Coconut Culture

by Allan Thomas

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about

Produced recorded and mixed by Mike Shipley - 2012 Grammy award winner for Best Engineered Album Non-Classical for Alison Krauss and Union Station's 'Paper Airplane'.

Allan Thomas - vocals, acoustic & electric rhythm guitar
Graham Nash - backing vocals on 'The Navigator'
Bryan Kessler - acoustic guitar on 'Way Of The Heart'
Ken Emerson - slide & steel guitars
Michael Ruff - keyboards & backing vocals
Rick Avalone - keyboards on 'Homeland'
Dave Inamine - bass
Rick Rosas - bass
Cliff Hugo - bass on 'Halfway 'Round The World'
Mike Shipley - Hawaiian, Australian, Indian percussion & drums


While playing guitar in my then rusted out ’76 BMW at Hanalei Bay, just after a surf session, Mike Shipley walked up and listened in. I had been writing a new piece of music, and he said he really liked it. We started talking, one thing led to another and he said, “A.T. why don’t we record an album together of your new songs?”

“Why?” I asked him, “Money, that’s why”. I didn’t have the budget for going into a recording studio on the mainland and hiring great musicians to make a new record. This could cost upwards of $50,000, and as usual I was just making enough money to survive and enjoy myself in the process. (He envied my life style!)

He suggested doing the record at my studio in Kilauea, using my ADAT. (8 track digital tape recorder) He also said – and this was the clincher – that he would produce, record, and mix it. Mike said he would do the drum and percussion parts using a computer and drum sampler containing some of the worlds greatest drummers on it, and we could record the other musicians one at a time, if they would play on spec. I knew I could count on Michael Ruff, Bryan Kessler, and Ken Emerson to play on spec, as we were always helping each other out. I couldn’t afford to let that offer slip by, so I agreed on the spot.

Shipley is one of the most respected and sought after mix engineers in the world, having worked with Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, ACDC, Faith Hill, and the list of other top name acts is as long as my arm. He was on Kauai for an extended vacation with his then wife Lynn and young son Ben, after working on the 18 million selling Shania Twain CD ‘Come On Over’, for two years. He and Lynn were going to spend a year on Kauai and regroup, kick back, and soak up the Hawaiian mana.

Mike Shipley is the kind of guy that needs to be working on something creative, almost continually, and he saw this opportunity to record me as a way of keeping his creative juices flowing while still living amidst the splendor of the Islands. As usual, Lucky me. I was honored to be working with him, to say the least. This suited me fine, as my career was not exactly on fire at the moment - was it ever? - and I wanted nothing more than to immerse myself in a full album project recording my tunes. I respected Mike as a person, and as a recording professional he was in a realm inhabited by few. Count me in!

My good buddy, and the producer of my last record, Steve Barncard, was busy working in California, and though I loved working with him, it just wasn’t feasible now without a budget, so I started preparing myself for the Shipley collaboration.

Mike is originally from Australia, but spent time in England as well. He's got brown hair, brown eyes and stands rather tall at 6’4. Unassuming and modest, he loves nothing more than to anonymously walk around Hanalei, barefoot, in his surf trunks. I could always find him swimming or surfing Hanalei Bay, or just chilling out on the beach with his family.

When he works, which is often, his schedule is grueling, oftentimes working ten to twelve hours a day, for weeks and sometimes months on end. Shipley was a protégé of producer Robert ‘Mutt’ Lange, and early on worked with groups like Queen, AC/DC, and Def Leppard. Soon he was getting calls to mix and engineer artists independently, in genres across a broad spectrum of the musical landscape. Mike is discreet, soft spoken, and doesn’t talk a lot about himself. Sometimes however, I get him going, drawing out his stories of working with and meeting so many great artists. He’s got a clever sense of humor, and always has an interesting perspective on life, and the foibles of people in general, and artists in particular.

I first met Mike at a party in early ’92 given by songwriter-guitarist-producer Chas Sanford, who was renting a house in Princeville at the time. The jovial Chas is a big guy with long red hair, baby blue eyes, and a Dudley Do Right cleft chin. This wild man, with his unending supply of zeal and schemes, was always leaving a trail of awe and puzzlement in his wake. Chas has written songs for Stevie Nicks (‘Talk To Me’) and John Waite (‘I’m Not Missing You’) and had also produced the group Chicago. A great cook and bon vivant, whenever he was on Kauai, you could count on Chas to throw a fun dinner party.

