Chino’s set was like a blues boogie-board oscillating onto Hawaiian shores. The combination of slide and resonator harnessed a sound similar to Sam Ku West except it had more of an alternating bass string bounce. Rhythmic songs followed by slow bluesy songs and vice versa which created an ebb and flow for the night.
Gears changed as he added some swing time originals influenced by Argentine guitarist Oscar Aleman. Adding to his set was a chromatic harmonica player who layered some lazy river melodies. As the two wrapped up their set Blind Boy Paxton made his way to the stage.
And he did so with his own eye sight (ironic? Yeah, we think so too). Yeah, he has this old timey southern 1920’s blues gimmick going, but it works. And really, well. Much to a similar heartbeat as Chino, Blind Boy Paxton’s set was at times jovial, at others slow and poignant.
This worked well with his ability to play fiddle, banjo, and harmonica songs in addition to his fingerstyle guitar tunes. And in between these sonic snippets of the past he engaged you with stories of his ancestors and rifle carrying great grandpappy.
If you can catch either act–do it. And if you can’t, well then Don the Beachcomber’s is still the Hawaiian tiki vortex you definitely want to surf.