MELE`UHANE (Spirit of Song) @ Pono Hawaiian Grill

Keikilani Lindsey, of the famed and much loved and honored Lindsey `Ohana of singers, musicians and songwriters, is on his way to Santa Cruz.  The Lindsey `Ohana is undoubtedly best known for Helen Lindsey Parker (Keikilani’s great aunt) as the composer of everybody’s favorite “Akaka Falls”, tho there are many other amazing songs that she wrote.

There is much that I’d love to share about this family, but I’ll let Keikilani’s music and “talk story” take care of that.  This first California CD Release Tour has blessed Pono with an Aloha Friday event coming up soon.:


Multi-talented singer-songwriter Keikilani Lindsey upholds tradition while sharing new ideas with “Mele‘uhane.”

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An opening chant, performed by Puni Patrick and accompanied by spacey new age electronic music, defines one musical boundary. “Mahana,” a place song about a Big Island beach where the sand consists of minute bits of volcanic glass crystals, establishes another; on this one Lindsey uses steel guitar, piano, a briskly strummed ukulele, and a lilting pop rhythm to evoke the feel of the hapa-haole music of the first half of the 20th century.

In between those two baselines Lindsey and co-producer Ron Pendragon neatly blend the traditional with the contemporary. The lyrics are almost entirely in Hawaiian and the core instruments are guitar and bass, but from time to time they have musicians playing electric guitar, synthesizers and some haole (non-Hawaiian) percussion instruments.

Lindsey writes in the liner notes about the challenge posed to Hawaiian artists from within the Hawaiian community “to evolve and expand upon their native intuition and inspirations.” These songs are his response.

Lindsey co-wrote 11 of the tracks. He explains in the liner notes that one of other two, “‘Olu o Pu‘ulani (Peace on Heaven’s Hill),” which was written by Helen Lindsey Parker, was his grandfather’s “heart song” and describes a tragedy that befell members of a previous generation. He sings it in a sweet and poignant falsetto.

Lindsey and Pendragon complete “Mele‘uhane” with two booklets of song lyrics, translations and background information — documentation that is especially important when introducing new Hawaiian songs. Lindsey also shares his thoughts on the place of Hawaiian music in the larger world and his response to the challenge to “holo mua (forge ahead).”

“Mele‘uhane” is available at and at Pono Hawaiian Grill Santa Cruz. on July 25th.  More info about Keikilani is available at

As is the way at Pono were require no cover charge, tho we enthusiastically encourage a $10 – or whatever can – donation at the door to give to the musicians, to keep them coming back to Santa Cruz.

Please share this message with friends and fellow lovers of da mele.