Indeed, "Uke and Call Me Cousin" is reminiscent of the casual “garage parties” that are common in Hawai'i to this day. Held at the Kahiapo family home when Kawika was growing up, the parties were frequented not only by family, but by artists such as the world-renowned slack key master Gabby "Pops" Pahinui - and you never knew what song someone was going to play next. In keeping with that style, the album is a blend of songs from a wide variety of artists, with a few original songs thrown into the mix. From classics like "Teach Your Children" and "The Sound of Silence" to Hawaiian favorites like "Kaneohe" and "Kaulana Nā Pua", Kahiapo's smooth vocals and beautiful arrangements make you want to lean back, relax, and just listen. His stripped down version of his award-winning hit song "Life in These Islands", originally released by his former group Kaukahi, will instantly transport listeners to Hawai'i regardless of where they are when they listen to it. His song "Another Time" is especially poignant, given the recent loss of his dear friend and fellow musician, Palani Vaughan.
Kahiapo is the winner of numerous awards, including both Island Music ("Ku'u 'Āina Aloha") and Slack Key ("Ho'omaluhia") Album of the Year at the 2015 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards; three Nā Hōkū Awards in 2007 for his former group Kaukahi's debut album "Life in These Islands" (Song and Group of the Year), and the Ki Ho'alu (slack key) Award; and he was featured on the GRAMMY® award-winning album, "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key".
Produced by Kahiapo and Imua Garza, "Uke and Call Me Cousin" was recorded, engineered, and mixed by Garza at his Zeo Music Studios. Kahiapo plays a KoAloha tenor 'ukulele and a Kanile'a baritone 'ukulele. Garza plays upright bass, banjo, cajon, and keyboard.
The release date is set for December 23, 2016. The CD will be available at Me Ke Aloha, and digitally online at CD Baby, iTunes, and other standard sites. Wider release through other retail outlets will follow.