Joel Katz | Adventures in Hawaiian Steel Guitar

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Adventures in Hawaiian Steel Guitar

by Joel Katz

A blend of smooth jazz. Some tracks with drums and horns. Others are more traditional Hawaiian style
Genre: World: Hawaiian
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Steel Like Makin' Love
4:40 $0.99
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2. The Look of Love
4:14 $0.99
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3. Canopus
4:33 $0.99
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4. About Last Night
2:01 $0.99
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5. (The) Fool On the Hill
4:41 $0.99
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6. Spooked 'Uke
4:08 $0.99
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7. 'Til There Was You
3:57 $0.99
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8. Blues for Dixie
4:46 $0.99
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9. Flossie
5:13 $0.99
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10. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
3:38 $0.99
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11. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
2:56 $0.99
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12. Stolen Moments
6:28 $0.99
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13. Miloli'i
3:04 $0.99
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14. Crazy
4:00 $0.99
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15. Comes Back to You
5:09 $0.99
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16. Ke Kali Nei Au (Hawaiian Wedding Song)
2:25 $0.99
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17. Flossie 'Ukulele Alone
0:47 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This project highlights songs that I simply enjoy playing—some originals, some covers. I hope that lovers of Hawaiian Steel Guitar will appreciate the diverse range of musical genres, and recognize the evocative, expressive Hawaiian style of playing at the heart of each recording. All songs feature the Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar, with dobro resonator guitar on Miloli‘i and About Last Night.

1. Steel Like Makin’ Love
I recorded this after re-wiring my Stratocaster to get the elusive neck and bridge pickup combined. It’s my favorite setting now, with a full low frequency and lovely overtones. This steel tuning offers a lush sound along with the song’s pleasing chord progression. All instruments by Joel.

2. The Look of Love
The strings of the steel guitar become especially responsive when picked close to the bar. Slight angle variations bring out diverse and sometimes surprising overtones.
All instruments by Joel with percussion loops created with permission.

3. Canopus
This is an original song named after the low A6-tuned Canopus brand of steel guitar that I used. I made a rhythm track with drums, bass, and keyboards and enjoyed the low, fat tone on the riff variations. The horn line and arrangement are from a digital audiotape of ideas I have had in a drawer for over twenty years. Patrick Dieter on baritone sax, Henry Arroyo and Fred Boyd (solo) on trombones, Tom Allsage on tenor sax, and myself on trumpet brought it to life with real horns. Joel on trumpet and all other music.

4. About Last Night
I was practicing with my dobro resonator guitar and this song idea came to me in ten minutes. I went into the studio to record it before I forgot it. I had an inexpensive microphone set-up that I use to talk to performers in my recording booth so I put it over the dobro and recorded this in one take--except for the ending tag. I tried re-recording it later with a better microphone but couldn’t come close to the quirky feel of the original, so I just added electric piano and bass and it was done. Dobro, bass and electric piano by Joel.

5. (The) Fool on the Hill
I could hear in my head how nice the steel guitar would sound on this lovely Beatles song. In the original Paul McCartney demo the piano is the musical foundation of the song, along with the unique flute. All instruments by Joel.

6. Spooked ‘Uke
I recorded this funky little ‘ukulele riff with my phone. I had been working on the drumbeat to play live with the song “Spooky,” so I grabbed it and incorporated the name. The rest came together quickly. All instruments by Joel.

7. Till There Was You
I created a chord arrangement for this classic song a few years ago for another project; I thought the spirited melody would work well on the lap steel guitar. I added the drums, guitar, electric piano and the fretless 5 string bass. All instruments by Joel.

8. Blues For Dixie
I loved the old Texas swing feel of Lyle Lovett’s Bob Wills Tribute version of this song. I wanted this to morph into a Dixieland feel. Featuring Danny M acoustic bass, Fred Boyd trombone, and Tom Allsage Tenor sax. All other instruments by Joel.

9. Flossie
After Hurricane Flossie knocked the power out, I sat playing my ‘ukulele by candlelight and recorded this with my phone. The drums are a blend of several loops I made. Sue Seymour Westcott on fiddle, Gail Swanson on flute and Joel on bass, electric piano, and drum programming.

10. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
After playing this arrangement for a few years, I still felt my performance wasn’t presentable for a recording. I gave it one more try and got this in two takes. Danny M on bass, Joel on guitar, ‘ukulele, and electric piano.

11. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
I recorded this Duke Ellington standard one time and I liked most of what I did. It was unfinished until Sue filled in the empty spots on fiddle. It’s a bit different hearing this instrumentation with ‘ukulele, fiddle and percussion.

12. Stolen Moments
I was working on an arrangement for this Oliver Nelson song when Danny M was here recording acoustic bass. The mix and structure of the song were still disorganized and unfinished but I liked where it was going. Danny M gave it a try and played with so much conviction that I removed everything except the organ and drums I made. I imagined I was a saxophone on the steel solos. Joel on organ, guitars, and drum patterns.

13. Miloli‘i
I wanted this to be fun and playful; the dobro seemed to fit. I had been listening to Sol Hoopii’s version of Palolo and I believe that this playful and funky style is in line with the steel guitar Hawaiian roots. Sue filled in the holes for me with fiddle.

14. Crazy
This Willie Nelson tune is great. It requires a bit of focus on steel to move with the chord changes. Danny M on acoustic bass. Joel on piano and ‘ukulele.

15. Comes Back to You
This song was finished over twenty years ago, on the same digital audiotape as the Canopus idea. Aside from acoustic guitar, the music was recorded and created with sounds from an old Ensoniq ASR 10 sampler. I thought the song merited getting out of my drawer and finding an audience, so I added a bit of steel guitar.

16. Ke Kali Nei Au
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Charles E. King composed the melody to this in 1926 for his operetta, Prince of Hawai‘i. The melody presents some technically challenging motions of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar bar. Joel on fretless bass, ‘ukulele, and keyboards.

17. Flossie ‘Ukulele Alone
The ‘ukulele riff inspired by hurricane Flossie.

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