Various Artists

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Classics: 1927-1938

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Similarities between Hawaiian steel players and blues, country, and jazz artists abound on Hawaiian Steel Guitar Classics, a new anthology that contains 26 songs recorded over an 11-year period in the '20s and '30s. A song like Sol K. Bright's "La Rosita" has a marked similarity to both "St. James Infirmary" and "The Yellow Rose of Texas," while Sol Hoopi was a master player whose speed, facility, and range are impressive today, and were unparalleled in his genre at this time. Hoopi is the most dazzling player, but others who deserve examination include Bright, King Nawahi, the duo Jim And Bob, and The Kaai Serenaders. These selections have been transferred from vinyl 78s to digital tape and sound remarkable.

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