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“Sorry to disagree...not what we hoped for”

Mc Master Slack Key Concerts
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Since 1999, Doug and Sandy McMaster have been presenting authentic, award winning traditional Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele concerts. Fridays 4pm and Sundays 3pm at the Hanalei Community Center. Concerts are also now offered in Princeville at the Princeville Community Center (4334 Emmalani Rd. 6pm Saturdays) and at All Saints' Church (Kapaa 6pm Wednesdays). Their 2000th concert will be held the first week of April 2017. They've been voted Best Live Show by Hawaii Magazine Readers several times. They're a key attraction and an excellent way for visitors to experience the beautiful family music tradition of Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele while learning its history, cultural significance, and inspirations behind the songs. Their mission is to ho'omau (continue the tradition) as directed by Raymond and Elodia Kane (Oahu) and Keli'i Mawae (Molokai). The soothing sounds of traditional slack key music relax the audience into 'Hawaii time' bringing peace and Aloha to heart and soul. Concerts are one of the most affordable things to do on Kauai and appeal to both the individual visitor as well as to groups or families. The venues are family friendly and accessible.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
Reviewed July 27, 2013

I'll admit that my husband and I were very excited to attend this concert by the Mc Masters. I had researched them on TripAdvisor, saw the glowing reviews, and even watched a couple of their YouTube videos before our trip to Kauai.

1) Doug is OUTSTANDING...a truly gifted & passionate musician. We felt honored to have been able to hear one of the few remaining artists who play the traditional slack key music.

2) Sandy is an incredibly talented musician, and she is a wonderful story-teller.

3) The Hanalei Community Center is quaint & a perfect setting for this type of event.

1) If the percentage of music vs. talking had been even 70%/30%, we would have loved it. Unfortunately, the percentage was closer to 40%/60% and at best 50%/50%. "Concert" just did not seem the appropriate title for the event.

2) After delaying the start of the event by approx. 15 minutes, Doug & Sandy told the audience that they were waiting for a group of "special visitors" (a long row of prime seats in the middle of the audience was empty). The McMaster's continued to talk about various subjects (music healing the sick, etc.) trying to give the guests more time to arrive. In the end, they started the event 25 min. later than scheduled, with the special visitors not arriving until half-way through.

3) By the time the intermission ended, we had been at the event for 1 1/2 hours. The problem - we had heard only 5 songs - 5 short but ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL songs & many DELIGHTFUL stories.

We ended up having to exit the event as quietly as we could as they were about to begin their 2nd set as we had scheduled other activities that afternoon (2 hours was supposed to be the max event time). Another group of guests had already done so a few minutes before.

***Caveat - we may have come on the one day when Doug & Sandy made the unfortunate (but somewhat understandable) mistake of delaying the start of their event by 25 minutes for "special guests" who didn't show up until an hour into their performance.

However, being someone who does concerts myself, I truly believe that a choice like that is a dis-service to the all of the other concert-goers.

I'm so thankful that this gorgeous style of music/folklore is living on through the Mc Masters, and we're both glad that the vast majority of participants love their experience.

2  Thank Star890
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 - 118 of 147 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2013

I saw a flyer in a local grocery store then read a few reviews on TripAdvisor and I was sold. Doug and Sandy turned out to be even more than the write-ups could describe. Doug shares his wonderful talent playing the Slack Key guitar while Sandy describes the music, the history and the culture surrounding this peaceful music. I put this as my favorite activity on Kauai - above hiking, snorkeling, drinking and napping!

Thank Wayne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Low key and mellow. Their music personifies Kauai. It will put you in the perfect mood if you have just arrived, or keep you in the perfect mood if you have been on the island awhile. We never miss a concert when we are on the island.

1  Thank TravelGal84965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

We experienced a beautiful evening of slack key guitar and stories of the islands last Friday by the McMasters. Held in the cozy Hanalei community center, the McMasters made us feel at home as we listened to some of the most gorgeous slack key guitar playing you will ever hear. We enjoyed hearing the history of Hawaiian slack key guitar and of their many years on the islands.

2  Thank toddaz58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2013

The Mc Masters are a couple that are continuing the Hawaiian Slack Key tradition via these concerts. It combines the beautiful music of Doug and his guitar with the 'talk-story' of Sandy. It is full of history, philosophy and aloha spirit. We loved it.

While the concerts have a tradition with Hanalei, they are also presented in Kapa'a on Saturdays. We attended the one in Kapa'a. Check their website for schedule.

Thank BDAD59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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