Following the success of his 2019 release Song for Waimea, Dagan Bernstein returned to the studio to record Hōʻale, I’m Coming Home, his fifth independently released recording. For this four-song EP, the Waimea-based songwriter weaves nostalgic tales of his time growing up in the district of South Kona and his adventures through the hills of Kohala.
In describing the EP, Dagan states, “The theme of the music is centered around the surging seas that travel across the deep Pacific Ocean and meet the coastlines of this pae ʻāina. The title is about our spirit traversing the vast open ocean to return home. The music is meant to be grounding, to take you back to your roots, to remind you of where you started.”
In addition to Dagan’s acoustic rhythm guitar playing, the recording’s instrumentation was provided by international touring musician Colin John on acoustic lap steel guitar and Honokaʻa-based multi-instrumentalist Brad Bordessa on ʻukulele, bass, steel guitar, and harmony vocals. These elements come together to draw a through-line that directly connects the listener to the musical traditions initiated during the Hawaiian folk-music renaissance of the 1970s by groups such as Country Comfort and Olomana.
Photo: Gerald Besson