Lono’s Latest CD Release, Old Style IV, An Instant Hawaiian Classic
A masterpiece! Lono’s latest release, Old Style IV, is one of those classic albums where every song flows perfectly into the next. As the title suggests, the album is a collection of songs celebrating Molokai’s unique history and character.
Despite the low-budget production, “Old Style IV” delivers an exceptional sound quality. Lono painstakingly reviewed each track, making sure the sound was superior, even when it meant re-mastering the entire album. The result was a month-long delay of the release date, but the final product was definitely worth the wait.
Aside from the melody, the mo`olelo (history) of Molokai gives the album depth and substance. Oral tradition is the piko (navel) of Hawaiian history. In that sense, mo`olelo, `oli (chants) and hula provide a live and colorful ongoing narrative of Hawaii’s past and present.
Lono is helping to tell Molokai history through his carefully crafted music. He says his songs are “full of ancient legends, myths, stories, tributes and everyday life.” It is inspiring that Lono is telling Hawaiian history, and at the same time perpetuating Hawaiian culture through his style of old Hawaiian folk music.
The album begins with a ceremonial conch-blowing giving way to the best track on the album, “Hanohano Wale No.” Paying tribute to Hina, the mythical mother of Molokai, Lono gracefully croons to a rambling melody. It’s one of those songs you will continue to hear in your heart long after it has stopped playing. Anyone who has a deep love for Molokai will recognize the passion which resonates from this song.
In “Imua Molokai Paniolo,” Jimmy Duvauchelle, Cowboy Otsuka, Buzzy Sproat and others are immortalized as modern legends of Molokai’s Paniolo heritage.
Lono showcases his range of style in “Molokai T.M.H. (Take Me Home)” and “Silvery Sea,” two old-fashioned tunes. His creative talent stands out in slack key pieces like Sunshine Slack and Kaunakakai Kani.
“Keep Molokai, Molokai” values the fight against development on the island. “Mobettah you stay, mobettah you go, mobettah you just stay away… on the Friendly Isle we say ‘keep Molokai Molokai.’” In such lyrics, Lono says visitors are welcomed to stay as long as they don’t try to change the island. Otherwise, they encouraged to leave Molokai.
If you are a fan of musicians such as Izrael Kamakawiwo`ole, Gabi Panui, Genoa Keawe, and other traditional Hawaiian artists, you will love this album. It represents the quintessential spirit of Molokai, the last Hawaiian island.
“Old Style IV, Molokai Nui A Hina” will be available near the end of October, and only in Molokai stores. Lono’s release is being printed as a limited run – which means once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. So do not let the opportunity of owning an instant-classic pass you by.