King Bennie Nawahi is, without a doubt, the finest Hawaiian slide player that ever lived. As the excellent liner notes to this superb collection explain, the slide guitar sound became very popular in the early part of the 20th Century. And while it was a novelty style for many, Nawahi
's unequaled chops and fine melodic sense raised it to a true art form. There's bouncing swing ("Signin' in the Bathtub") that is charming in itself. But there is also heartbreaking and haunting treatments of traditional tunes here as well. Indeed, "Mauna Kea" belongs with Blind Willie Johnson
's "Dark Was the Night..." as one of the finest slide performances ever captured. For fans of classic jazz, world music, and great guitar, this disc is beyond essential.