Shipley and I hit it off at the party, I liked his low-key air. Over the next few years each time he came to Kauai on a vacation we'd get together. I’d often play him my newest songs and he would always encourage me to keep writing. But this time at Hanalei Bay he was serious about recording, so we made plans to move forward.

He requested I purchase a good compressor, and I already had a good Neve pre-amp, which, according to him was the two most essential pieces of recording equipment. The next most important piece of recording gear was a good vocal microphone, as I already had two fine AKG 451 mic’s for the acoustic guitar parts. I was very fortunate that local songwriter Charleen Dyer, who had her own recording studio, was traveling at the time and kindly loaned us her U87 Neumann. This was perfect because Shipley felt the U87 was just the right mic for my voice. His attention to details like this was reassuring. It was all coming together nicely, a good omen.

At the time of the sessions in 1996 I was living in a duplex in Kalihiwai Valley, on the North Shore, with few neighbors, a good view of the ocean, and right up the street from one of the most firing rights on Kauai.

Shipley and I started out with a list of 16 possible songs to record. His first choices were ‘Homeland’, and ‘The Navigator’. These two songs were written in open, or as the Hawaiians say, slack-key tunings. David Crosby and Graham Nash had given the tunings to me when I had tuned guitars for them at a concert a few years earlier.
I really loved the new chordal possibilities that were opening up from tuning my guitar to these different open chords, and from 1994 on I became obsessed with discovering and exploring their mysteries, and began to write songs using this method.

I wanted to record a song I’d written in 1988 called ‘Rapture In The Rain’, a local favorite, but Mike nixed it saying it sounded to “gothic” for him, whatever that meant. What could I say, I wanted him to really be into the songs for the record, it wasn’t like I was paying him or anything – we were partners – I didn’t think it was worth getting into a disagreement about, so I let it go, deciding that I’ll record it on another album one day.

Mike and I decided we were not making the record for the mainland market. He didn’t think I should compete in that already over burdened market. He wanted to create the album for the Hawaii, where he thought I might stand a better chance of getting airplay and selling some records. Also it was a prudent move because just hiring promotional men in L.A. for instance would have cost a fortune, not to mention the cost of printing tens of thousands of CD’s. Besides the radio and record store people wouldn’t have known what to do with ‘Coconut Culture’, as it was too island-like for them anyway. I was glad of his forethought in these matters. He wanted the record to be simple and unpretentious, with sparse production. That concept worked for me too.

The dude already had a vision in his head of how he wanted the record to sound, and when we started recording that’s what he was going after. At the time I didn’t have that vision, and that’s why I have always liked working with a producer like Mike, or Stephen. I tend to see the songs without production, in their most naked state, I can write the tunes and perform them easily enough, but its real nice to have the direction, and the second set of ears of a producer. That is up till now. Recently I have begun producing not only other artists, but finally myself. Said I was a late bloomer.

While at his house in Hanalei, using a sequencer and his computer, Mike would record a drum track originally played by a great drummer like Steve Gadd, to my demo guitar part. After that we would re-record my guitar part for real at my house. This system worked great.

The one bummer that happened took place after Mike Ruff and I recorded the live piano and acoustic guitar parts of “You Take My Breath Away’. My old ’71 custom Gurian acoustic guitar warped beyond repair. It’s like it happened overnight, but really it was the accumulation of Hawaiian moisture over the years that finally took its toll. The very next day I went to Island Guitars on Oahu and bought a ’96 Collings OM3 cutaway with which I finished the record, another great guitar.

Shipley and I would record in the mornings after Mike had taken his son Ben to school. Usually we’d start around 9:30 am and work till 1:30pm or so. If it rained, we’d stop and take a break, then resume once it stopped, as my house was not soundproofed like a real professional studio. Mike had put tapestries and blankets all over the ceilings and walls to cut down on the heavy natural reverb of my one room dwelling.

After the recording was well underway I started writing songs especially for the record, as I had done after Steve and I started recorded ‘The Island.’ Once the recording begins you can see what is missing in terms of over-all song content and tempo. I wrote ‘Coconut Culture’ first, and this tune ended up setting the tone for the whole album, and becoming the title track.

After Shipley and I had recorded my guitar parts, his drum parts, and some rough vocals, we began bringing in the other musicians. Michael Ruff came in to play keyboard and organ on ‘Halfway ‘Round The World’, ‘Everybody Gets The Blues’ ‘Kai Mana” and ‘Way of The Heart’. Shipley worked with Ruff closely on getting exactly what he was hearing in his head for the arrangement of each song.

