Though it's not as easy a drive for music fans in the contiguous United States as, say, the current Coachella festival, the Kokua Festival in Hawaii may be equally as memorable an event.
The creation of singer-songwriter Jack Johnson and now in its eighth year, the festival has consistently featured an interesting array of internationally acclaimed artists, all for the benefit of the Kokua Hawaii Foundation--a nonprofit foundation founded by the singer and his wife supporting environmental education in Hawaiian school and communities.
Those who've heard of the event but have never managed to attend will thus be enlightened--and quite pleased--by the newly released Best Of Kokua Festival: A Benefit For The Kokua Hawaii Foundation album.
A live anthology featuring some of the most memorable musical moments from the festival--featuring Johnson and a number of acclaimed guests--the album boasts the same warmth, precision and musicality that pervades all of Johnson's music and, cliché as it may be, could be the next best thing to being there. Among those present: Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Ziggy Marley, G. Love, Taj Mahal and many more. Among the songs performed: "Take It Easy," the Jackson Browne-penned Eagles hit, Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released, " and a memorable collaboration featuring Johnson, Harper and Nelson himself singing the country legend's classic "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain."
Notably, 100 percent of the profits from this memorable collection will be going to Kokua Hawaii Foundation's worthy cause.
Y! Music caught up with Johnson at his Los Angeles studio recently, moments before he'd give a webcast performance in coordination with this album's release. Like his music, Johnson himself was warm, informed, cheery, and an upbeat, good-spirited interview. We're pleased to present here some of the highlights from that webcast--and suggest that those who'd like to find out more about the good works of the Kokua Hawaii Foundation check out www.kokuahawaiifoundation.org.
Want to hear the rest of this great live performance session? Head on over to http://new.livestream.com/jackjohnson/studio .