Ho’omalie, CD#2, Song Notes, Credits and Thoughts:


Please note that CD 1, Kukuna Mehana, contains its own liner notes and credits. This is not the case on "Ho'omalie." Please refer to the fold out of Kukuna Mehana for additional information.


Songs appear in the order recorded.


Ka Makani Ka Ili Aloha


This was my moms' favorite Hawaiian song, even though she could never remember the name of it... Mom would just say "play that song....you know the one". She loved the story of the fisherman whose wife leaves him for another. The fisherman goes to a Kahuna, and follows his instruction to throw an offering into the ocean where they once fished together. In the end, the wife returns and they are re-united again. Other stories are told about this song, but this one is used because of my moms' fondness of the tale. Honolulu Symphony harpist Sharene Keli’ipunilei Boulos included her talents to provide some "wind effects" to simulate "the love snatched by the wind". I have included both original verses, the second is commonly discarded, but I thought it was important. Puakea Nogelmeier provided the closing "summary" lei no kaua i kapilina... expressing more poetically the reunion of this broken love. The translation depends on the readers "perspective." But, the way it is offered on the CD lyrics is how I discussed it with him. "We are adorned by our reunion." This summary caption is unique, and not used in any other recording.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal, slack key and standard acoustic guitar


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, and electric guitar


Sharene Keli’ipunilei Boulos - Harp



Puna Ku’u Aloha


Written by my first Hawaiian teacher, the late Katherine Maunakea, this is one of our more traditional hula offerings. Kupuna Maunakea used to love to tell the story when she and husband Edwin took their first plane ride to meet the Maunakea family on the big island. When they arrived in Puna, her husband was so happy he kissed the ground. He had been away from his family for 30 years. Kupuna actually wrote this song at Pohoiki Park during the 50's, where the family threw net for fish and gathered opihi. The abundance of food in such simple surroundings impressed her very much. There are different versions of this song, because she loved it so much she continued to refine the verses over the years. This is the last version, from my days with Kupuna during the early 90s as she taught us na mea Hawaii at her home in Nanakuli. This song was recorded by Aunty Agnes Malabay, Leilani Sharpe-Mandez & Elodia Kane, and Dennis Pavao.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal, ukulele, and standard acoustic guitar


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, and back up vocals


Bobby Ingano - Steel guitar



Cowboy Medley


A medley comprised of "Hawaiian Rough Riders" and "I'm a Cowboy" written by my late brother John Felix (aka Cowboy Bob) Lead in voice over by Ray Kane, for those who do not recognize his unique giggle, and trademark saying..."no cause for alarm." This is my arrangement of Hawaiian rough riders, with my brothers composition (the English song inserted in the middle) there are 2 steel guitar players, the center country section has a pedal steel flavor for variety.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal; back up vocals, slack key, and standard acoustic

guitar


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, and back up vocals


Bobby Ingano - Steel guitar


Andrew De Velschow - Pedal steel guitar




It's to Love


A song to reflect the era it was written.... This is an original selection written by the late David Thompson. During the early 70's I used to sneak into local bars to hear some of the wonderful music that surrounded us in the "Motor City". Later on, when I was actually old enough, my brother and sister and I used to follow a local band in the suburbs of Detroit. Their name was "Travis".... we just loved them. They are the only other artists (that I know) that have recorded this piece. It includes keyboard player Michael Ruff from Kauai, a well known musician and writer who tours the mainland and Europe. Michael has written songs for Bonnie Raite, Al Joreau and many others.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal; back up vocals, and standard acoustic guitar


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, electric guitar, and back up vocals


Michael Ruff - Piano, real electric Rhodes, and some string samples


Paul Kreiling - String samples




Hanohano Wailea


This song was written by Kihei Desilva and Moe Keale. I recorded this as a traditional Hawaiian song with a contemporary approach.  While this version is not targeted as a hula, it could be, perhaps using the middle instrumental section for a "pa" for the dancers. I learned this song while playing with Kawai Cockett in the early 90's. I added ili ili to the song because I love the description in the second verse of the pebbles clicking together as the surf washes on to the shore. Bobby Ingano and I do some steel/slack harmonizing in the musical interludes.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal, slack key guitar, ili ili


