1. Maui On My Mind
2. Paniolo Soul
3. Hawaiian Skies
4. The Aloha Tango
5. Maile Swing
9. Nā Kūpuna O Haleakalā
10. Rainbow Ridge
11. Pu`u Kukui
12. In The Mood
13. Wahine U`i
14. The Winds Of Waikapu
16. Harvest Moon
17. Olinda Beauty
Hoku Award Winner for Slack Key Album of the Year in 2010
FEATURED IN THE HIT MOVIE The Descendants
Maui. . . The many hues of green in the Olinda pastures touching the ever-changing blues of ocean and sky on the horizon, the first morning light against the West Maui Mountains with Pu`u Kukui in view for a brief cloudless moment, the crisp mountain air carrying the scent of ginger and Eucalyptus in Keokea, the sense of adventure and unrivaled beauty in the ocean off Makean Beach, the silver glow of the sea on a moonlit night near Lanaina’s Front Street, the sound of a verdant stream cascading down the cliffs above the Hana Rainforest, the spirit of aloha and community in the Paniolo town of majestic Makawao. . .
These are just a few of the things that are always with me regardless of where I am. I feel centered and calm in the bustling city streets of Tokyo, Paris, Beijing, and New York City. Maui is always there reminding me of my roots and `ohana.
I experience a sense of deep reverence and aloha as I perform music for this unique island. The sound conjures images so familiar to me that I am inspired to reach deeper to find new ways to express myself. Even when I am miles away, I feel like I am home again. In ways that only music can express, Maui is on my mind.
Maui On My Mind: The opening song on this recording was written during sunrise on a clear Maui morning. The mountain air had a chill but the sun quickly came through to warm things up and reveal views of Kaho´olawe, Lana´i, and the tip of Moloka´i in the distance. Even though I currently live on the island of Oahu and travel often outside of Hawaii to perform, music can transport me back to my family home on Maui in an instant. This song is my ticket home.
Paniolo Soul: This song was written with deep gratitude and fond remembrance for Uncle Eddie Wilson who would often go on trips with family and friends to a small cabin high up the mountain on the Haleakalā Ranch called the Peanut House. This is where I first felt the inspiration to play music when I heard Eddie and my father sharing their music around the fire. Uncle Eddie—a true Hawaiian Cowboy—will long be remembered on Maui for his great sense of adventure and fun-loving spirit. Who else would ride his horse right up to the bar in a Makawao restaurant? The theme from a traditional Hawaiian mele called Wahine Hololio is quoted in this piece.
Hawaiian Skies: The chill of the fresh Kula air is a great source of energy. The panoramic view of West Maui with the Hawaiian skies above from Kula is one of the greatest in all Hawai´i.
The Aloha Tango: Katchi katchi music is the latin-influenced sound in the islands that makes you want to move. I wrote this tango paying respects to the great slack key guitarist Raymond Kane who passed away in 2008. He version of La Paloma was the first piece I heard using a slack key tuning to play a song from outside of Hawai´i. I loved the Habanera rhythm and thought he might have enjoyed hearing a slack key tango as well.
Tuning: Taro Patch–DGDGBD
Maile Swing: Johnny K. Almeida wrote this wonderful Hawaiian swing song back in the 40s and it lives on today. Maile is a fragrant vine that grows in the cool uplands forests throughout Hawaii. The fragrance of maile is often related to the lingering memories of love. Part of the Almeida ´ohana still lives up in Olinda on Maui.
Lilinoe: The white misty rain that falls at the edge of the Hana Rainforest on Haleakalā is poetically named Lillinoe. My beautiful niece lives up in Olinda and loves to play in the misty rain that she is named after. The song uses a technique of fretting notes with both the left and right hands—a tribute to her sense of adventure and playfulness. Me ke aloha to Lilinoe and her wonderful parents Bard and Corinne Peterson.
Charmarita: I remember of all the wonderful Portuguese cowboys on the Haleakalā Ranch when I play this traditional song from Portugal. Henry Silva and Blondie Freitas where the two I saw most often on the ranch when I was growing up. Henry could make his own beautiful saddles and kaula ´ili, or lariat, with the craftsmanship and detail of the finest artisans. Blondie was real kolohe—always mischievous—and loved to make everyone laugh. The great slack key guitarist Sonny Chillingworth made this song popular in the islands when he first recorded it in the 1960s.
