Country and Contemporary Hawaiian Group “A‘ea‘e” Release Their Debut Recording
Three of the five tracks on our debut EP are originals. Keola Donaghy composed “Aia I Kīlauea (‘Ā Mai)” after a visit to the Halema‘uma‘u Crater several years ago, to which Kenneth Makuakāne added the music.
Jeff Dayton contributed his composition, “When The Ocean Sleeps,” inspired by his love of the sea, both in Hawai‘i and abroad.
Two tracks are Hawaiian interpretations of well-known English songs. “Tennessee Whiskey” was composed by Dean Dillon, first recorded by George Jones, and most recently reinterpreted by Chris Stapleton. After securing Dillon’s blessing to create a Hawaiian language version, Donaghy went back to live performances by Dillon himself to create this version in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. The drums on this track were recorded by Nashville veteran Andy Peake, who has toured and recorded with luminary country artists, including Don Williams, Tanya Tucker, and Delbert McClinton, just to name a few.
“Ku‘u Ipo Ma Ke Kai Loa” is a Hawaiian interpretation of Gaylord Holomālia’s composition, “Lover of Mine,” most famously recorded by Kalapana and Israel “Brudda Iz” Kamakawiwo‘ole. Makia’s daughter, Māpuana Makia, joins him in this moving duet. Māpuana is perhaps best known as “Dr. Noelani Nakayama” on the Disney+ series, “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.”
The final track, “I Ka La‘i O Lahaina,” is a re-recording of one of Donaghy and Makuakāne’s earliest collaborations, but reenvisioned for this release. Jim Riley, the drummer of the country music group Rascal Flatts, contributed drum tracks to the song.