Bend your back and your knees, stretch out your hand like a racing jockey…
Jockey Move – The Rub A Dub/Bend Down Low Medley, one of the most significant songs by the group Ho’aikane. A pivotal island tune during a controversial transitional phase when Hawaiian music turned to a mainstream Jawaiian (Jamaican-Hawaiian Reggae) sound.
Ho’aikāne Through The Years…
A four member Hawaiian band featuring Noland Ha’o, Walter Tavares, Russell Mauga, and John Mauga called themselves “The Ho’aikane’s” were founded in 1983 on the Kona side, Big Island Hawaii. Their first three album releases were under Kahanu Records. The first two releases came in 1986, “Pu’uanahulu and Nolan Hao Kī Hō’alu… On The Back Porch.”
Pu’uanahulu featured a mix of traditional Hawaiian and contemporary Hawaiian music such as Ka’aahi Kahului, Ka ‘Ōpae, and Mauna Kea Sugar.
Nolan Hao Kī Hō’alu… On The Back Porch contained some of the best Hawaiian slack key music ever recorded. Punahele, Papakolea, ‘Ophihi Moemoe, Radio Hula and other well known classics were featured on the ki ho’alu album.
In 1987 Ho’aikane’s went paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy) releasing their third album entitled Ano Kua Aina which contained a classic mix of Hawaiian and old country songs. Seven Spanish Angels and Your Cheating Heart were great recording covers, done the old paniolo way.
Ho’aikane’s became Ho’aikāne in 1989. The subtle name change keep with ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i although their newest album A New Beginning labeled under Kahele Music featured several non-Hawaiian hits as Keep Hawaiian Lands/Waiting In Vain medley, Silver Wings, Some Guys Have All The Luck, and Jambalaya/Elena Bon Bon.
As the style of music changed so did band members. The Mauga brothers pursued their own music careeers. Hoku Tolentino, Jamieson “Wongie” Wong, and Jamin Wong joinrd Nolan Ha’o and Walter “Ace” Tavares, Jr. The new look and sound of Ho’aikāne exploded during the Jawaiian scene and in 1990 released Island Irie. This new sound of music catered to younger mainstream audiences. Romeo, Kailua-Kona, All Night ‘Til Daylight, and You Are My Rub A Dub had the entire island chain skankin’ to the feel good island music.
Kanakafari was released in 1991 under Niho Mano Records with island reggae songs Roots, Rock, Reggae, Gwarn!, and Night Nurse. The group recorded their first live album in 1992 entitled Ho’aikāne – Live when the popularity of Island Reggae music became apparent. Reggae songs from their previous albums were rerecorded as well as 54-56 (What’s My Number)/Taxi Driver Medley, Cocody Rock, One Way/Strictly Reggae, and 96 Degrees In The Shade.
The Hawaiian reggae scene was in full swing in 1993. Ho’aikāne released Bulletproof, then in 1995 released the Massive album both of which contained hit songs featuring island rapper Jamin Wong – Chief Ragga.
Six years later in 2001 Ho’aikāne recorded their second live album, Ho’aikāne – Live: The Last Set. The band Ho’aikāne, although containing no original members recorded Ho’aikāne – Sweet Okole under their own music label Ho’aikāne Music LLC in 2012. While the music has changed over the years from Hawaiian, Slack Key, Country, Island Music, Jawaiian, Island Reggae, Reggae, and even Dance Hall one thing for sure, Ho’aikāne music has been, and will continue to be with us all.