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Original Slack Key Guitar Instrumentals

A warm and relaxing instrumental travelogue of Maui's enchanted Hana Coast. Original compositions  showcase Jim Kimo West's fluid slack key guitar technique and engaging musicality. Slack Key is to Hawaii - what Flamenco is to Spain - what Delta Blues is to the American South. While honoring this great tradition West infuses Coconut Hat's 13 tracks with his own rich musical legacy.

Relaxed Sense of Time & Nature
"Think of Leo Kotke, Ry Cooder and John Fahey all rolled up into one guy. Ship him off to Hawaii for a gentle bake in the sun and surf... feed him tropical drinks, invite him to luaus, let him enjoy the beauty of God's islands. You do this, and Coconut Hat is what you get back. I love this recording... was immediately transported from the mainland back to the islands with their relaxed sense of time and nature, friendly people and a comfortable, casual lifestyle that suits me just fine." 

Charles N.

Under the Radar - Five Stars
"Jim Kimo West is a gifted guitar player, and a talented composer. If you have ever picked up a guitar you will have an immediate respect and appreciation for this artist. The record was his first solo effort, and what a way to begin. Beautiful melodies and stunning acoustic guitar play make this record unforgettable. If you have not heard slack key tuning before, you will become a fan after listening to this CD." 


Jim Kimo West

Jim Kimo West is recognized as one of the world's top slack key guitarists bringing his own unique musical perspective to this great acoustic guitar tradition. Besides his solo slack key career, West is best known as the long-time guitarist on CDs and tours for the world's most famous musical satirist, "Weird Al" Yankovic whose recent CD, Mandatory Fun debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts and won the Grammy for Best Comedy Recording. West is also a prolific composer with a generous output of new, exciting slack key guitar originals.  In addition he writes and produces music for too numerous to mention feature films and television shows.

A Canadian native, West grew up in Florida and was playing professionally in various rock bands by age 16.  A decade later he landed in Los Angeles and began working with "Weird Al" Yankovic.  West can be heard on and seen in all of Yankovic's iconoclastic videos, albums, and concerts playing guitar.

In 1985 to decompress after a long summer Weird Al tour, Jim made his first trip to Hana, Maui. He fell in love with the culture and the physical landscape of Hawaii.  As the sounds of Gabby Pahinui, the Sons of Hawaii, Sonny Chillingworth, The Sunday Manoa, and others played on the turntable, Jim jammed along for fun and relaxation. Already a long-time devotee of open tunings, he was immediately drawn to the gentle rhythms of the slack key guitar and soon began writing his own songs.  West didn't concentrate on learning the standard riffs and songs but instead developed his own unique slack key vocabulary which now defines his very unique approach to this great tradition.

While always retaining the heartfelt essence of traditional slack key, Jim Kimo West brings his own musical heritage to his original slack key instrumentals.  His style can best be described as nahenahe, a Hawaiian term that means soft, sweet, or of gentle voice - a fusion of old and new deeply rooted in tradition. Kimo's seven slack key CD's have garnered him much praise and well over 75 million streams on Pandora and Spotify.

Besides being acknowledged by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for his work on Mandatory Fun, West is also a recipient of the Hawaii Music Awards (American Music Awards equivalent) and has been honored by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts with a Na Hoku Hanohano Award (Hawaiian Grammy) nomination, is a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award for his contributions toward the perpetuation of the Hawaiian slack key guitar, and most recently his album Moku Maluhia (Peaceful Island) received a nomination for the recording industry's most prestigious award, the GRAMMY at The Recording Academy's (NARAS) 61st Annual event. Honoring excellence and exceptional achievement, it is the recording industry's most prestigious award.


Jim Kimo West  - Coconut Hat -  WMR 30001-2

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