Battle Of The Bands, Kawao’s DVD

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - April 29, 2009
Lucky 13

I was in good company at Hard Rock Cafe as one of three judges for the Battle of the Bands competition, hosted by FM 100 and KINE 105. Also taking on the difficult task of deciding which band would make it through to the finals were Maleko of Star 101.9 and Kawehi Haug, former editor of the Honolulu Weekly.

Taking stage first was Soulution, a great high-energy band that performed an original piece, The Wall by Pink Floyd and two originals, Sunset and Renaissance or Revolution. They were followed by Rock Fever Remedy, a relatively new group from Maui. And next up was SheCanDevour, an all-girl group that powerfully represented the ladies. Closing out the evening was Lucky 13, who happened to walk away with the ticket to the Hawaii finals happening this Friday.

The winning band will join the winners from all other participating cities and move on to the last phase of the competition. The last band standing will win a spot on stage at the Hard Rock Calling 2009 - the U.K.‘s most anticipated music festival.

The three-day concert in London’s Hyde Park June 26-28 will also be featuring The Killers, The Kooks, Neil Young, Fleet Foxes, Ben Harper, The Pretenders, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Dave Matthews Band, The Gaslight Anthem and more ...

And how are the guys from Kawao? Walt G., China and the rest of the gang are stepping up their game with the release of their very first DVD, With Love & Appreciation, next week Tuesday, May 5. The album pays tribute to their loyal fans by offering an up-close and personal look into their lives, both on and off stage. The DVD also features interviews with the men of Kawao and lots of music videos and live footage.

“The DVD was inspired and is dedicated to all of the people who have graciously supported Kawao through the years,” says Walt. “We felt that our supporters deserved the chance to see what we are all about. And we wanted to open up our hearts to everyone and thank them for helping to make us who we are today.”

Kawao’s DVD

Fans also will get a sneak peak of Kawao’s newly recorded hit single, She’s Got It Going On.

And I hear that released single is one of the many tracks on Kawao’s upcoming CD project scheduled to release later this year. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

But if you want the real thing now, check them out 9:30 tonight (April 29) at the Mai Tai Bar. After that they’ll be hitting the road for a few Mainland gigs ...

Also taking an untraditional approach to music is Eric Lee of the group Na Kama. The hard-working single dad is releasing a direct-to-download album available May 1 on both and

“Due to the rapid decline in CD sales in music store venues, my manager and I have decided to take this step into uncharted waters,” says Lee. “Hopefully, we’ll pioneer some success and pave the way to inspire other artists to not feel discouraged with today’s economy, but to look ahead because there are still many opportunities to sell their music.”

And yes, along with all his many Na Kama responsibilities, he’s decided to also pursue a solo career and record his first solo album, Crossroads.

Eric Lee

“I’ve actually been working on this CD for over the course of the last 8 to 10 years,” says the Waianae-bred Kamehameha graduate. “I’ve always had an ambition to one day record a solo CD. And when Na Kama went on a little break in the beginning of this year because we were burnt out, it gave me a little time to really put my foot down and really finish this thing.”

The album, which has been dropped in the Hawaiian/contemporary genre, is a mix of what Lee says has a little bit of everything - Hawaiian, rock, blues, country, samba and instrumental.

“It’s not all of me, but its kind of the best of me for what I can get in 10 tracks,” he adds.

Next up for Lee is a bit more time in the recording studio and touring. He plans to record a few bonus tracks that will be added to the album before it releases in stores sometime around August. And he also plans to get back to the studio with his band mates of Na Kama, Brian Mersberg and Danny Naipo.

The Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning trio hopes to finish up an album they began recording last year, Ho’oponopono.

Until then, fans can catch Na Kama at a brand new weekly gig at the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Tapa Bar every Wednesday beginning in May. For more info on Lee, visit For more on Na Kama, visit ...

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