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World Music CD Reviews North American


By Jill Ettinger
Published January 25, 2006

Classic Hawaiian Hulas Volume 2
Daniel Ho Creations

Hawaiian culture is perhaps most often represented by the token hula dancer. Somewhere in Middle America there’s a postcard stuck on a refrigerator with a picturesque sunset background and a hula dancing girl with a beautiful Hawaiian smile. It probably reads something like “Aahh Hawaii.” But what the postcard doesn’t capture is the gorgeous music of hula. Thanks to Daniel Ho and slack key guitar great George Kahumoku Jr., there’s Classic Hawaiian Hulas Volume 2. Descending from six generations of hula greats, Kahumoku travels the world sharing the music of hula (which is how he met Ho). Producer and fellow musician Ho teams up with Kahumoku here for a truly deep Hawaiian experience. The recording is as flawless as the magical islands themselves. Kahumoku’s guitar work is effortlessly beautiful as is his voice on classics like “He Aloha Mele,” “E Huli Makou” and “Lovely Hula Hands.” Ho’s ukulele accompaniment is tender and sweet, honoring the traditional sounds of Hawaiian hula music. A quiet yet powerful collection of classics is definitely a classic itself.