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Big-T & the Bada-Bings


The Moonlighters
Hello Heartstring

Like waves returning to the shore in Waikiki, NYC's Moonlighters are back with their second CD, Hello Heartstring. Like their debut album, Dreamland, this new release features The Moonlighters' original blend of Hawaiian melodies, hot jazz, honkytonk blues, slow ballads, and lullabies.

On Hello Heartstring, the band proves its obvious affection for old time Hawaii on standards "Beyond the Reef" and the ever-popular "Hawaiian War Chant" (done as a medley with "Me, Myself & I"). Their hot-jazz covers of "Moanin' Low" and "Ain't No Sweet Man Worth the Salt of My Tears" are toe-tappin" fun. "Stirred by a Spoon" and "Mississippi" show the connection between western blues and Hawaiian music, mostly due to Henry Bogdan's lilting steel guitar and Bliss Blood's manic ukulele (which makes just about any song sound Hawaiian). The Moonlighters' original numbers "Twilight Flight" and "Mighty Fine" authentically mimic the spirit of old blues and Tin Pan Alley songs, such as "Don't Know if I'm Coming or Going" and "Hummin' to Myself", which they also cover on this CD.


Hear Samples of
Hello Heartstring

Hawaii Blues
Twilight in Flight
Mighty Fine
Moanin' Low

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Many of the songs here evoke the sweet melancholy of lost love and loneliness, which not only reflect the band¹s interest in Depression-era ditties, but also betray their musical past (Bogdan was in Helmet, while Blood was in Houston's Pain Teens). Leaving their punk and indie-rock days behind them, The Moonlighters now channel the harmonic voices of The Boswell Sisters, the arrangements of Dick McIntire and Johnny Pineapple, and the guitar playing talent of Hawaiian legends King Bennie Nawahi, Bernie Kaai, and Jack de Toro.

This is clearly not the leiied-back Hawaiian music of Don Ho and Arthur Lyman. In fact, The Moonlighters' music is so authentic to the 1920s and '30s sound that you'll catch yourself anticipating the pops and crackles from the 78s in which they find inspiration. By the end of the CD, you'll find you can't stop humming or tapping your feet to their seductive blend of island charm. Aloha!

-Alden Gewirtz

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