Reviews for Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar: Kimo-Style

Honolulu Advertiser December 14, 2007

"Jim "Kimo" West composed eight of the 13 tracks here, and he no longer needs an introduction: He is a California-based composer-musician very much at home with his originals as well as interpretations of beloved Island classics.

His creations reflect the Island experience, with the titles telling the tale — "Goin' Upcountry," "Hana Highway Slack Key," "Ke Kai Malie," "Lullaby for My Tutu." East meets West on "Itoshi No Kimi Ni," a West original composed for his sweetheart, with nuances and seasonings from Japan that blend very gently and effectively in the Hawaiian-Japanese soundscape.

Of the covers, "Akaka Falls" and "Ku'u Lei 'Awapuhi" are particularly prolific, and like others who put their slack-key imprint on non-Hawaiian entities, West's "Imagine" (the John Lennon fave) is both nostalgic and relevant — a means to expand the ki ho'alu appeal and popularity beyond the customary Hawaiian perimeters.

I've said it once and I'll say it again: Go West and you'll find slack-key paradise. In this outing, appealing sound-adventures for your soul.

- Wayne Harada, Honolulu Advertiser