Posted tagged ‘art’

Give some YouTube love to my nephew Jake

May 27, 2011

We seem to have drifted into featuring good music on Fridays, which isn’t a bad way to end the week.

Today’s spotlight is on my nephew Jake Conol from Glenwood on the Big Island, with his soulful cover of Michael Bublé’s “Home.”

I consider Jake to be possibly a major undiscovered talent in Hawai‘i and some others agree; his video of “Wonderful Tonight” a couple of years ago got more than 55,000 hits and glowing reviews from viewers.

He’s been fronting bands in Puna since his talents on the ukulele started to emerge in middle school, but his musical ambitions became secondary after his mom was severely disabled in a tragic highway accident.

Even with the rudimentary production of these videos, Jake’s voice seems to come from someplace deep and real. He can be a wizard on the fretboard, but isn’t into showing off for its own sake. I like his simple guitar accompaniments that bring only as much as the song requires.

Give it a listen and if you agree with me, pass it on and help get the boy some YouTube hits. If you don’t agree, write me off as a proud old uncle.


A good man feeling bad

May 20, 2011

The headline is the best statement of the blues I’ve heard and nobody played it better than Sam “Lightnin’ ” Hopkins, who picks, sings and talks the blues in the above video I recently came upon clipped from the 1967 short film “The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins.” (Part one, Part two)

A Hopkins blues line was the source of my favorite quote to sustain me in old age, something to the effect of: “I ain’t afraid of dying, it’s just that you have to stay dead so long.”

He was also a source of inspiration to many of the guitar heroes of the Rock Age, in whose wailing sounds you’ll hear a lot of Lightnin’ licks played at warp speed. (His nickname notwithstanding, Hopkins was best known for slow blues shuffles with long runs of triplets that keep drilling deeper and deeper into your gut.)

Not that he wasn’t capable of going up-tempo. I leave you with another video of the old horndog trying to get a party on with a young and demure Joan Baez.


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