KIKA KILA MEETS KI HO'ALU:
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Bob's work in Hawaii
IN THE SADDLE,
Bob and Led's 2nd CD
Hawaiian Slack key (ki ho'alu in Hawaiian) and Hawaiian steel guitar (kika kila), even though they share a common repertoire, were two almost completely separated art forms for the last 100 years. While the steel went onstage around the world from 1904 to the 1950s, slack key guitar stayed at home in rural Hawaii, as something to be enjoyed by local families, rather than in performance. In the 1970s Hawaii's young musicians had tired of what the steel guitar had become, a "tourist" sound, and revived and elevated slack key guitar into the present art form that is currently found on stages around the world.
Bob and Ledward Kaapana had met once, in 1986, jamming wildly in a Hawaiian club for an evening. It wasn't until 1996, eight years later, that George Winston of Dancing Cat Records, invited Bob into the studio with Led. The two had their instruments out moments after greeting each other. Within five minutes, they started playing music, laughing, and immediately rolling tape. Since Bob and Led enjoyed each other's playing so much, it was easy for them to select a song and simply arrange-on-the-fly, by listening and responding to each other. Thus, every song on KIKA KILA MEETS KI HO'ALU is a Take 1 or Take 2, never more.
The music ranges from fast, playful, and light, as in "Mai Kai No Kauai," "Fort Street," or "Tre Moe," to deeply profound and beautiful nahenahe pieces like "Moana Chimes" and "Ua Like Na Like" played languidly and with lots of feeling. Bob uses all vintage Nationals and Weissenborns on this recording, playing in a traditional style. Led brings his amazingly inventive slack-key style to the table. Together, the two musicians create a new blend of Hawaiian music.
Bob and Led have similar philosophies about music and life, and as good friends they have since toured extensively as a duo. The continuing evolving musical rapport that these two masters share is evidenced by their second CD release IN THE SADDLE. The friendship can be seen emanating from the stage on the video LEDWARD KAAPANA & BOB BROZMAN IN CONCERT.