Makapuu Sand Band,
Winds of Waimanalo
(1978; Cord, 2004)

The Winds of Waimanalo, originally released in 1978, was the second LP from the Makapuu Sand Band. The four cousins who formed the band were Andrew Iaukea Bright III (lead acoustic guitar, steel guitar and vocals), David Kananikamehameha Makai (rhythm acoustic guitar and vocals), Albert Ronnie Kaai (slack key guitar and vocals) and Job Maluhia Harris (string bass).

The singers all have clear vocals and the music slides together smoothly. The music starts off "Hale I Kokomo" and sets a rollicking good pace, the vocals cleanly delivered even as they match the pace set by the music. There are three parts to "Medley: Hale Ani Ani/Hoorah Lani Ha'a Ha'a," the slack key intro and the two songs. There is a marked difference in tempo between the songs. "Winds of Waimanalo" is a laidback song, full of warmth and fond memories.

The lyrics are slow in "Waikapu" -- against the quick tempo of the melody, the softness of the music helps the pieces fit together. The music flips between emphasis and counterpoint throughout "Mae Mae Lihau," which can take a moment to get used to. The music races far ahead of the lyrics in "Fireman's Hula" and the music ends up sounding too frenzied. The music slows down just a touch for the light-hearted "Hawaiian Time."

"Kualoa" is a restful song, with lyrics that drift in so gently they could ease you to sleep. They follow this with a toe-tapping good song in "Po Ko Li," in which the lyrics are echoed by the guitar in the instrumental bridge. The tempo remains much the same as they follow one traditional song with another, "Kelo Likelike." "The Hawaiian Scotsman" is well named, and is subtly hilarious.

It is easy to tell why the Makapuu Sand Band's Winds of Waimanal would be re-released. The songs on this CD are enjoyable and there is a wide range in content, with songs sung in both English and Hawaiian. There may not always be flow from song to song, but the music keeps going and whirls you along.

- Rambles
written by Paul de Bruijn
published 16 April 2005

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