“Slack Key Christmas” was produced on Hawaii Island in the town of Waimea, the heart of paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country where ki ho’alu originated. As you drive through Waimea in the winter, the roads are intermittently lined with red poinsettias and green pine trees. The chilly winter air of this high ranch land elevation gives paniolo country a special holiday feel during the Christmas season.
Ki ho’alu refers to the tuning of the guitar; the strings are loosened or ‘slacked’ to create various tunings for the instrument. This style of playing originated in the early 1800s when King Kamehameha brought vaqueros to Hawaii Island to teach Hawaiians how to ranch. The vaqueros introduced the guitar to the Hawaiians, who developed their own method of tuning.
“Slack Key Christmas” was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Charles Michael Brotman at Lava Tracks Recording Studio (www.lavatracks.com). Charles is the recipient of the first GRAMMY award for Best Hawaiian Music Album. “Slack Key Christmas” includes performances by four artists who performed on the GRAMMY award-winning CD “Slack Key Guitar Volume 2” (Sonny Lim, Jeff Peterson, Randy Lorenzo, and Charles Michael Brotman). Winter Wonderland was engineered by James West, and O Holy Night was engineered by Pierre Grill at Rendezvous Recording.
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