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Ernie Cruz Sr. ­ A Time and a Season

Lilikoi Records, 1997

Ernie Cruz Sr. sings about the Moloka'i cowboy riding in the wind on his new CD called A Time and A Season. Greatly respected in Hawai'i as one of the leading country-Hawaiian musicians, Cruz is the patriarch of a musical family that includes Ernie Cruz, Jr., of Ka'au Crater Boys, and Hoku Hawaiian music award winner John Cruz.

On this new album, Ernie Sr.'s younger children Connie Faye, Tiffany LeeAnne, Marrissa Louise, and his wife Maggie accompany him with vocals. Almost completely a family production, his brother-in-law plays bass, his nephews play lead guitar, fiddle and mandolin, and his brother plays banjo. The family band records under the name Country Grass.

The CD features paniolo (cowboy) songs with yodeling, as Ernie himself has gained the nickname Waimea Cowboy, referring to the paniolo and their yodeling in the Waimea cattle town on the Big Island. The album also showcases inspirational music, and instrumentals, all recorded with guitar, banjo, fiddle and mandolin. It could be called "Bluegrass Hawaiian."

The Moloka'i composition recalls one of Ernie's visits to Moloka'i to play music "for the folks in Kaunakakai," where he met Moloka'i cowboys and saw them riding on the range. He sings:

Oh I left Hilo town to go to Moloka'i,

wanted to play some music

for the folks in Kaunakakai.

Moloka'i Cowboy, riding in the wind,

I hope some day that I go back again.

So I just smile and say aloha until then

Yeah, the Moloka'i Cowboys ridin' in the wind

Other songs include Ballad of Rodeo, about rescuing a dog named Rodeo from a flood, and Don't Cuss the Fiddle , a classic by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, who also lives part-time in Hawai'i. Inspirational songs include Walk Awhile With Me, A Time and A Season, and Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus.

Distributor of A Time and A Season in Hawaii is Olinda Road.