A few hours after their kanikapila in Waimanalo, the Sons are on the job at Honey’s, an ultracasual lounge at the Ko‘olau Country Club where they play every Sunday. This has to be among the best-kept secrets in the Islands: a free gig featuring one of the living legends of Hawaiian music, and yet there aren’t more than a few dozen people in the room.
Eddie sits out the first set while Mike, Paul and Analu take a laid-back tour through their repertoire: “Maui Brown Eyes,” “Waimanalo Blues,” “Holoholo Ka‘a.” They sound polished and peppy; at one point Paul, singing a lovely falsetto, switches to a yodel, delighting the audience. When Dennis lumbers onstage, the temperature changes slightly. The group plays gorgeous renditions of “Ka ‘Opae,” the first of Dennis’ songs ever to be recorded; “Lei Koele,” his tribute to Lana‘i; and “Wahine ‘Ilikea.”
Eddie, who’s been beaming like a proud papa, stops by my table and takes a moment to describe his next project, an album of kid’s music, which will include “It’s a Weed,” a nursery rhyme he wrote with Myrna and recorded with Mike. He sings a fragment in raspy a cappella:
It’s a weed, it’s a weed, indeed
It started small from a little seed
And it grew, and it grew, and it grew
That’s what the weed likes to do
“Everything is for the children,” he says. “That’s my main purpose. As my teachers told me: Do it for the children, it will live forever.”
Then he grabs his ‘ukulele and hurries to the stage where the band waits.