About Bumbye Kūpaoa — The lovely entwining voices of Līhau and Kellen Paik have delighted listeners and audiences for almost a decade, starting out as musicians who shared stages with friends and each other, and then gelling some 7 years ago as the duo Kūpaoa, who have since become a solid institution in the field of Hawaiian music. Kūpaoacontinually charms their public with new compositions and twists on old favorites, but the chemistry continues to distill, and liner note readers will notice that Ms. Hannahs became Mrs. Paik since the last CD release. That little change may alter the social side of Kūpaoa, but it certainly adds a new level of synergy to their collaborative talents. They were already tight, but listen and see if things seem even more closely connected.Bumbye, the title track, celebrates both the here and now and the anticipation of what is yet to come. In the long by-and-by of life, all the experiences, memories and joys are collected up as treasures and mementos, and then bumbye - up ahead - new wonders await. That's the feeling with this collection of songs, some that have been plucked from the garland of memories that adorn family and community here and afar, mixed into a bouquet of new compositions that offer up glimpses of heartfelt affection, humor, thoughtfulness and general fun. Every song was chosen because it brought smiles to both the performers and the audience. When everyone is having a good time, there's so much promise in the bumbye of it all.
There's much to delight in here. The performance and arrangement of the music, the selection and composition of the lyrics, the alignment and quality of the voices and the overall impact of this assembly all embody a deep passion for the art and the traditions of Hawaiian music, language and culture. Profound respect guides the product, and fun obviously guides the project. Even though Mr. and Mrs. Paik take their craft seriously, they do it so well because they're having fun. Fortunately, it spreads the fun around, and we can all enjoy. Those who know Kūpaoa will love this collection, as it brings all the best of the pair one step forward. Those who are just now discovering this duo will find themselves excited at their new find, and happily anticipating what's to come - Bumbye.