The sounds of Hawaii are the specialty of this Fort Collins band. Book 'em Danno is a four-piece group that uses traditional Hawaiian instruments to blend old and new songs from Hawaii and other tropical ports into a fun, unique sound! The band evokes the spirit of the 30's and 40's swing-era with their Hapa Haole songs, swing rhythms, and authentic instrumentation.
Put on the Hawaiian Swing CD at your next Tiki Torch Party. Get down with some Hula Swing and have a Luau. Kalua pig, poi, lomi salmon... throw in some lau lau and manapua, and now you're talking ONOLICIOUS, bruddah! Time to do the Hukilau. Enjoy!
The History of Hawaiian Swing music:
The world delighted in the new sounds emanating from the islands of Hawaii in the early twentieth century. In 1915 the territory of Hawaii sent their music, hula, and culture to the Pan-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco where it became the hit of the show. The music and myth lured writers and musicians to Hawaii where they blended jazz, Broadway, country and Tin Pan Alley music with the island sounds and instruments. Hawaiian Swing was born.
Hapa Haole songs with their English lyrics, Hawaiian imagery and jazz overtones helped promote Hawaii as a "Garden of Eden" and a place to vacation. The music and instruments have influenced many musical styles including Country Swing, Gospel and Blues. Some of the finest music and musicians in the world are from Hawaii!
What people are saying about the CD:
"Art and I are so happy to say we've received your CD and just about wore it out already... It's the vocals and the steel guitar that catch first attention. But we can't help noticing there's some hell-of-a-good-ukulele playing going on there, too. Altogether, an excellent recording."
- Lorene Ruymar, author of "The Hawaiian Steel Guitar"
"Got the CD and it rocks! What a faboo combination of happy/swinging party tunes and some really beautiful instrumentals. 'Sand' is particularly lovely--I felt like I was on a beach with a mai-tai in my hand. (I play it at work when things get insane and it makes everyone happy.) This is exactly what I was hoping for when I saw your website--wish I could see you guys live!"
- Michele Mantynen
"Fun music... wish you were in the area so I could find a nice excuse to hire you guys... what a great party band! Great selection of tunes..."
- Don Yoder, aka Dr. Cookie
About the members of Book 'em Danno:
Chris Kennison - Living in Hawaii in the 1970's, Chris became interested in the Slack Key style of guitar playing and has been sharing that music with audiences in Fort Collins for many years. Listening to local Hawaiian contemporary artists, he developed a love of Hawaiian music which eventually led him to discover the Hawaiian steel guitar. He also plays acoustic, electric, and pedal steel guitar. Chris owns Seldom Fed Productions recording studio in Fort Collins, and builds his own line of steel guitars.
Stuart Yoshida - Stuart was born in Honolulu and grew up listening to local Hawaiian artists and learning ukulele and guitar at a young age. But Rock and Roll pulled him in different musical directions after leaving Hawaii, and he concentrated on playing his guitar for the next 25 years. While visiting the Big Island in 1999, he commissioned a custom made ukulele from David Gomes. Ever since then, he has been polishing his skills on the famous "Dancing Flea." He is one of the finest 'ukulele players in the state.
Dean Cilli - Dean plays electric and acoustic guitar. He is also is one of the co-founders of the long-time Fort Collins country swing band, Rounder. Rounder has a great 20+ year history in Fort Collins. Many of the region's top musicians have shared the stage with Dean and Rounder over the years, or have been members of Rounder. Jumping from country swing music to Hawaiian swing has been a natural step since the two genres are linked in many ways.
Wes Melander - Wes lives in Loveland, Colorado. Playing upright acoustic bass since he was 13, he brings a solid foundation to the band. Wes played with the Fort Collins Symphony for 12 years (1978-1990). Other musical efforts have included pit orchestra work for many stage productions in the region, big band ensembles, and electric bass with the West Brothers Band in Fort Collins.