Ruff is a seasoned session master and he fell right into place adding his own touches and instant improvisational off the cuff grooves, as he is wont to do. It has always been an amazing experience to work with Michael Ruff, whether it’s writing, recording or playing live. I count myself as lucky to have had these wondrous musical journeys with him as my occasional sidekick.

Next we had slide, blues, and slack key master guitarist Ken Emerson come in to record his parts. At first Mike Shipley worked with Ken lick by lick, like a director giving an actor guidance in how to portray his lines. Mike didn’t want any extraneous or cliché guitar licks from Ken, but instead would ask him to come up with original sounding guitar parts that did not resemble your typical blues, or rock and roll riffs. This process was fascinating to watch, and soon Mike left me to record Ken, as he was feeling ill for a few days.

Now I was at the recording helm and had to continue in his footsteps recording the tunes with Ken. But I had learned my lesson well, and so did Ken, and we worked hard for days and days until his parts were finished. Ken would not give in until Mike and I were satisfied. Ken Emerson is a connoisseur of vintage stringed instruments, particularly Hawaiian. And for the sessions he played a vintage Hawaiian lap steel from the 30’s, a National Steel guitar also from the 30’s, plus his old Fender Stratocaster for the electric slide parts.

Kenny is also quite a personality; he can keep you in stitches with joke after joke, or to the contrary, be like a kind of musical Sad Sack, or like the character in the Peanuts cartoon, Linus who always has a cloud around his head, and a sad story. At the time of the sessions for ‘Coconut Culture’, he seemed to be in the midst of some kind of heavy drama, on an emotional rollercoaster. It had something to do with a woman, and when it comes to love things can get rough for any of us. He’s a masterful blues player, and so, characteristically, oftentimes he has the blues. Once he got out of his head and into his musical heart, his playing was genius. Thankfully we achieved this metamorphosis. On some songs he copped the part in a couple of takes on others we went at for hours, even days, but we always got it right in the end. I was really fortunate to have Ken’s guitaristic-soul be part of the record, and all the hard work we went through to get his parts right were worth every second of it.

Graham Nash was having a party at his Hanalei Bay home and asked me to bring Mike Shipley along so they could meet. I introduced Mike to Graham and then Nash asked us how the record was coming along. We told him it was going great. He then asked us if there was anything he could do. My immediate answer went something along the lines of “How about singing some back up vocals?” With no hesitation he agreed.

The next day Graham came over my house and patiently listened to the tracks. He listened to every single one and chose ‘The Navigator’ to sing on. He asked me to give him a safety copy of the song, with all the tracks and my vocal, and he would work on it at his home studio in L.A. within the next two weeks, as after that he was going on tour with CSN. Unbelievable, I couldn’t get over it; to have his trademark voice on my song, man I was I stoked! I gave him the tape copy and he left for L.A. the day after.

About this time I rented Kareem Jabbar’s old house from the new owner Ursula Lamberson. I was a caretaker for both owners. We wanted to record in it for a few weeks so we could take advantage of the high ceilings and wooden walls and floors, for vocals and guitars. It was a great place to work and Hanalei musician Rick Avalon joined us there one day to play keyboards on ‘Homeland’. Rick was easy to work with and came up with the right parts in no time at all.

We had recorded half the vocals at my home studio in Kalihiwai valley and after finishing Ken’s parts we started laying down the rest of the vocals at Kareem’s. My studio was easy enough to move as it was very portable, so I just put everything in the car and Mike and I set it back up at the new location. This portability came in handy as we had driven down to Don Karleen’s house in Haena, and set up there to record the organ parts on one of Don’s Hammond B3’s. We also moved the studio one more time to Jonnie Wichman’s home to see if his kitchen had the right vocal “sound” Shipley was looking for. It didn’t, but it did have a nice view of Cannon’s surf break though.

One of the nice things about our recording schedule was that after a session I could go surfing or windsurfing, and let off some steam after the intenseness of laying down my part. Mike was such a demanding perfectionist, and I’m glad, but it put me through my paces, and getting in the water afterward was such a bonus for me. I couldn’t have done that in L.A., with the cold water and the crowded surf scene. Recording in my home turf certainly had its advantages.

