Sam Ku West

Hawaiian Hula Blues: Acoustic Steel Guitar Masterpieces 1927-1928

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Back in the 1920s, Hawaiian music enjoyed a brief flare of global popularity, and, along with players like King Bennie Nawahi, Sam Ku West was one of the hottest Hawaiian lap steel players. He released a number of discs in the period, and this compilation captures 26 of them from the period 1927-1928. For that alone it's worth the price of admission, being as close to his complete output as you're going to find (there's actually only one West cut missing, and that's available elsewhere). The music covers a wide range, from the Hawaiian standard "Aloha Oe" to versions of "St. Louis Blues" and "Sweet Georgia Brown," all showcasing his remarkable versatility and dexterity. Add superbly researched sleeve notes that detail his career as well as some very rare photographs, and you have something that's both a labor of love and an invaluable document of a great musician.

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