Sunday, May 22, 2016

Slacking: James "Bla" Pahinui and "Gabby Kai"

Today's random song, Gabby Kai, is by Hawaiian guitarist James "Bla" Pahinui. The second son of legendary guitarist Gabby Pahinui, James built his first instrument at age 10 and then learned to play ukulele starting the following year. He switched to guitar in his teens, and as a left hander he turned the guitar upside down and developed a distinctive style of playing by picking the bass strings with his index finger while playing the other strings with this thumb. He has also developed a signature slack-key style, which in his words, stretch out the notes and take melodies in new directions. Since the early 60s, he has been exploring the music of his Hawaiian roots. Gabby Kai can be found on his 1997 album Mana (re-released in 2009), and on the Putumayo compilation Music From the Coffee Lands.