Various Artists

Na Mele O Paniolo (Songs of the Hawaiian Cowboy)

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A pleasant compilation of works from the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) tradition. The paniolos were originally Hispanic (Portuguese) cowboys that came to Hawaii to help teach the natives how to herd cattle after they received a gift of longhorns from a British sea captain in the 1790s. The Hawaiian guitar style came from the paniolos through the islanders, and eventually the ukulele. This compilation covers a multitude of songs from the tradition, from both semi-current paniolos and earlier composers (including Queen Liliu). The album covers a good deal of the various subgenres in the tradition, including an earlier chant, some slack key guitar work, and some denser compositions for ukuleles with accompaniment. Any fan of softer guitar work would be pleased by the Hawaiian styles and their relaxed tunings and playing forms. Anyone that's already a fan of the Hawaiian guitar will be pleased by this compilation on its own merits.

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