We went back to my house to work on the back up vocals. Mike thought it would be best if I did most of the backing vocals myself, rather than use a bunch of different singers, except for ‘The Navigator’ which we left alone for whatever Graham would come up with. Shipley gave me examples of other artists like Peter Gabriel and Joni Mitchell, both of whom he’d worked with, who did most of their own back up vocals. This was fine with me, but back up vocal arranging was not my strongest suit; it was his though. On all the songs that I put backing vocals on he suggested the harmonies to sing, and how many layers of them to record. He astounded me with his arranging skills, and I was real happy with the results. I sang these vocals in the bathroom. It only stands to reason in a way, because long ago in Brooklyn it was in a night school bathroom that I became inspired to become a singer in the first place. Besides bathrooms usually have good natural reverb. You can see that the brother knows what he is doing and why he is right now producing and recording Allison Krauss' new CD.

Once we had all the overdubs and vocals done, we began to look for a suitable bass player. After trying a couple of North Shore players we decided to let my good friend Rick ‘The Bass Player’ Rosas in L.A. have a go. Rick played bass for both Joe Walsh and Neil Young, and had his own studio. Since Mike was going to L.A. on a quick mix date, Mike and Rick met and they recorded the bass for ‘The Navigator’ and ‘You Take My Breath Away’. It was excellent work too, a real original touch. Rick is a gourmet cook, a connoisseur of fine women and wines, and has great energy. We go way back, and it was nice to finally be able to have him on one of my records. We also sent a copy of the songs to Cliff Hugo in L.A. who had played bass for me on ‘The Island’ CD. He recorded a burning’ bass part for ‘Halfway ‘Round The World’. It was also good to have Cliff be a part of this record, as I’d missed his congenial personality and punchy playing. I wish he could have done more, but it just didn’t work out this time around.

Now it was time to record the rest of the bass parts and mix. Usually you record the bass with the drums, right in the beginning of the sessions, but since we were recording one player at a time it didn’t work out that way. So we ended up putting the majority of the bass parts on last – an unusual approach – but since there isn’t any right or wrong way to record this is what we ended up doing. It worked out fine.

We decided to rent a house in Hanalei for the occasion so we could mix whenever Mike felt like it, as there was a real creep renting the apartment above me in Kilauea, and now we wanted no interruptions, bad energy, or distractions. The mixing house was located right on the beach at Hanalei Bay. Mike was used to having to work in the darkened fresh air-less studios of the major recording centers in America and Europe, so he thought it would be nice for a change to be able to take a break from mixing or recording and go for a swim or quick surf right out back. And this is exactly what we did.

I had given him some surf lessons a year or two ago, and he owned a nice 9'4" long board for those rare occasions when he felt like mixing it up in the surf! Yes this was definitely the way to work. Shipley rented the brand new digital 02R Yamaha mixing console, and had it air freighted from L.A. to us in Hanalei. The only thing was, now he had to learn how to use it. This didn’t seem to daunt him whatsoever, so he attacked learning how to master this state of the art mixer and had it down cold within a matter of days. He was always surprising me.

For the remaining bass parts we flew in ace bassist and all around great guy, David Inamine from Honolulu. Dave had played in Hawaiian Style Band, Hiroshima, and countless other popular bands in Hawaii. He could take direction, had a great sound, a good attitude, and loved the music. He was in short, just the guy for the job. In two days Dave finished his parts and he was off to tour with Charo, his bread and butter gig.

Graham Nash had sent the tape back with his vocals completed, and Mike and I looked at each other as if to say “Are you ready for this?” We were, so we rolled the tape. Our eyebrows went up in unison with the first note. Graham was singing harmony with my lead vocal in some places and adding up to three harmonies in others. It was brilliant, but I was in shock. This would take some getting used to. Here I had been singing ‘The Navigator’ for a few years solo, with no other vocals, and now there were vocals all over it. I had to listen to it for a couple of days before I could really appreciate it and when I did there was no turning back, I was sold.

I first heard Graham Nash singing in 1965 when I went to a concert on Long Island. I immediately recognized that high distinctive voice of his from the Hollies hit ‘Bus Stop’. Then it was that same one in a million voice in Crosby Stills and Nash, which completely blew me away in the late sixties and into the seventies and beyond; now here was that voice singing with me. I was nonplussed! How could I ever repay him?

