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Old 03-19-2018, 10:55 AM
BJ9RW BJ9RW is offline
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Location: New York City
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Default My Little Grass Shack In Kealekekua, Hawaii

One of the classic hapa haole songs of Hawaii, a #1 hit in 1934 that has since appeared in numerous movies, TV shows, and cover versions -- if you're my age, you may remember it from The Little Rascals episode where the International Silver String Submarine Band plays The Man on the Flying Trapeze.



I was inspired to learn the song after hearing Jerron Paxton play it at City Winery. I took a guitar workshop with him at Jalopy in Brooklyn and asked him to show it to me. He played a complex arrangement in Bb that I could never duplicate even if he taught me exactly what to do (because Bb, are you kidding me?).

I arranged this version on my own by transcribing almost note for note the original sheet music written by Hawaiian big band leader Johnny Noble. I changed the key from Bb to G to make it playable. My goal was to use my go-to fingerstyle techniques while retaining some of the original Hawaiian sound (sliding wherever possible even without a slide, which I'm bad at, and using a lot of 6th chords).

I learned so much about this song in researching the arrangement that I ended up rewriting its Wikipedia entry at some length. You will find a translation of the Hawaiian lyrics there, even the lyrics that I badly mispronounce.

Guitar is a Martin HM-28 from the Custom Shop, configured in 2015 by Matt Umanov's in Greenwich Village.

Dubi
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:08 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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Absolutely terrific Dubi! My family and I spent a nice three weeks on Kawai a couple of summers ago and your wonderful playing brought back some nice memories on this cold March day here in Ottawa.
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