Tuning: G Wahine–DGDF#BD
Keokea: Keokea is the area at the edge of Kula that has a town center consisting of a coffee shop, a gas pump, an art gallery, and two old Chinese grocery stores, the Ching Store and the Fong Store.
Tuning: C Mauna Loa–CGEGAE
Nā Kupuna O Haleakalā: When I first heard the kupuna, or elders, play music when I was a child, I was immediately drawn in. Hearing the music live made me want to have my own guitar. This song was written when I first received the beautiful guitar that Goodall Guitars made for me. The song played itself so I consider it to be co-written by me and the guitar! I thought of those days when I watched the kupuna perform and let the song flow.
Tuning: Taro Patch
Rainbow Ridge: Rainbow Ridge was the nickname of the place where Jimi Hendrix gave his final concert in 1970. It is at the edge of the pasture where my ´ohana lives on Maui. It was called Rainbow Bridge in the film of the concert and Jimi’s Maui visit. I wasn’t born yet, but I have heard all about what a great party it was! This song is for Jimi.
Pu´u Kukui: One of the last untouched native Hawaiian rainforests is located above Kapalua at the summit of Mauna Kahalawai in the West Maui Mountains. Pu’u Kukui means “hill of enlightenment” and is an important natural watershed. It is home to plant and animal species found nowhere else and is one of the wettest spots on earth. Through the valiant efforts of many conservationists, the area is protected against non-native plant and wildlife species. Mahalo to all who have lent their kōkua to preserve this important part of Hawai’i.
In The Mood: My grandfather Edward Boone loved the Big Band sound and Dixieland Jazz. He would play harmonica for hours on end and knew many great songs from the swing era. My grandmother Jean Boone danced to this song performed by Glen Miller himself when she was in college. This song is for them to dance together once more. . .
Tuning: Taro Patch
Wahine U´i: I remember listening to this song sung by Gabby Pahinui on an old record player that my parents had. The worn vinyl album had a great jacket that I could read and see all the photos of the musicians in the band. It was one of the very first songs that really got my attention and remains one of my favorites today.
Tuning: Taro Patch
The Winds Of Waikapu: The steady trade winds blow continuously through the isthmus on Maui between Haleakalā and the West Maui Mountains. Waikapu is a small town near Wailuku that feels the cooling effects of this wind like the embrace of a loved one.
Aurora: I loved watching the stars on clear nights in Olinda growing up. The Milky Way covered the sky as thick as a cloud. It was easy to pick out constellations, stars, and even satellites passing by. Although I have never seen the Northern Lights in person, this song written by Japanese guitarist Kotaro Oshio captures what I imagine the essence of the experience would be like and reminds me of the times I would enjoy the mystery and magic of the Maui night sky.
Harvest Moon: This is a classic love song by Neil Young that I arranged for solo guitar and open up at the end playing in the key of D while tuned to the wonderful open G “Taro Patch” tuning.
Tuning: Taro Patch
Olinda Beauty: A closing piece paying homage to my entire ‘ohana who have made Olinda their home for three generations. This wonderful area above Makawao town is my refuge from the world and is where I derive a great deal of inspiration for my music.
Tuning: Taro Patch
Produced and arranged by Jeff Peterson
Recorded and mixed by Darin Leong
Mastered by John Vestman
Graphic Design by Stacey Leong Design
Photography by Erin McNally
Liner Notes by Jeff Peterson and Jay Junker
All songs composed by Jeff Peterson (ASCAP) except In The Mood by Glen Miller, Maile Swing and Wahine U´I by John K Almeida, Harvest Moon by Neil Young, Aurora by Kotaro Oshio, and Charmarita (traditional). Paniolo Soul is dedicated to Eddie Wilson and quotes a theme from Wahine Hololio.
Jeff plays handcrafted guitars by Goodall Guitars. A Goodall concert jumbo with Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce was used on this recording. Jeff also played a classical guitar on The Aloha Tango and Wahine U´i made by Gioachino Guissani in Italy.