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, and back up vocals


Bobby Ingano - Steel guitar





Aloha Lahaina


Like "Puna Ku’u Aloha", this song was written by my first Hawaiian teacher, the late Katherine Maunakea. Originally from the island of Maui, she wrote this song to honor Lahaina, and Lahainaluna. Her father, a violin player, was one of the first graduates from Lahainaluna. This selection reminds me of the rare evening I had Kupuna Maunakeas' sisters in my living room, recording this piece for "He Ho’olina O Na Mele O Kupuna Maunakea." In keeping with the way I learned this song, this is another of the more traditional hula offerings.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal, ukulele, slack key guitar


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, and back up vocals


Bobby Ingano - Steel guitar




Mahina O Hoku


Some call this song traditional; it is also credited to Lillian Awa. I learned this song from Ainsley Halemanu, kumu of Halau Ka Liko O Ka Palai. I remember the first time I heard him sing it, and was moved by the melody. I am told that the third verse of this song could have been written by Johnny Almeida, and may not have been included in the original composition. I love to play this song when performing with my wife as she dances. It's become one of our very favorite hula’s. My wife "Sue" dances with the ladies of Ka Liko O Ka Palai.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal, slack key guitar, standard guitar


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar


Bobby Ingano - Steel guitar


Ainsley Halemanu - Ukulele



Try Again


I wanted to share some of the music I grew up with in Detroit that lives in my memories. This song was written by an old friend, John Stevenson. John wrote songs, sang, and played bass, guitar, and drums for the group "Travis". They were a favorite group from my youth in Michigan. John now lives just outside of Nashville Tennessee, still playing and writing. We are joined again by veteran keyboard player Michael Ruff.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal, slack key and standard acoustic guitar, French

horn samples


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, and back up vocals


Michael Ruff - Piano, and some string samples


Paul Kreiling - String samples



The Water is Wide


A selection recorded as a traditional folk song, in my own slack key style. This song has been recorded by many musicians including James Taylor, Moe Keale, and Randy Lorenzo. I think everyone has family and friends far away somewhere they miss from time to time. Most have felt the pain of longing for the one they love. Since the composer is unknown at the time of this writing, I think loneliness was the emotion that was behind this composition.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal, slack key guitar


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, electric guitar, and back up vocals




He Aloha No O Honolulu


Written by Lot Kauwe, produced by Ainsley Halemanu, this could be a halau "visual selection". Uncle Ainsley plays different hula implements on different verses. The idea is to have a few dancers enter with each verse, playing different implements, all joining in at the last verse. We also include 2 frequently "hidden verses" in the middle of the song, we highlight them by modulating into a "minor" key progression before the finale.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal, back up vocals, slack key guitar, and ili ili


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, electric guitar


Bobby Ingano- Steel guitar


Ainsley Halemanu - Uli uli, pu ili, ipu heke




He Inoa Wehi No ka Pa’u O Hi’iaka


Written by Holoua Stender (from Kamehemeha schools) to honor his daughter. I first heard the mele when watching his daughter "Malia Hi’iakaikawenaokeao Stender" dance. Holoua chanted it for the kahiko portion of the Miss Aloha performance at the Merry Monarch festival several years ago. I put this chant to music. It has not been recorded before. It tells the tale of the plant that grows along the beaches of Hawaii, that legend says, was created by the Hawaiian gods to protect Hi’iaka from the sun as she waited for Pele to return from the ocean, who craved salt and seafood. I use a harp player once again, as an effect, to simulate the vine climbing over Hi’iaka protecting her from harm.


Ray Sowders - Lead vocal; back up vocals, slack key guitar, ipu heke


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, electric guitar, and back up vocals


Ruth Freedman - Harp



Nani Wale


Traditional hula, learned from Ainsley Halemanu. Mixing slack key guitar with ukulele and steel guitar seems to sweeten this love song. One of the songs Uncles Halau dances regularly. Written in an appealing style, Hawaiian songs like this are among my favorite.



Ray Sowders - Lead vocal, slack key guitar


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, ukulele, and back up vocals


Bobby Ingano - Steel guitar




He Nani No Ka'ala


Traditional song with new verses written by Puakea Nogelmeier turns this familiar melody into a leeward journey. These verses were written from my request to "visit" locations on my side of the island, where mount Ka’ala stands. Puakea re-named the song "He Nani Ka’ala" to "He Nani No Ka’ala" in this instance to avoid confusion. I could never figure out why this song only used to include windward locations...



Ray Sowders - Lead vocal; back up vocals, slack key guitar, ipu


Shawn Ishimoto - Bass guitar, electric guitar


Bobby Ingano - Steel Guitar