Shakastock: With A Little Help From His Friends

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Kona musician gathers Big Island’s best entertainers for Woodstock tribute.

If you were rolling through Waimea last Sunday and heard some Sixties guitar riffs bouncing off the hillside, you weren’t having a flashback, it was just a bunch of musicians rehearsing for the upcoming Woodstock tribute concert called Shakastock.

Over the past year, Dan Brauer, Kona guitarist and Leche de Tigre frontman, along with singer Alicia Maher, have been recruiting some of the Big Island’s top-notch musicians for Shakastock: The Best of Three Days of Peace and Music, which will premiere as a two-hour performance on Saturday Oct. 26, 2019, at 7 p.m. at the Kahilu Theatre.

Joey Bradley, Dan Brauer, and Alicia Maher during ShakaStock rehearsals

When I arrived at Sunday’s rehearsal, Hawi singer Joey Bradley, Brauer, and Maher were working out some of the finite details for Bradley’s performance of Sly Stone’s “I Want To Take You Higher.” Maher’s also a vocal coach and wanted to make sure everyone did the song’s vocal break correctly. “It’s ah-who, ah-who, ah-who-o-o,” explained Maher to her collaborators, using a clip from the movie to demonstrate what she was talking about.

If you recall, last year Brauer and Maher pulled together 11 musicians for a live tribute to Pink Floyd’s iconic album Dark Side of the Moon at the Kahilu Theatre. The event was so successful they took it to the Hilo Palace Theatre and Privateer’s Cove in Kona. This year’s Shakastock concert involves even more musicians (nearly 20) who will perform songs by Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Havens and many others. Brauer and Maher are encouraging concertgoers to come dressed in Sixties attire and be prepared to dance.

Dan Brauer first discovered the Woodstock concert album in his parent’s collection when he was 12. “Even before I wanted to play guitar, I thought Alvin Lee’s solo on ‘I’m Going Home’ was so cool,” recalled Brauer. “Fortunately, I have a lot of music friends here on the island that like the same type of music I do.”

For the past year, Brauer has been acting as a sort of talent scout trying to locate artists who could properly pay tribute to the Woodstock concert. “I’ve been lucky to find people like Joey Bradley, who will sing Sly Stone’s parts, and guitarist Lauren Broido who understands the level we’re trying to achieve with the show,” Brauer said. “I wasn’t looking for people who’d listen to a track once, show up and just sit in. People have been asking me over the past year, ‘Why hasn’t Leche de Tigre been playing gigs?’ and I tell them that Shakastock has been totally time-consuming for me.”

Shakastock performers include: Dan Brauer who will provide lead and rhythm guitar and channel Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix; Abraham “Bubba” Lee Myers of RealEyeZen as Joe Cocker and Alvin Lee of Ten Years After; Malia Spencer-Chaul of Ms. Demeanor and The Felons as Janis Joplin; Cayenne Clarke as Joni Mitchell; Stephanie Lou Tatum as Joan Baez; Alicia Maher as Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane and Melanie, and Samantha Wilson, Cayenne Clarke, Alice Maher, and Stephanie Lou Tatum on backup vocals and as Crosby, Stills and Nash. Other musicians include Kona’s Ronnie V & the Family Band who will be covering Country Joe, Canned Heat, and The Band.

The concert’s volume may not be at Woodstock level decibels, but Paul Buckley, the Kahilu Theatre’s sound tech guru, will be on hand to make sure everything is crystal clear.

Shakastock will be more than just a music performance. “We found a seamstress in Kona and are trying to replicate the fringe jackets that Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix wore at the 1969 festival,” said Alicia Maher. Brauer added, “We’re also working a video display that represents the era. The concert takes place right around Halloween and we’re hoping people will want to re-live Woodstock by dressing in the fashion from back then. It’s going to be a fun show!”

Info: Shakastock: The Best of Three Days of Peace and Music happens Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30/$20 and can be purchased at kahilutheatre.org, (808) 885-6868 or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office located at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela (Waimea).

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