Daniel Ho - Simple as a Sunrise
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Daniel Ho
Simple as a Sunrise
Daniel Ho (www.danielho.com)

There always seems to be new worlds for Daniel Ho to conquer. This Hawaiian has performed as a band member, as part of a duo, solo and in many other collaborations. His journey has taken him through jazz, slack key, singer-songwriter and more. He is a musician (a singer as well as a guitar, ukulele and keyboard player among other instruments), a producer and engineer and now owner of his own label, Daniel Ho Creations, which encourages musicians to record their own music their own way.

All these elements come together on Simple as a Sunrise, an album which reflects the moment Ho is in while showing his roots: a touch of smooth jazz, a pinch of reggae, a little bit country, a little bit rock - contemporary with tradition, distinctly Daniel Ho.

Of the 11 songs, all but two are written or co-written by Ho. He is an astute observer of life with an uncanny knack of finding a melody that complements his poignant lyrics. A romantic with his feet firmly planted on the ground, he uses humor to deliver a serious message. Whatever his subject matter, he finds an effective and often unexpected way of delivering it.

His wistful, high tenor draws references to musicians who have gone before, from the Beatles to Poco, yet he is not derivative. He accompanies himself on guitar and ukulele, showing versatility in his playing and originality in his arrangements. He also adds his own harmonies and percussion, joined by Randy Drake's drums and Faith Rivera's background vocals.

Some of the tracks may be familiar, like "Stronger and Stronger," "Along for the Ride" (which he recorded with his band Canoe Club), "Simple as a Sunrise" and "I Do" (both recorded by Na Leo Pilimehana). Others are new. But by the end of the album, none will be unfamiliar. The warmth in Ho's approach, his all-encompassing style, gets under your skin as each song immediately strikes a chord. - Jamie O'Brien

Available from cdroots.com

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