"Step 2: 'Ukuleles In Paradise 2" By Daniel Ho & Herb Ohta, Jr.

Herb Ohta, Jr. & Daniel Ho:
“Step 2: ‘Ukuleles In Paradise 2”
Daniel Ho Creations (DHC 80033)

2006 Hawai‘i Music Awards Nominee
(Best ‘Ukulele Album of the Year)

2006 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Nominee:
(Instrumental of the Year)

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PRODUCER(S): Herb Ohta, Jr. & Daniel Ho

The Honolulu Advertiser
Sunday April 2, 2006

Review By Wayne Harada

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Genre: 'Ukulele instrumentals.

Distinguishing notes:
Repeating the formula of their first dual-uke project, with Herb Ohta Jr. on the left channel and Daniel Ho on the right, these two strummers know all about balance and pacing. Like a handful of other prime 'ukulele masters, Ohta and Ho champion the uke as a solo instrument, all the while creating a pleasurable listening experience. The acoustic approach remains magical here; the addition of a third 'ukulele on "Song for Anna," tapping the originator of the three-decades-old hit, Ohta-san (Herb Jr.'s dad), makes this a particularly memorable outing. The repertoire scopes a handful of favorites, some vintage, some recent, and also dares to further explore the lasting power of "Over the Rainbow." And the language of the instrument — gentle, frolicking, romantic or playful — shines through on such savory titles as "Ka Wai Lehua 'A'ala Ka Honua," "Kaimana Hila" and "Sanoe."

The outlook:
Could be a catalyst to launch the uke into the Hawaiian Grammy mix.

Our take:
Ohta and Ho are on a roll; a sure-fire chartbuster.

The Star Bulletin
Saturday April 1, 2006

Island Mele
Review By John Berger

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This second album by Herb Ohta Jr. and Grammy award-winning producer Daniel Ho is as exquisite as their debut album of last summer. Once again the impact is heightened by the contrast between Ohta's conventional four-string ukulele and Ho's custom-made six-string instrument. The difference is further accented, and increases the sense of enjoying a live performance, by isolating the instruments to their own separate stereo channels.

The mood of the music is soothing throughout. "Ka'anapali Sunset," a contemporary tune that Ohta and Ho play utilizing slack-key techniques, catches the ear even though it might take a few plays to figure out what they're doing. The duo's imaginative arrangements are heard in the tempo changes that spice the title song, and in their take on "Over the Rainbow."
The most talked-about track, though, is certain to be "A Song for Anna" as the duo welcomes Ohta's father, Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta, in revisiting Ohta-san's biggest international hit.

Informative liner notes add the final touch to this beautiful, Grammy-worthy album.