The COVID-19 virus has acted like a wrecking ball to the local music scene, and our musicians have taken a financial hit in the last month with venues closed throughout the island. The good news is that our artistic community is still thriving, live streaming fan favorites, and new material.
To help offset the loss of income, you can still buy their merch. I reached out on Facebook and heard back from several musicians who have material to be released shortly.
The Cutthroat Brothers: Live Cuts
The venomous garage-punk duo known as The Cutthroat Brothers is releasing their first live album called Live Cuts. The band features two real-life barbers Jason Cutthroat (vocals, guitar) and Donny Paycheck – Jason is from Kona, and Donny lives in Tacoma, Washington.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Jason told me in an interview that the group was planning to release an EP in March called The King is Dead and go back to the studio to work on their third album. Jason Cutthroat notes that these plans got put on hold due to the pandemic. “The pressing plants aren’t running, and we had to postpone our tour and new recordings until it’s safe to travel,” said Cutthroat. Currently available is Taste For Evil, their second album, and their self-titled debut recording.
Live Cuts was recorded on Nov 23, 2019, at the 4AD club in Diksmuide, Belgium, and was the final show of their European tour. Producer Jack Endino (of Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden fame) is doing the mixing. It will be available on all platforms. Follow the duo on Facebook to find out when Live Cuts will be released.
Kristin Lagasse: Gold
Kristin Lagasse is a Quebec born, Maine raised, singer-songwriter currently based out of Kailua- Kona Hawaii. Lagasse, half of the local duo known as Honey Jar, currently has three recordings available: For Those Who Still Believe In Unicorns, Gypsy Girl, and Rugged Heart.
“It’s being recorded in my home recording studio, tentatively being called Llmama House Recording Studio,” Lagasse said via Facebook.“It will be a full-length 10-12 track album. Guest musicians include Higgs for a featured vocal, Kathy Fraser on cello and Devora Kalma on piano. Possibly Jenny Brown of Future Tides on trombone and Ellen Keehan who I play with in Honey Jar. Rebecca Roudman of Dirty Cello plays the cello on a couple of tracks as well. The artwork will be done by my boyfriend Tyson Bourassa who is a photographer. The theme of the art and title track of the album is finding beauty and whimsy in little things and/or creating it for ourselves. ‘All that we had was dust, but we made gold,’ is a line from “Gold” that I think sums up the idea. When released this fall it will be available on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.
Tracklisting: “Under The Milky Way” (w/ Kathy Fraser on cello), “Gold” (Kathy Fraser on cello and Devora Kalma on piano), “Shiver” (Rebecca Roudman on cello), “Wildflower” (Rebecca Roudman on cello), “Betting On You, Into The Wind,” “Upside Down” (Devora Kalma on piano), “Rusty Strings,” “Wish You Well” (Rebecca Roudman on cello), “Dangerous,” “I’m The One” (Ellen Keehan on vocals), “Money In The Bank” (featuring Higgs on vocals).
Lani Park: Kehaulani & Kealohamana, Grassroots, and Sweet Gold
Lani Park is an award-winning poet, singer, hula dancer, surfer, certified yoga teacher, lomi lomi practitioner, and mom. She is also the first woman to become the Poet Laureate of Queens. Her musical influences include Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Norah Jones, and Sade, among others. Over the past decade, Park has traveled the world, reading poetry, singing & playing music at over 300 music festivals, colleges, cafes & cultural venues.
On April 20, 2020, Park will release three new albums available through her website. In her own words, she describes the theme for each one.
Kehaulani & Kealohamana – “This is an album of acoustic love songs recorded within the period of one beautiful, enchanted summer on the Big Island of Hawaii. A mix of originals, hula classics, and reggae covers. Just two ukulele players singing in harmony for a lovely spell.”
Grassroots – “Is an album of original island reggae & acoustic love songs written, recorded, and composed by Lani in Hawaii on her laptop, with a ukulele, by the sea. Milk & Honey, Romantic, and Seas of Love included in this heartfelt collection.”
Sweet Gold – “This is an instrumental album by Lani of tribal beats and rhythms you can dance to. No words necessary; it’s a dreamy, spacey, sweet, sexy vibe.”
The Singles Section
Christian Ohly, a UH-Hilo soccer player and leader of the band Ohly, has a new single out called “University.”
Ohly released his first EP in 2017, which was recorded in a friend’s home studio. Christian went on to the University of Hawaii-Hilo where he played soccer and began to play at local bars with friends from Engage Church. “In Hilo, I was joined by Alden and Layne Arakaki, Mark Conanan, and Autumn Encinas-Domingcil and played under the short-lived moniker Autumn’s Boys (Pictured below). In Aug. 2019, I recorded a mini-album in Alden’s Hilo home studio. “University” is the first single off that album. The recordings feature Kona’s Michael Cripps on cello, and Hilo’s Alden Young on violin. Layne played clarinet, and Alden and I played the rest of the instruments.”
Big Eye Band is an alternative rock group that adds different genres to their overall musical identity. Living on the Big Island of Hawaii, the four members are Evan Morrow (rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Matt Barbaccia (lead guitar) Mikey Herr (bass), and James Schwartz (drums).
The band formed in July 2019 and has come a long way on their musical journey writing over 30 original songs. They are currently in the process of recording a set of singles, and their first one is called “Third Eye.” It will be available on April 20.
For business and booking inquiries, please reach out to [email protected]. You can find Big Eye Band on Instagram (@bigeyeband), Facebook (Big Eye Band), and soon Spotify, SoundCloud, and other media platforms.
Photo credits: Yeasin Chowdhury, Ranae Kaene, and Anna Pacheco.