Slack Key — island style
by Anne E. O’Malley
Listening to Hawaiian music is one of the great benefits of being in the islands, and in particular, hearing the unique sound of slack key guitar. Ki ho`alu, the Hawaiian name for it, means, literally, “to loosen the tuning key.”
Lucky it’s November, because you’re in for six hours of nonstop slack key when you head to the Sunday November 18 free slack key concert at the Kaua`i Beach Resort, held from noon to 6 p.m. Topnotch, big-name performers from around the state will bring you to your feet again and again with their rousing playing, storytelling and singing.
Check out the festival performers at www.slackkeyfestival.com/ and look for the Kaua`i poster. Though free, it’s tough to keep this statewide annual concert going — it’s in its 20th year here — so a $10 donation in the calabash will go a long way to keep the festival alive.
There are also dozens of spots where you can listen to slack key, from Hawaiian music programming on Monday through Friday from 7 to 11 a.m. on KKCR, Kaua`i Community Radio, to evenings around the island. On Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., tune into KKCR at 91.9FM island-wide; 92.7FM in Anahola; 90.9FM in Hanalei or 95.1 Cable. The station also streams worldwide, so you can hear it on your computer anywhere — check out kkcr.org.
To find live Hawaiian music around the island, check out kkcrevents-linda.blogspot.com/, periodically updated by KKCR radio host Linda Lester. it’s a listing of Hawaiian music hotspots and performers.