Author: Steve Roby

Steven Roby is a respected music historian, journalist, and best-selling author. He has written feature articles and reviews for Guitar World, and has been featured in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and Billboard magazine. Roby is also the Managing Editor of Big Island Music Magazine.

For over 35 years, Kapena has entertained audiences with their signature harmonies and feel-good island music. Beginning as a trio in 1984 with Kelly Boy DeLima and the Tatofi brothers, the band has now blossomed into a family band featuring frontman De Lima’s three children –  Kapena, Kalena, Lilo, and son-in-law Kala’e Parish. Their stellar performance last Saturday at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel had the crowd on their feet cheering “Chee hoo!” while dancing and singing along to practically every song. Kapena’s outdoor concert was presented by the Kahilu Theatre, and it was their first where the audience wasn’t required…

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The origins of the song circle event can be traced to Nashville’s Bluebird Café when a bunch of songwriters sat in a circle, passed around a guitar and sang songs. Some of the tunes were hits while new ones were played to get a reaction from a live audience. Don May, a veteran of the Austin, Texas, music scene and now a Big Island songwriter, had often traveled to Nashville and witnessed the shows firsthand. May pitched the Nashville-style in-the-round show to the Kahilu Theatre, and the first Song Circle show happened last April with May, Blayne Asing, and Higgs.…

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Since 2013, Bottle of Blue has been faithfully paying its musical dues on Kona’s club circuit. And one highly important element has remained constant in the band: they offer some of the best classic rock and blues played on the island. At last Friday’s two-show gig at Gertrude’s Jazz Bar, the guys switched things up. Lead singer and band frontman Scott Reagan explained, “For a while, I’ve thought it’d be nice to offer something a bit more intimate and deliver our originals and crowd favorites in a slightly different manner. Many venues are still adapting to how they want to…

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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, aloha Kahilu Theatre Last spring, the Waimea Community Chorus (WCC) had plans to perform an Elton John tribute concert at the Kahilu Theatre, but the pandemic put the show on pause. “That’s when the movie Rocketman and his autobiography Me came out, and I was looking for something to entice new choral members,” reflected Musical Director Barbara Kopra in a pre-show interview. Kopra kept hope alive even after venue closures were announced. “I thought, ‘What if we cut 20 minutes, and just do a little taste?’” When Kahilu TV came along last December, Kopra resumed rehearsals…

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Dating back to 1954, Honoka`a’s Western Week is among the most highly anticipated Big Island festivals of the year. To honor a century-old paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) heritage, the town of Honoka`a serves up a unique cultural blend of rodeo sports, high-energy events, music, food, and education. But this year, due to pandemic restrictions, the organizers shifted most of the events to online including the Saloon Girls and Cowboys Got Talent Show. On Saturday, May 22, Kahilu TV aired a pre-recorded presentation of the popular talent show that was done a week prior. While most performers were musicians, there were also…

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Bad Papa is a musical duo from Waikoloa that features Jammin’ Joe Buck and Bob Bojorquez. Their style fuses Hawaiian slack key guitar with contemporary island music and the result is a unique easy listening experience. They have several releases to their credit including their latest Beyond the Surface. Joe Buck is a multi-talented, blind recording artist, songwriter and performer who is very proud to be kanaka (Native Hawaiian). He is a descendent of the Lyman family from Oahu. Bob Bojorquez has been playing and writing music for over 50 years. He grew up in Southern California, and in the…

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