Aloha Got Soul: Mackey Feary, Unplugged

Treasures on Tape: Mackey Feary Unplugged

To die-hard fans of Mackey: you’ll smile, you’ll cry, you’ll cherish these recordings that YouTube user paxukulele recently uploaded.

Despite the poor audio quality (not only was it a live recording, it’s on cassette tape, remember those things?), the 9 minutes 33 seconds of Mack and friends jamming is a perfect way to uplift anyone’s mood. You won’t find these recordings or photos anywhere else, as they come directly from one of Mackey’s friends, via paxukulele.

Close your eyes and transport yourself to a low-key house party where Kalapana’s lead singer keeps rhythm on his acoustic guitar without missing a chord or losing a beat. Mackey’s golden vocals pierce through the white noise of this analog recording, not that I’m surprised—it’s a testament to the irreplaceable, amazing power of his voice.

Tracklist:

1) “Pen in Hand” by Conway Twitty
2) “One Day” by John Batdorf
3) “Las Vegas Turnaround” by Hall & Oates cover (Mackey covers this on his final CD)
4) “To Be True” from Kalapana’s debut album
5) “Still There With You” by Mackey’s album “From the Heart”

To be honest, I don’t know many of these songs. Are they originals? Are they covers? Who were his friends singing along with him? Is there dialogue between songs? Are there more songs that weren’t included? My favorite track so far is “One Day”, but I enjoy all of them wholeheartedly.

Here are some notable YouTube comments so far, why not join the conversation?

“These are true treasures. This is the Mackey I remember. I can just imagine them sitting around a cassette recorder and singing while Mackey plays the guitar. But when he sang “One Day,” my heart broke. “One day, I’m sure we’ll all be happy. // Peace will soon find everyone. // One day, I’ll wake up in the morning, and all our troubles will be gone…” We miss you, Mackey and hope you are at peace. You are still in our hearts.”

—jodyy121

“This is the Mackey that I remember. Your posting keeps his music and his memories alive. Sat., 8/13, would have been Mackey’s 57th birthday! Great early birthday gift for him and his fans. We lost him much too soon. Mackey, you are still very much missed and still very much loved. I, too, hope you have found the peace that your gentle soul deserves.”

—Windansr

And another comment from Michael Velten, who helped me put together the Mackey Feary discography in Absolutely Mackey: The Definitive Guide (which is still a work in progress. It’s tough maintaining a Hawaiian music blog when my time is so limited).

“tapes giving me chills man. This is some of his best stuff! Like bossa nova almost. The possibilities could have been endless if Mackey had got in the studio more and explored sounds like these! In a way it’s cool that he did not though commercially, and has gems like these made from just sitting around with his friends on a lazy sunday. Unreal.”

Mahalo to paxukulele and his friend for sharing these treasures with the world! 

3 thoughts on “Treasures on Tape: Mackey Feary Unplugged

  1. Friend says:

    I just want to say this…
    These were diffenatley the “good ‘ol days” .
    so many good memories…,
    Mack was a beautiful soul and his laughter, smile and voice touched our life and spirit.

    “My minds not here its there with you….tho im far away im still there with you”
    so close to home.

  2. Glo says:

    One of the song in this clip is a cover tune “Las Vegas Turnaround” written and recorded by Hall and Oates (begins right around 3 minutes into the video). Hmm, could it be them singing with Mackey? Mackey did record … “When The Morning Comes” which was written by Hall and Oates.

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