Now Shipley was in his element: mixing. This he attacked with verve and preciseness. He was like a mad scientist in a lab full of beakers and experiments. It was a wonder to watch him work. I ran the Dat machine and recorded the mixes as he finished them. He never had the monitors up loud in fact he almost always had them down in volume especially when recording. I think he must have hated using headphones, whereas I couldn’t do without them. I was learning a lot from working so closely with the master, but it would be months and years before I digested all that I had learned.

It took about a week to finish mixing. David Crosby was in town just staying down the block with his wife Jan and young Django. When he heard we were mixing, his curiosity having been aroused, he asked if he could hear some of the mixes. Why the hell not? He came over and Mike and I played him ‘The Navigator’ first. When his jaw dropped in surprise I knew we had something extra special.

At this point we had worked on the record close to a year, with Mike taking off to do short mix sessions in L.A. Now it was time to finish the artwork. This was good fun for me and less stressful than recording, which is fun but really intense. Computer and art wizard Cynthia Reidel of Hanalei helped me put the CD booklet and related artwork together, but one piece of the package was missing; the cover art. I had asked Cynthia, a gifted artist in her own right, to see if she could paint a scenario consisting of a guy in a hammock that was strung between two coconut trees, with a guitar and a pretty wahine nearby, and some waves in the background. It was what I was envisioning for the character from the ‘Coconut Culture’ song, “kick back, unwind, chillin’ out, on Hawaiian time”. She tried several different versions of this idea, but it wasn’t quite right. I thought of my old artist friend Avi Kiriaty whom I had met in 1980 on my first trip to the Big Island, who was now living on Maui. Avi was working with the mediums of linoleum and wood block printing, lithographs, and acrylic paintings. He was also designing shirt patterns for Kahala sport clothing company. He loved to work and was always in the middle of ten projects. He had just come back from spending a few months traveling in the South Pacific, looking for fresh inspiration for his work, which was reflecting his vision of the island lifestyle. In his work could be found outrigger canoes, fish, coconut trees, and musical instruments like ukulele’s, and Hawaiian percussion.

This was perfect. Hawaiian Style Band had used his paintings on two of their CD covers and they looked great, very apropos. I called him and he told me to come over immediately, as he had several hundred slides of the finished work I could choose from, plus dozens of paintings and woodcuts that were just finished. I was there the next day.

Avi and his wife Suzanne had a stack of slides ready for me to check out when I arrived. The very first one immediately caught my eye. Knowing the concept I was after, Suzanne had put this one particular slide on the top of the pile. She was managing Avi’s career, and I could see why. The painting portrayed a Polynesian man strumming a ukulele underneath a coconut tree, with blue surf trunks containing fish, and it had the ocean with the setting in the background. Just what I was looking for!

But this seemed way too easy: I had to look and see if there might be something better, or different. So I went through the whole pile of slides, immensely enjoying myself in the process. His art is fantastic: highly original, and nowadays, much copied. I got lost in his artistic vision of Polynesian daily life.

That night after dinner Avi asked me if I wanted to join him for some Kava that he had brought back from his travels. How could I refuse? There was a ritual involved where you clap loudly three times and repeat some Polynesian words, then drink the milky, bitter tasting liquid. We felt ike kings, taking a hot tub and drinking Kava in the Hawaiian night, and I must say that the mild narcotic was not half bad. We got a good buzz going and were laughing and carrying on as if we’d drunk six-pack or two of beer. I know, my line of work is tough.

The next morning headache and all I checked out even more of Avi’s works, but I had to admit, the very first one I saw the previous day was the keeper. Flying back to Kauai found a very satisfied, if slightly hung over, songwriter.

All the pieces were coming together. I had found the cover artwork that I liked, and Jim Muschetto, my web master back then, scanned the remaining inner CD booklet artwork for Cynthia and I. Now all we needed was some decent up to date photographs of me.

Mike Shipley’s wife Lynn volunteered her services. Lynn was a professional photographer with her own business in L.A. She has a good eye for composition, and knew how to find the right atmosphere for capturing my essence - whatever on earth that is. In one day we shot at my house in Kilauea, at Hanalei Bay, and on Jak’s sailboat Compadre. She shot about five rolls, and within those rolls we found precisely what we were looking for. We had great chemistry working together, and what could have been a chore turned out to be just more good fun.

After the record was manufactured I hired a company from Honolulu to promote the record, and signed on with Booklines Music for distribution, and ‘Coconut Culture’ was on its way. Where you ask? Well on its way to its rightful place in the pantheon of giant hit records that's where! Just kidding. On it's way to wherever it goes, is more like it. And that is beyond my power and comprehension. So I don't give it too much thought.

