Suggestions of Excellent Hawaiian music?

Looking for SONICALLY excellent, as well as good tunes, Hawaiian slack or slide guitar music. Or other island tunes too. Must have been well recorded. Thanks in advance, Mark
Does the category "Hawaiian music" include the recordings of Don Ho? I remember sitting with my girl friend in a club in Waikiki in the early 1960's listening to Don Ho sing "Tiny Bubbles"... brings back memories. Ah yes, "tiny bubbles, in the wine, makes me happy, makes me feel fine..."
I don't know if it meets your standards of excellence, but one I think is pretty good except for one really dumb song is Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Facing Future. The Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World medley that was used in Finding Forrester is really nice.
"Black Sand" Excellent disc!
My favorite (out of about 5 slack guitar CDs) is Cyril Pahinui (Gabby's son)/Bob Brozman's: Four Hands Hot & Sweet. Listening to it with eyes shut, I forget where I am.

(Shameless self-plug!) I am biased, but I think our band's recording is one of the best quality recordings out there. Recorded onto 2" analog, then mastered onto HDCD. Check it out at:

I've got to agree with Paul above: "Facing Future" has some nicely recorded tracks (with others being very over-produced), especially "Over/Wonderful" from "Finding Forrester" (and "Meet Joe Black" and the eToys commercial). These folks chose it for a reason and I think you'll find brudda Iz' voice irresistable. I have noticed that my CD-R dubs of Israel's CD's sound better than the originals.
Also, I'd check out the Dancing Cat series of ki ho'alu music (Dennis Kamakahi, Cyril Pahinui, etc.). These were fairly well-produced by George Winston.
Finally, there are a few modern Hawai'ian CD's that aren't too shabby. John Cruz - "Acoustic Soul", Colon - "The Groove Machine", Guy Cruz - "Judgement Time". I haven't listened critically to these CD's, but I'll throw 'em in the Theta tonight. They're not 5 star audiophile recordings, but probably 3-4 star recordings of acoustic guitar and vocals. Email me for other suggestions if you like these - I've got over a hundred Hawai'ian CD's (
PS Kevin, thanks for the heads up, I'll have to add your CD to my collection.
I second the IZ recommendation above, though some tracks are recorded better than others. Also, check out Kealii Reichel, Sister Robi (Kahakalau), and the newer Brothers Cazimero cds, as all have excellent recording quality.
There is a wonderful guitar player from Hawaii named Keola Beamer. One of the world's greatest custom guitar makers, Steve Grimes, has designed and named a guitar for Mr. Beamer.

Check Amazon and or a search engine like Gogle for more info.
At the moment, I am listening to Keola Beamer playing a duet from an album called Wooden Boat. Then Keola playing something from another album, Moe 'Uhane Kika on Dancing Cat. Both very good recordings.

I have a collection of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters on Dancing Cat Records, which is from their series. Most of the recordings are really good and the original albums are all referenced and pictured in the booklet.
Keola Beamer "Mauna Kea"
George Kahumoka "Drenched by Music"
Bob Brozman & Ledward Kaapana "Kika Kila"
James Bla Pahinui "Mana"

I have a promo samper with cuts from these albums and what's their is primo. The first one has a duet with George Winston, also very interesting. These are from Dancing Cat as well.
I agree with Drrasta. This CD is by Lead K.....and is excellent. The best all around music is by the Peter Moon Band.
Go to and get the live stream of one of the best radio stations in business. They play all kinds of music and I love the alternative stuff, acoustic cafe, and david dye's world cafe. In your case, listen to the broadcast a while as they play I believe on Saturday or Sunday morning from like 7 or 9am to noon a program called "Island style" This features Hawaiin music and they will have groups, bands, or individuals. I think it is a program you will enjoy/love

i was recently introduced to hawaiian music w/this great compilation: hawaiian slack key masters, vol. 2. it's available here:

the sonics are supurb, but there's an import version for almost 3 times the price, perhaps it's better? ;~) the nice thing about the disc is it has songs from many different artists, some whose names are mentioned in this thread. if ya like what ya hear, you can then search out music from the different artists...

doug s.