He Inoa (“We Are” Maunalua) was so named because it introduces the group’s newest member; vocalist and ʻukulele and guitar player Richard Gideon, who joined the group in 2009. The album continues Maunalua’s tradition of blending unique harmonies, kī hōʻalu (slack key) guitar, and ʻukulele, and features a blend of traditional Hawaiian songs such as “Hilo One” in a medley with William S. Ellis’ “Hula O Makee”; hula standards such as “Pua ʻAhihi” (a trademark song of the Kahauanu Lake Trio); and several original songs, including one by band member Bobby Moderow (“Spirit of Hawaiʻi”) and another by the award-winning Kumu Hula and multi-Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner Manu Boyd, who composed “Maunalua He Inoa” especially for them.
The album also includes fan-favorite “He Is the Only Reason,” with a twist suggested by the group’s award-winning producer Dave Tucciarone, that adds a whole new dimension to the song – that of Denny Hemingson’s (Tim McGraw and Faith Hill) pedal steel guitar, which gives it a bit of a country gospel feel and elevates the song to a whole new level not previously heard in the group’s live performances. Other guest artists include Casey Olsen, who plays steel guitar throughout the album; Hoʻomanawanui Apo who plays piano on “Ke Aloha”; and Keo Skudlarick on percussion for “Ke'Ala O Ka Rose”.
He Inoa was produced by Maunalua and Dave Tucciarone, and recorded at Tucciarone’s Seventh Wave Productions studio. It features all three members of the group on vocals, with Bobby Moderow, Jr. (who was recently awarded the Kī Hō‘alu Foundation Legacy Award) on slack key guitar, Kahi Kaonohe on electric bass, and Richard Gideon on guitar and ʻukulele. The album will be available in both digital and CD format at a variety of retail outlets.
A pre-CD release party will be held the night before the official release date at Pakele Live at the Willows (901 Hausten St., Honolulu) on July 16, 6:30-8:30pm, and live streamed at https://livestream.com/pakele/maunalua . The album will be available for purchase for those who attend.
Below are a few sound clips from the album...