The best part of having a record released is having it played on radio, and the songs from ‘Coconut Culture’ found their way on to most of the Hawaiian Island stations. There is nothing like riding the airwaves, at least when you fall off the wave you don’t get reef cuts.

One strange incident did happen after the record was released; a woman DJ on Maui was offended because she thought the lyrics to the song ‘Coconut Culture’ were implying that Hawaii was a coconut culture. She refused to play the song, taking it way too literally. You can’t win them all.

Over the course of twelve years I've sold over three thousand copies of the CD. Huge huh? It’s a slow but continual mover, which is fine with me. I mean I would have loved to sell billions of them, but I humbly accept what ever comes my way. The main thing is having another record completed and out there in the world. This is partly what I live for.

A couple of years back “Island Girl’ was released on a compilation of contemporary Hawaiian music with Cord International, a record company in California, and the song ‘Coconut Culture’ was added to another compilation of Hawaiian contemporary music, released in Japan.

One of the coolest things to happen as a result of releasing the CD – but ultimately one of the biggest letdowns – went like this. In 1999 Graham Nash told me that Crosby Stills and Nash were getting ready to record a new album. He said they were considering recording my song ‘The Navigator’ with David Crosby singing the lead. This bit of news lifted my spirits so high. In the music business you get used to disappointment, it’s part of the game, and I usually don’t allow myself to get too excited about future possibilities. But this time I fell for it, how could I not? Graham himself was telling me the news. It wasn’t as if some distant manager or agent was trying to get the song recorded it was now highly probable.

Graham asked me to send the CSN producer, Joe Vitale, the tracks to ‘The Navigator’ with my guitar part, and Shipley’s percussion parts. This way the band could have something to work with. I did this and forgot about it for a while, but never really forgetting totally, as I wanted this to happen in a big way. It’s a songwriters dream to have someone as legendary and respected in the world of music as CSN to record one of his or her songs, and this looked like my first opportunity to have this happen. I’ve had other artists in Hawaii record my songs, and that is great, but this would be something else again. It wasn’t about the money for me as much as the validation of my songwriting art. I knew I could always write songs for me to sing, but deep inside I always had the dream of having at least one of my songs recorded by artists of this caliber.

Every now and then Graham would tell me that things were looking good; there was even a web site keeping tabs on the session’s progress with my name mentioned as one of the writer’s whose song the band was going to record. Then Neil Young decided to rejoin them in the studio, and they turned the record into a CSN&Y album. Neil brought his four songs into the equation and they had to drop some songs from the CD, “The Navigator’ was one of the rejected songs.

There is no consolation prize given to the writer who doesn’t get his song recorded, but the only consolation comes from the fact that at least my song was considered. Good enough - for now.

credits

released February 10, 1997

Mastering - Dave Collins
Cover art: Avi Kiriaty
Graphic design - Cynthia Riedel
Photos - Lynn Shipley
Inside sleeve wave art - Zen Del Rio

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Allan Thomas Hanalei, Hawaii

Aloha and welcome to my Bandcamp Music Store home page. Here you can listen to full-length samples of all six Allan Thomas albums. Also to be found are credits, photos, stories and lyrics for all songs. Dig in...

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Track Name: Coconut Culture
Coconut Culture

words & music Allan Thomas

Cool in the shade
feet in the sand
sweet slack key music
and pretty women
working on a sun tan

I love living in a coconut culture
I love the rhythm of a coconut culture
kick back
unwind
chillin' out
on Hawaiian time

we'll surf at sunrise
on that swell in from the west
about as close to heaven
as I'm ever gonna get

chorus

been there done that
no need go back

two sets of foot prints
in the shadow of a palm
if my friends ask about me
please don't tell 'em where I've gone

I love living in a coconut culture
I love the rhythm of a coconut culture
kick back
unwind
keep it simple
on Hawaiian time

© 1997 Black Bamboo Music BMI
Track Name: Kai Mana
Kai Mana - words & music Allan Thomas & Mike Shipley

I see your face
when I close my eyes
make make oi
e pu me au
my heart starts pounding
when you come near

kai mana
I hear you callin'
callin' out my name
kai mana I long to be with you
long to be with you again

