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.

I had the pleasure of interviewing slack-key guitar player Manny “Boy” Varize Jr. at his home in Hilo, Hawaii. We talked about his history of playing music on the Big Island. Over the years he’s played with many legendary musicians, and continues to perform for the public. On this video he performs two of his songs, “Waiakea Town Railroad Blues” and “Ahualoa.” Mahalo to the Varize family for organizing this opportunity to document this local musician.

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Sarah Bethany Aloha Theatre, Kealakekua January 20, 2018 Jazz music is a bit of a rarity here on the Big Island, and when the annual Kona Jazz Experience concert happens at the Aloha theatre, it’s an event you don’t want to miss. The three-hour show opened with pianist Loren Wilken playing mostly original compositions and arrangements, backed up with some of the best players on the island like Bill Noble (alto sax), Jenny Brown (trombone), and Andrea Lindborg (trumpet). One of the surprises of the evening was when Wilken brought out 14-year-old drummer Nick Wong. Wong is so talented, that…

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Halfway to Hilo, there’s a rockin’ little roadhouse called the Papaaloa Cafe. If you time it right, you can catch one of country blues musician Richard Johnston’s monthly gigs.  He won’t be billed as Richard Johnston though, as he’s in a dispute with a German record label who released his 2002 debut album Foothill Stomp. Johnston recently moved to Hawaii to reinvent himself, and since last November he’s working under a new persona, Boozer Ramirez.  Johnston says his interest in the blues came during his college years when he discovered Robert Johnson records. Johnston started paying his musical dues as…

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Zappa U Screening / UH Hilo Jazz Orchestra Volcano Art Center, Volcano January 14, 2018 I first heard about the UH Hilo Jazz Orchestra’s annual Frank Zappa tributes in 2015 when I was working at KNKR-FM in Hawi. I just played a long concert version of “Black Napkins” when a fellow DJ called in and said, “Hey, have you heard about the Zappa concert they do in Hilo every year?” My wife and I had recently moved to the Big Island from the San Francisco Bay Area, so the thought of annual Zappa shows really turned my head around. I…

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San Francisco Bay Area and Hawaii Island artist Adam Crowe blends together psych rock, delta blues, folk and Americana styles. His original songwriting is often compared to great artists of the past like Hendrix, Neil Young, and The Beatles, but his guitar playing adds a diversity entirely of its own. Adam has toured and performed over 1100 shows and concert series at major festivals, fairs, colleges and venues as a solo artist and with his band FreeSound (www.freesoundspace.com) and in collaboration with other musicians. He has had the honor of supporting and sharing stages with blues artists Norton Buffalo, Paul…

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Host Steven Roby’s weekly collection of music from Big Island musicians. New Music Mondays: Volume Four Tracks “ G Minor Fleas” Brittni Paiva Brittni X3 “Hoku ‘ula” Sonny Lim Slack Key Guitar: The Artistry of Sonny Lim “The Hawaiian Man” John Keawe Play With Me Papa “Pua Olena” Lito Arkangel …me ke aloha “Maika’1 Ka Makaani o Kohala” Clyde “Kindy” Sproat Na Mele Paniolo – Songs of the Hawaiian Cowboys Where to find the music: Brittni Paiva: https://www.amazon.com/Brittni-X3-Paiva/dp/B000FTB04G Sonny Lim: https://goo.gl/BUcP5G John Keawe: https://goo.gl/vC6yun Lito Arkangel: https://goo.gl/P77n2H Clyde “Kindy” Sproat: https://goo.gl/ubCj63 Want to be on New Music Mondays? Send us…

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