Uma’s Ultimate Kona Konnection: David Lawrence


Uma’s Ultimate Kona Konnection is a weekly column covering the music scene of Kailua Kona. This week she spotlights local Kona musician, David Lawrence, who plays guitar in his band Green Machine and with Ronnie V and the Family Band. Catch him Thursdays at Sunset Terrace, 6-8 p.m., in Keauhou at the Kona Coast Resort, and Wednesdays at Ola Brewing Company.

I had the chance to sing with David Lawrence this past week on July 4th at the Waikoloa Bowl. We joined Johnny Shot to present the fireworks show with live music for everyone to dance and enjoy while picnicking. He has also performed with the Six String Fling twice at Aloha Theater in Kealakekua. David is a busy guy as he also produces the radio spots for LAVA 105.3-FM.

David Lawrence at Six-String Fling / photo by Steve Roby

The ‘Always Rippin’ David Lawrence hails from Brooklyn & started playing guitar at age 11; once he began, he never quit. His career began when he was a street musician in Europe for a couple of years. He learned the difference between being a good player and a good performer. “In a club, people are there to see friends, not necessarily to see you,” said Lawrence. “They might like the bartender, or it may be their hangout. If you can hold the attention of a crowd on the street and actually make some money, that’s a whole other thing.” He was first hired in Hawaii to play in a band whose band leader would disappear for up to an hour, so once he filled in, the guys decided they didn’t need that particular band leader.

Lawrence shared his biggest dream music-wise. “I love to play, so I will do this the rest of my life. What comes because of that is fantastic. It’s the initial getting together of musicians, making a special sound and putting it out there into the universe.” He also mentioned that it’s not about the money, but the love of the craft of making music.

David Lawrence at Six-String Fling / photo by Steve Roby

He has had some memorable music moments through the years, like playing with Neil Schon from Journey, and Earnest Carter, the drummer from Bruce Springsteen’s tour. Anytime he’s played with one of his idols, they let him know and it’s been a fantastic experience.

David offered some useful suggestions for aspiring musicians. “Try, go out and play with anybody you can, go to open mics, singer songwriter things. If you’re good, someone will hire you. Everybody’s always looking for somebody good.”

Lawrence is a total TV binge watcher, most recently HBO’s Game of Thrones. If he had a super power, it would be invisibility, or the “jumper” power from the movie of the same name; he says, “jumping to Paris would be great!”

Catch David rippin’ on his guitar Thursdays at Sunset Terrace, which is in Keauhou inside the Kona Coast Resort, located at 78-6842 Alii Drive. Call (808)324-1721 for info.  Every Wednesday he’s at Ola Brewing Company, located at 74-5598 Luhia Street in Kailua Kona. Call 808-339-3599 for info. This is an inside venue, so if you want AC, then go! Both venues are with Ronnie V and the Family Band, which is a family-friendly, mostly original, rock and folk group with different musicians sitting in all the time. David can be found on Facebook  and his production company is Always Rippin’ Productions.

Love Guru Uma sings in the Uma Zuma Band, as well as a duo with her husband AND plays solo ukulele; she is a substitute teacher, Uber driver, Tour guide and author. She just completed Book 2 in a series of adventure love story and self-help books entitled Love is Crazy – Lessons in Love: Creating your own Happy Ever After and Love is Crazy Satisfying. More at


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