I work three jobs
to make ends meet
when pau hana comes
you know where I'll be
make make oi
e pu me au

chorus

I have searched the whole world over
looking for you
but you were right here in front of me
callin' out to me
callin' my name

just like a river
drawn back to the sea
there's an undeniable attraction
moving between me you and me
make make oi
e pu me au

chorus

kai mana
I know your callin' me
callin' out my name
kai mana I long to be with you
just one more wave
I need one more wave
after one more wave

© 1997 Black Bamboo Music - BMI
Mushroom Music - BMI
Track Name: The Navigator
The Navigator

words & music - Allan Thomas

I am the navigator of this ship
single- handedly I pilot every trip
trying to sidetrack the demons on my trail
I set sail, I set sail

I am the navigator here at sea
where no lawman can get his hooks in me
rather this freedom
than languish in some jail
I set sail, I set sail

I'm o.k. on the ocean
but I'm lost on dry land
need the wind and the motion
and the wheel in my hand

I'm the sole survivor on this deck
I've had some close calls
but I never shipwrecked
whenever I make landfall
there's trouble without fail
I set sail, set sail

and its taking a lifetime
on this journey alone
all I want is a peaceful passage
and a port to call my home

as I lay here in my watery den
wonder would I choose to do it all again
god knows where I'm going
you can't forward any mail
I've set sail, set sail

I am the navigator of this ship
single-handedly I pilot every trip
trying to sidetrack the demons on my trail
I set sail I set sail I set sail

©1997 Black Bamboo Music BMI
Track Name: Island Girl
Island Girl

words Allan Thomas
music Allan Thomas & Bryan Kessler


A lei of tuberoses
white ginger in your hair
when you throw your arms around me
I've got it all right here.

oh island girl
my sweet island girl
you take me to another world
my island girl.

she dances in the moonlight
as the surf kisses the shore
just me and you
the wind in the bamboo
I don't need anything more.

just my island girl
my sweet island girl
you take me to another world
when I'm loving you
I love an island girl
Hawaiian island girl
more precious than a sea of pearls
my island girl

when I see you coming
it throws me for a loop
I smile like a mongoose in a chicken coop
the magic of the islands
reflecting in your eyes
just one look
I'm hypnotized

stars light up the night sky
we awaken to the sunrise
I count my blessings
when I think of you
I believe dreams come true

chorus

and when I see you coming
it throws me for a loop
I smile like a mongoose
in a chicken coop
the magic of the islands
reflecting in your eyes
just one look
I'm in paradise.


© 1997 Black Bamboo Music BMI
Brian Kessler Music ASCAP
Track Name: Homeland
Homeland

words & music Allan Thomas

All around the earth
since the beginning of man
we've been the guardians
of the homeland
all we do will come back down the line
what kind of world are we leaving behind
after we're long gone

our hands hold the key
to the way it will be
tomorrow
we need to start
with a change of heart
today
it's up to you and me
leave a legacy
do everything we can
we are the hope for the homeland

third planet from the sun
she keep giving us signs
how can something so almighty
be so fragile at the same time
can't change what's over and done
but we're shaping the future of things to come
after we're long gone

chorus

and I pray for the next generation to come
there's so much healing to be done

our hands hold the key
to the way it will be
tomorrow
we need to start
with a change of heart
today
it's up to you and me
leave a legacy
do everything we can
we are the hope for the homeland

© 1997 Black Bamboo Music BMI
Track Name: You Take My Breath Away
You Take My Breath Away

words & music - Allan Thomas & Carole Cook

If I was a poet
I know what I would do
put my pen to paper
close my eyes
and think of you
I'd wait for inspiration
turn it into rhyme
praise the very thought of you
with every single line
I'd write the words
my lips could never say

you take my breath away
you take my breath away

if I was a painter
know what I would do
set my brush to canvas
lose myself in you
I see you there before me
my heart begins to race
try to catch the essence of
the mystery in your face
I'd paint what I could see
but never say

you take my breath away
you take my breath away

I'd write the words
my lips could never say
you take my breath away

and if I was a garland
gardenia white as snow
I'd wrap myself around you
and never let you go
I'd gaze upon your loveliness
feeling your heart beat
I'd be content to spend my life
making yours complete
I'd whisper things
that I could never say

you take my breath away
you take my breath away

© 1978 Dutchess Music Corp BMI
Track Name: Ka Wai Aloha
Music by Allan Thomas

© 1997 Black Bamboo Music BMI
Track Name: Halfway 'Round The World
Halfway Around the World

