Another influential slack key artist who came to define the Second Hawaiian Renaissance was Liko Martin. Often compared to Bob Dylan, Martin’s music is a brilliant mixture of traditional Hawaiian folk instrumentals and politically-infused lyrics. Martin spent his formative years as an Air Force Clerk, and at the University of Hawaii during which he practiced the guitar, ukulele, autoharp and piano. After leaving the air force, Martin soon met the band Country Comfort from Waimanalo, and the group released an album. On this record was a collaboration with Thor Wold entitled “Nanakuli Blues,” (Changed later to Waimanalo Blues) Martin’s first major hit. 1
Wind's gonna blow so I'm gonna go Down on the road again Starting where the mountains left me I'm up where I began Where I will go the wind only knows Good times around the bend Get in my car, goin' too far Never comin' back again Tired and worn I woke up this mornin' Found that I was confused Spun right around and found I had lost The things that I couldn't lose Chorus: The beaches they sell to build their hotels My fathers and I once knew Birds all along sunlight at dawn Singing Waimanalo blues Down on the road with mountains so old Far on the country side Birds on the wing forget in a while So I'm headed for the windward side Au of your dreams Sometimes it just seems That I'm just along for the ride Some they will cry because they have pride For someone who's loved here died The beaches they sell to build their hotels My fathers and I once knew Birds all along sunlight at dawn Singing Waimanalo blues 2
This song, like many others written by Martin, touches on Indigenous Hawaiians’ relationship with land, increasingly threatened by United States private corporations and the tourism industry.
Martin continued to be politically outspoken during the Hawaiian Renaissance as he became enmeshed in the PKO land battle as a singer-songwriter and activist. During his time with the PKO, Martin produced his famous anthem “All Hawaii Stands Together.”
- Hopkins, Jerry. “Isle’s Troubador Liko Martin: Hawai’i’s Dylan?” Ha’ilono Mele 4, no.5 (May 1978): 1.
- Akaka, Moanike‘ala, et al. “Mary Maxine Lani Soares Andrade Kahaulelio.” Nā Wāhine Koa: Hawaiian Women for Sovereignty and Demilitarization, edited by Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, University of Hawai’i Press (2018): 93–122, http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv7r42bc.8.
- “Official Waimanalo Blues Lyrics, 2022 Version.” LyricsMode.com, March 27, 2012. https://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_ho/waimanalo_blues.html.