Over the last thirty years or so, there has been an amazing renaissance in Hawaiian music. For many people on the mainland, Hawaiian music has always been associated with corny lyrics, Elvis Presley, or nightclub acts like Don Ho. But a newer group of excellent artists have now gained significant attention, building on an amazing combinations of traditional Hawaiian songs, instruments and tunings not found much outside of Hawaii (such as the steel guitar and the slack key guitar), and songs and techniques "imported" from other musical heritages. A typical modern Hawaiian album often includes a mixture of newly written songs written in Hawaiian, more traditional "Hawaiian" songs written in Hawaiian or English, and covers of familiar pop songs written in English.
CDs of Hawaiian music are available from Amazon.com and many other vendors. You can, of course, buy these in Hawaii, but you usually end up paying list at $17.99 - or higher (we've seen some outrageous prices in shops at hotels and major tourist sites in Hawaii - many over $20). Some of our favorite artists and albums include:
There are lots of other artists worth investigating. Click on this Hawaiian Music to get other ideas.
We also recommend the following web site:
- SteveO's Hawaiian Music Guide - An amazingly complete guide to Hawaiian music, including links to Hawaiian artists, live Internet radio broadcasts, information on places to buy Hawaiian albums and music, and so on.