Kahumoku and Ho won a Hoku Award in 2000 for “Hymns of Hawaii.” This is a perfect sequel. Kahumoku accompanies himself on slack key while singing 11 of his favorite Hawaiian hymns.
Ho provides unobtrusive support on his new KoAloha D-VI ukulele. Count this as a front-runner for a Hoku in 2006 but don’t wait until then to buy it.
Most of these hymns have been Hawaiian favorites for generations. Eight represent the legacy of Lorenzo Lyons in translating Christian music into the Hawaiian language during the mid-19th century — “Kei Ka Hoa O Iesu La (What a Friend We Have in Jesus)” and “Nani Ke Li’i Ki’eki’e (Glory to God in the Highest),” to name two.
Kahumoku sings them with all with the natural nahenahe (sweet, melodious) style of traditional grass-roots Hawaiian music. Kahumoku completes this beautiful album with concise stories about the history of the songs and how they relate to members of his ohana. Sharing family history provides deeper insights into his reasons for recording these songs.
Honolulu Star Bulletin
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Island Mele By John Berger