words & music Allan Thomas

Down and out in kilauea
and the rains begun to fall
surrounded by beauty
but I don't see it at all
what's wrong
wrong with this picture
well your not in it baby
your halfway 'round the world

your probably sitting in some cafe
sipping java in legian
a balinese melody on the gamelan
but something's wrong
wrong with this picture
'cause I'm not in it baby
and your halfway 'round the world

so I'm sending you a message
an s.o.s.
come home to me baby
I'm in distress
and if you listen you can hear me
halfway 'round the world

no I can't help but wonder
is someone sweet-talkin' you
with fast lines and slick moves
whether your charmed
or amused
whether interested or confused
what can I do or say
your so far away
halfway 'round the world

so I'm sending you a message
an s.o.s.
come home to me baby
I'm in distress
and if you listen you can hear me
halfway 'round the world

I can't take this torture
it's a living hell
no communication
phone calls or mail
but I'm holding on
holding on to a dream
your running off that plane
into my arms again
and that's what keeps me going darlin'

so I'm sending you a signal
an s.o.s.
come back baby please say yes
and I know you can hear me
halfway 'round the world


©1997 Black Bamboo Music BMI
Track Name: Way Of The Heart
Way of the Heart

words Allan Thomas - music Michael Ruff

There's your face again
just out of reach
and I keep trying
to get back in the dream
wake up wanting you
what does it mean
this must be the way of the heart

pain beyond measure
joy to the extreme
that's how you know
its the way of the heart

you come and go
its like breathing
the ebb and the flow
you always return to me
I must love you
more than I could ever admit
these things come to me only now

pain beyond measure
joy to the extreme
that's how you know
it's the way of the heart
the bliss and the madness
and everything in between
that's what I mean
by the way of the heart

wake up wanting you
what does it mean
this must be
the way of the heart

pain beyond measure
all things to the extreme
that's what I mean
by the way of the heart
the tears and the pleasure
the bitter and the sweet
that's what I mean
by the way of the heart

C 1997 Black Bamboo Music - BMI
Ruff Mix Music - BMI
Track Name: Everybody Gets The Blues
Everybody Gets the Blues

words & music Allan Thomas & Michael Ruff

Walkin' down a road
drivin' in your car
no matter where you go
it's never very far
you can't run away
from the road you choose
everybody gets the blues

might be feeling
ten feet tall
even humpty dumpty
took a little fall
here comes the rug
from under your shoes
everybody gets the blues

I'm gonna tell you
how it's gonna be
blues are gonna come for you
then their comin' for me
some gonna win
some gonna lose
everybody gets the blues

I've been up
I've been around
I've seen love and money
come tumbling down
it's gonna happen
no matter what you do
everybody gets the blues

I'm gonna tell you
how it's gonna be
blues gonna come for you
then their coming for me
sometimes you win
sometimes you lose
everybody gets the blue

one day sunshine
next day rain come down
whether your rich or poor
no matter who you are
everyone gets the blues

theres one thing
you can be sure
come one mornin'
there'll be a knockin' on the door
open up baby
say how do you do
everybody gets the blues

I'm gonna tell you
how it's gonna be
blues are gonna come for you
then their coming for me
might as well face it
what else can you do
everybody gets the blues
everybody gets the blues

whether your rich or poor
no matter who you are
everyone gets the blues

© 1997 Black Bamboo Music - BMI
Ruff Mix Music - BMI
Track Name: I'll Find You Yet
I'll Find You Yet

words & music Allan Thomas

I don't know how long
it's gonna take me
I only know that
I'll find you yet
maybe tomorrow
you never will know
I only ask that
I find you yet
I've seen you in a thousand dreams
I'd recognize you anywhere at all

I guess I'll have to
keep my heart wide open
and I'm gonna
keep the flame still burnin'
I'll find you yet

out on the horizon
the clouds of sunset
these things remind me
I can't forget
I know your out there
keep lookin' over my shoulder
and when I least expect
I'll find you yet

I've seen you in a thousand dreams
I'd recognize you anywhere at all

I guess I'll have to
keep my heart wide open
and I'm gonna
keep the flame still burnin'
I'll find you yet

you might be runnin'
down the beach in the rain
maybe I'll meet you in a hurricane
strange things happen
that you can't explain at all

I guess I'll have to
keep my heart wide open
and I'm gonna
keep this flame still burnin'
and though we haven't met
I'll find you yet
I'll find you yet

tuning DADF#AD

© 1997 Black Bamboo Music - BMI