
  • ASIN: B000ERU3VU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,794 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Grass Skirt Records' inaugural cd is a rousing success! Collecting all but one of Sam's sides that I know of (the other is on Hawaiian Steel Guitar Classics on the Arhoolie label), this disc is a dream come true for fans of acoustic Hawaiian steel guitar from the 1920s and '30s. Aside from the several tracks that have shown up on previous compilation cds, I'd never heard any of this stuff.

This disc has hardly left my player since I received it a week-and-a-half ago. I've heard it 2 times per day, minimum, since it arrived. Sam's reputation (for youngins of my generation) as one of the best National Tricone players is cemented with the release of this disc. Sweet Georgia Brown is one of those tracks that make people think guys like Sam or Bob Brozman must use some sort of pick-ups/effects, given the sounds they coax out of these great instruments, and the way they seem to be able to control the speed at which slow rolls of sound leave the guitar. Nope, no pick-ups folks, just magic fingers.

I guess, like me before I owned this, you may be wondering how does Sam compare/contrast to the Sol Hoopii Volumes 1 and 2 you own. So far I must say I think Sol was the better of the 2 overall. I think Sol had a more dynamic sense of touch. The way he entered, shaped and exited notes seems without peer. Someday Sweetheart here shows that. Also I think you'll notice Sam has the occasional moment of rhythmic clunkiness, particularly on the lowest notes/phrases he'd play, as on part of Memphis Blues. Sol didn't seem to ever have that, at least not on cd-released sides I've heard. To jump cds, you really should hear my favorite version of Memphis Blues. It's by the Mobile Strugglers on the great Violin, Sing the Blues For me disc.
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Format: Audio CD
An awesome collection of rare recordings from Hawaiian steel guitarist Sam Ku West, with informative liner notes and great sound quality on the digital transfers. If you enjoy Sol Hoopii, Tau Moe, Gabby Pahinui and other wizards of the style, then this disc is for you... Get it while you can!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Before a trip to Hawaii, I wanted to get myself in the correct mindset with some classic Hawaiian slide guitar. I'm a collector of prewar blues music, and knew what I was looking for to begin a Hawaiian roots music collection - an instrumental CD made by a top notch native Hawaiian slide guitarist. I was not disappointed with 26 songs by Sam Ku West.

My personal favorites of this collection include "Hawai'ian Hula Blues", "Like-No-Like", "Minnehaha", "Old Black Joe", and possibly the best recording of the well known "Aloha Oe" ever made. Many of the cuts have a dreamy feel to them and almost transport the listener directly to a Maui beach at sunset. The CD comes with very complete and informative liner notes.

This is truly fantastic music. It is too bad that like many other great artists, Sam Ku West died young in his 20's, leaving only a handful of his masterful sides for the rest of us to enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
coolio
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