“Well done, is twice done.” – Benjamin Franklin
What an honor to be a part of the Mākaha Sons show, the second time in three years. Returning to Stratham, NH was a unique and valued opportunity to experience the show from a performer’s perspective – going through sound check, watching the Sons do their thing, and just hanging out. As a “non-touring musician”, I personally learned so much on stage in front of a captive audience. It was a contrast to playing music during cocktail hour or playing back up to hula dancers. All are fun, but taking to the big stage holds great promise that I might pick up some gems from the Mākaha Sons’ 30+ years of performing experience.
To change things up from my solo performance of 2007, I was joined by Aloha Festivals Hawaiian Falsetto Singing Contest winner Bill Wynne and steel guitarist extraordinaire Chris Davis. Our set was well received, and I had great fun playing will Bill and Chris. Bill and I stayed in the theater meeting and chatting with some really great people. We met many former NJ residents that appreciated our Hawaiian music efforts in the Garden State. One gentleman told us that he lived in Hawaiʻi and toured the world performing with Jimmy Borges. We talked story about all the musicians that he played with and saw including Kalapana and C&K. I met Kalani Kaowili, Ocean’s brother, who surfs the frigid New Hampshire waters. Al Kuahi Wong, who ran the Wahi Ku Moku – Boston Hawaiian Club for 15 years prior to his retirement, gave me a lilikoʻi cake. So ʻono!!!
Margo Reola, who has opened here three consecutive years, did great. I met her when she was in high school. Now she is in college and remains atremendous talent. The Sons were fantastic. Since the concert was a benefit for the Molly Fund, Molly Rowlee was a 5-year old cancer victim, and dedicated to the memory of Joan M. (Rogers) Sice – there was hardly a dry eye in the house once the Mākaha Sons made appropriate dedications and launched into I’ll Remember You.
The people in New Hampshire were all amazing from the hosts to the audience. Mahalos to the organizers and congrats on a wonderful event. Thank you to Bill and Chris joining me on this adventure. For me, all worth the 10-12 hours of driving.