THE ALONZO SPIRIT BAND (FIRST CD) - CREDITS & NEWSPAPER ARTICLE
All Songs: Music & Lyrics by Alan Rosen / Copyright 2013 Alan Rosen/Hamanamana Music/ BMI
NORTH HAWAII NEWS
August 08, 2013
The Alonzo Spirit Band’s first CD brings together ‘Hoku Award winners, great talent’
SPECIAL TO NORTH HAWAII NEWS
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 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
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 Amazon.com
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 AlonzoSpiritBand.com 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.