I'm a bit late to announcing this on the blog, but Catching A Wave (AGS-038) dropped last Friday. We're elated with the response it's generated among fans new and old!
It's the first classic Hawaiian album that we've reissued on Aloha Got Soul. Up until now, most the albums we've released have been lesser known diamonds in the rough that sit outside of the Hawaiian music genre spectrum. I believe it's a solid first step in the label's ongoing progression. And I can't thank Teresa and Steve enough for this opportunity.
Earlier today, Bandcamp published a feature on the album, detailing its origins in the early 1980s to the recent efforts I've made to secure permission from and find friendship in Steve Ma'i'i and Teresa Bright.
It started sometime in 2012, I believe, when I first reached out to Steve on behalf of Danny McLewin of Psychemagik, for a compilation he was working on. Danny wanted to include "Catching A Wave" on the comp, so I helped put him in touch with Steve.
But before that, I'd met a record collector, Shack, at a thrift store, and he told me he works on a property that Steve sometimes tends to (uncle Steve has operated a successful landscaping business for about 35 years or so). Shack put me in touch with Steve, and we grabbed dinner and beers at Side Street Inn.
Years later, I befriend pianist/producer/engineer extraordinaire, Kit Ebersbach, who also happens to be one of Teresa' long-time collaborators. Up until 2019, they were performing at the Disney Aulani weekly, every Monday. (Writing this in the midst of a pandemic, feels a little strange to think that almost no one has gigs these days...).
After meeting Teresa and sharing my mana'o about an official reissue of Catching A Wave, she gave me her blessing. With Steve and Teresa on board, I swiftly took to piecing together the project — from sourcing the audio and preparing it for vinyl, to recreating the original album artwork to better reflect the duo's story and sound.
That last bit is especially important to me; the original LP only said "CATCHING A WAVE" on the front cover, no reference to Steve and Teresa. I wanted to make sure that this official reissue stated front and center, literally: CATCHING A WAVE, Steve & Teresa. I also penned a short overview of the album and its backstory for the back cover's liner notes.
At this moment, we're still waiting for the LPs to ship from the pressing plant. Which means we haven't seen the actual records yet! But I know in my heart they're gorgeous. Plus, we pressed up four different vinyl colors: black, clear, translucent blue, and "shore break".
The so-called "shore break" vinyl is an exclusive to Vinyl Me, Please — and it's already sold out. VMP told us it was their most popular release of the week, and all 300 copies moved within a few days. Gratifying news for a small label like ours!
We also made these lovely looking "mini LP" CDs with gatefold jackets, traditionally known as "tip-on" jackets. They are beautiful. I realized that not everyone buys CDs these days, but this album needs to be on CD, at least just for the sake of the aunties and uncles who remember this album when it first released in 1983 and want to rock it in their car.
The album is available digitally on Bandcamp and all digital platforms.