Daniel Ho and Herb Ohta Jr.
Friday - May 16, 2008
Longtime friends Daniel Ho and Herb Ohta Jr. have been sharing their musical talents with the world individually and together for years. Here’s another release that’s sure to make its way to fans throughout the globe: 2 to Three Feet.
As part three of their series of ukulele duet CDs called Ukuleles in Paradise, 2 to Three Feet stays true to their ukulele stylings and local feel. Their first two albums, Ukuleles in Paradise and Step 2, also led to two ukulele instructional books. Their latest, Exploring the Ukulele, is an intermediate ukulele instructional book - a follow-up to their first book, Discovering the Ukulele for beginners.
“We have a lot of fun working together, whether we’re writing a book, on the road or recording a CD,” says Daniel. “I learn a lot about the ‘ukulele playing with Herb and respect his musical style. There is a lot of improvisation and creativity when we perform, so it’s always exciting and the music is always evolving.”
A medley of songs about surfing and the ocean, 2 to Three Feet is playful with organic and acoustic sounds. Of the eight original songs, Bodysurfing was written by Herb’s father, Ohta-San.
“Along the lines of our previous two CDs, we kept it pure and simple - just two ukuleles. I play a KoAloha D-VI ukulele. It is a tenor ukulele with six independent strings (two extra lower strings), which allows me to play slack key ‘ukulele and add bass parts to our recordings.”
Herb adds, “The initial assumption would be “very simple” because of just two ukuleles, but it really shows what the ‘ukulele is capable of.”
For both local boys, the ocean has been their playground for years. Whether bodysurfing, surfing or just hanging out, the songs they choose are reminiscent of all the good times they’ve spent in the water. In fact, one of the songs, Surfing Walls, is about Daniel’s favorite surf spot during his elementary school years.
“We went to the beach almost every day after school for many years,” says Ho. “We (my brother, dad and I) used to cut our own paipo boards and hand boards out of plywood and varnish them. Then we eventually graduated to surfboards.”
Both agree that they don’t get into the water as often as they’d like these days, quite possibly because of all their traveling, time in the studio and performances. But these aficionados of music would have it no other way.
Adding to their busy load is an ‘ukulele workshop June 14 and 15 at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach. For more information, contact 921-9721. To find out more about the guys, visit www.danielho.com or www.herbohtajr.com
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