Phil and Ken Emerson
Sunday, August 4, 2019
preshow at 6:00pm, show at 6:30pm
The Emerson Brothers, Phil and Ken, are master musicians of many genres, with a special affinity for vintage Hawaiian music.
Born into a musical family, the brothers grew up listening to their father’s extensive record collection of jazz, swing, Hawaiian and world music. Living in the San Francisco Bay area, they picked up finger style folk and blues in the early ’60s, and electric surf, rock and blues in the later ’60s.
In 1968 the family moved to Hawai’i. Ken and Phil studied Hawaiian music and language, and began emulating the players of the ’20s and ’30s by listening to vintage 78 RPM Hawaiian records, focusing especially on Sol Ho’opi’i and Sol K. Bright.
Soon they were playing alongside legendary performers including Gabby Pahinui, Genoa Keawe, Ray Kane and Auntie Alice Namakelua. The brothers recorded their landmark album “The Emersons” in 1979, wherein they played vintage instruments and recreated styles not heard on the islands for half a century. In 1980 they backed up Moe Keale on his “South Sea Island Magic” album. Ken Emerson went on to win several Nā Hōkū Awards, the Kahili Award for perpetuating Hawaiian culture, and was one of the artists on the Grammy Award winning album “Slack Key Guitar Vol. 2”.
Phil went on to run a guitar shop in Bellingham for 30 years. He now devotes more of his time to performing and recording. Ken has toured the world, performing and recording with Donald Fagan (of Steely Dan), Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzman (of the Grateful Dead), Todd Rundgren, Jackson Browne, Boz Skaggs, Taj Mahal and Leo Kottke. Ken has played in Eugene twice in recent years, once with Kimo West, his collaborator on 2016’s highly acclaimed instrumental album “Slackers in Paradise”.
Expect a fun evening of top-notch playing and gleeful genre-hopping as the brothers play slack key guitar, slide guitar and ‘ukulele. There will also be hula by Kumu Hula Lehua Schmidt from the Corvallis hula school Hālau Hula O Hawai’i, and a preshow by Tūtū Kāne, a.k.a. Dick Takei, from Portland.
This concert at Whirled Pies is supported by the Hui Ho’onu’a network of Eugene/Springfield. Listen to the Emerson Brothers here and here.
With preshow by Tūtū Kāne and hula by Lehua Schmidt
Sunday, August 4, preshow 6:00 PM, show 6:30 PM
Whirled Pies, 8th & Charnelton in downtown Eugene
Tickets $10 at the door, age 12 & under free