On my iPod right now - a pre-release copy of Steven Espaniola’s long-awaited new album "Hoʻomaopopo"!!!
I was blessed to be in the studio through much of the recording process for this album and got to hear how it evolved over time, but to hear it as a finished project (after super-producer Dave Tucciarone - the man with the ears that should be insured by Lloydʻs of London and who has produced numerous award-winning albums - finished doing all his secret magic stuff), oh my...
The album features two original songs: “Ka Wahine Helekahi (written by Steven and Puni Patrick), and “Ku’u Lio” (written by Steven and Keola Donaghy). A third song (and my personal favorite), “Ka Ipo Lei Manu” by Queen Kapiʻolani, features an oli (chant) by Kumu Hula Kawika Alfiche. Other songs include Meleana E, Kona Moon, Waiulu, E Kuʻu Lei E Kuʻu Ipo, Ka Anoʻi, “Mom” by Lena Machado, and “Aloha Koʻolau” by Dennis Kamakahi. (Clips from each song are available below.)
The album also features some well-known guest artists, including Bryan Tolentino; Waipuna’s Matt Sproat; Jeff Peterson; Casey Olsen; and Kumu Kawika Alfiche.
The official release date for "Hoʻomaopopo" is June 25 (and it will be available on my website), but those of you in Northern California can be among the very first to buy a copy on Saturday, June 22 at the Aloha by the Bay Music Series featuring Steven, Raiatea Helm, and Nathan Aweau, who just won two more Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards for his album ʻIo (Island Music Album, and Song of the Year for the beautiful “Uhiwai”).
For information (and tickets) on the Aloha by the Bay concert, go to the Nihonmachi Street Fair website.
Steven will also be playing at a number of other venues, both in California and Hawaiʻi. Here is a sampling:
June 29 - Michaan Theatre, Alameda, CA (with Eric Lee)
July 27 - Surf Spot, Pacifica, CA
July 28 - Pono Hawaiian Grill, Santa Cruz, CA
August 29 - Pakele Live, The Willows, Honolulu, HI (6:30-8:30pm HST – this show will also be streamed live)
August 30 - Corner Kitchen, Honolulu, HI (6:30-8:30pm)
Originally from California, Iʻve lived on Oʻahu for a number of years. Music has always been my passion and Iʻm fortunate to be able to work with and support many of Hawaiʻiʻs musicians. For such a tiny speck in the middle of a very large ocean, we have an amazing wealth of talent here!