Hawaiian Grammy Commentary
by Billy V
posted Mar 30 2009 12:17PM
Congratulations to Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho for winning the Grammy Award in the catagory "Hawaiian Album of the Year". This is the first year that a "vocalist" artists or group has won this award. Since the catagory's addition into the Grammy's in 2005, it has always been won by Slack Key Releases.
A note about "Slack Key" releases". The name itself may be misleading to some. The music contained on a lot of the "Slack Key" releases used to be just that - instrumental. You would think of a CD filled with music by one guitar, or several guitars with one playing the lead in the song. Not anymore. Our best slack key players are also some of the best vocalists in Hawaiian music, or they are enhancing songs with their particular style of Slack Key. All if not most of the tracks on Slack Key CD releases out now are indeed vocal tracks, but they are performed by these Masters in their craft of Slack Key.
Taking a look at the Grammy nominees in the last couple of years, there really haven't been any "instrumental" releases, but there are "Slack Key" genre releases. Perhaps the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts could take up the possibilities of adding that catagory in the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
A good point was made in Howard Dicus' blog that not only our Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, but the Grammys, awards for classical music etc.. that it is the human element that comes into play. To quote Howard, "In classical music, which I follow closely, it has not been unusual for a Grammy to go to a group that has a lot of voting members." I would say that would probably go the same for almost any award type, in any media or otherwise. It's the human quotient. I also used to complain in my youth about why so and so got the award...The more people that are in the academy (that qualify) the better it is that you can avoid people questioning the results...
Tia Carrere is an extremely talented actress that has taken the options afforded her (remember that Tia and Daniel Ho are from Hawaii, grew up here on O'ahu) and has excelled in almost every avenue she has chose to go down. Her name will attract some attention, and we are always hopeful when it happens with any of our Hawaii celebrities; that people will not only appreciate what was presented, but will also dig deeper and get to know and appreciate the other music in the catagory and genre as well.