All Songs: Music & Lyrics by Alan Rosen / Copyright 2013 Alan Rosen/Hamanamana Music/ BMI



August 08, 2013 

The Alonzo Spirit Band’s first CD brings together ‘Hoku Award winners, great talent’


By Ma'ata Tukuafu


With an all-star band of Hawaii’s many talented musicians and

artists, The Alonzo Spirit Band is releasing its first CD this week.

Recorded at Charles Brotman’s Lava Tracks studio in

Waimea, the upbeat, unique music Features Hawaii Island

artists Lorna Lim, Sonny Lim, Damon Williams, Rupert Tripp,

Jr., and many more.


Alan “Alonzo” Rosen, television writer, producer, director and now

composer and songwriter, said he began receiving and writing songs

about five years ago.


“Sometimes the songs would come right after meditation or sometimes 

I’d hear a song in a dream,” Rosen said. “My hope is that people get a 

positive feeling from the music, and they get the spiritual vibration.”


Feeling the songs were a gift from spirit, Rosen named the group

The Alonzo Spirit Band because of the positive energy of the songs.

The music on the CD is upbeat, feel-good, varied, from laid-back

ukulele island pop “Nine Feral Cats” to country, “This Side of

Heaven,” to an uptempo gospel rock, “Find the One,”

featuring Damon Williams, backed by Iris Downey,

Rupert Tripp, Jr., Ginger Bertelmann and Melissa Samura.

There’s even a comedy song, “Don’t Make Me Come Back,”

a song about reincarnation, with ad-lib pidgin from Williams,

Bertelmann, Samura, Tripp Jr. and Chadd Paishon.


“It’s pretty amazing to be part of this collaboration with Hoku Winners,

great talent and awesome engineering,” said Melissa Samura, who

backs several of the songs. “There are some really deep lyrics and all

of it feels inspired.”                                                                    


Samura said she knew of Rosen before the project, because

he was involved in the voyaging circle and remembered

watching his 2008 documentary, “Mau Voyager” a tribute

to Grand Master Navigator Mau Piailug.


“After we connected with Alan we were amazed at the end result,”

Samura said of the recording sessions.


Ginger Bertelmann remembers time in the studio when Rosen would

sing one of his songs, Samura and Bertelmann would sing it back,

and they would record it.                                                         


“In two and half hours, we were done!” Bertelmann recalls.

“With that kind of energy level, and with the flavor of the

music, we were like, ‘Is that us?’”


Recording began with Chadd Paishon, Captain of Makali’i, on guitar

and ukulele, Rosen on guitar and Charles Recaido engineering and

playing bass. Later on, Charles Brotman took over the important

engineering work.


While recording in Lava Tracks, Rosen met other musicians who came to

record their own music. Lorna Lim agreed to sing on three of the songs.

Damon Williams of Hilo, who has been a recording star for

15 years, is featured on several tracks. Sonny Lim, like his

sister Lorna, a Hawaiian Music Lifetime Achievement

recipient, plays guitar and ukulele on several tracks, and

also lends his voice to several songs, some of which will

be released on the next CD. The group was so prolific

that they had enough material to record three CDs

simultaneously -- the second CD is now almost completed.


Other musicians include Kaui’i vocalist Iris Downey, keyboard player Karl

Kasberg, blues guitarist Colin John, drummer Michael Surprenant, the

Bump City horn section, Barry Fasman (who produced the 1975 first

Kalapana album), engineer Charles Brotman, percussionist Gheeza

McGhee and harmonica player Paul Crepeau.


“I was in awe as I first heard everyone recording, but then I had to

start working as a producer,” Rosen said. “It was really exciting hearing

the songs come alive with these amazing, talented, spiritual people.”


The most personal song on the CD is “A Song to Sing You

On Your Way,” which came out of Rosen’s father’s passing.

Lorna Lim recorded the vocal for the song, and when

Rosen’s mother passed in January of this year,

he was able to play the song at her service.


“I was once told that harmony is the closest thing we have to divine

healing,” Rosen said. “Hopefully this is being conveyed through the music.

I feel honored that Damon, Lorna, Sonny, Rupert, Chadd, Ginger, Melissa,

and Iris are all singing on this CD. This is a unique vocal gathering, and

the songs are blessed to have these super talented people perform them."


The songs will be released this week on

and iTunes. Three music videos are available on You Tube:

“Sunset Comes” featuring Bertelmann and Samura, “Time

For Love” featuring Tripp, Jr., Bertelmann and Samura, and

“Lightkeeper” featuring Williams and Sonny Lim. A video

of Lorna Lim singing “Lay a Little Dream on Me,” filmed

in North Kohala, will be added soon.


Songs can be heard on the website, which

also features music, photos and videos.



A LITTLE NOTE: "THE ALONZO SPIRIT BAND" CD, although available at Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby, was primarily a local island release. 

"AND FLOAT AWAY" our second CD, was our first release with national radio promotion on the TRIPLE A stations.