Kings of Spade

We can expect a memorable evening when virtuoso musicians guitarist Joe Caro, bassist James “Hutch” Hutchinson and drummer Steve Gadd combine their talents for the “Paia Jam” benefit on Tuesday at Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon, with keyboardist Gene Argel sitting in on the Hammond B3.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit the widow of veteran blues musician and Mana’o Radio DJ Bob Jones, who recently passed away.

Gadd has been hailed as one of the world’s greatest drummers. For more than 40 years, he’s worked with many legends including Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor and Ray Charles.

Adept at any style from jazz, soul and funk, to rock, pop and blues, Gadd has performed on such historic recordings as Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” Steely Dan’s “Aja,” Rickie Lee Jones “Chuck E’s In Love,” Bonnie Raitt’s “Angel from Montgomery,” Clapton’s “24 Nights” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Concert in Central Park.”

“Every drummer wants to play like Gadd because he plays perfect,” jazz legend Chick Corea reported. “He’s the master of creative grooves.”

Paul Simon lauds him as the, “premier drummer of his generation,” in the forthcoming documentary “About Time” about Gadd, adding, “he’s extraordinary.”

Gadd has a new album coming out in September called “Gadditude,” featuring members of James Taylor’s band.

Just returned home to Maui from touring around Europe with Raitt, Hutchinson has worked with many musical greats. An esteemed bassist, over the years Hutch has contributed to more than 20 Grammy Award-winning records, and worked with an amazing, diverse roster of artists from B.B. King to Ziggy Marley, Elton John to Ringo Starr, and Willie Nelson to Al Green.

While he’s best known for backing Raitt for more than 30 years, Hutch spent years anchoring the groove of New Orleans’ legends, The Neville Brothers. As an in-demand studio musician, he has played with a spectrum of artists.

“One of my most interesting weeks was working with Ziggy Marley, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Chieftains, and B.B. King all in the same week,” he recalled in an interview.

A former New York-based session guitarist who now makes his home on Maui, Caro’s extensive credits include working with Aretha Franklin, the Eagles, Bon Jovi, Carly Simon, Bette Middler and on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

In the 1990s, he formed the band, BFD, with drummer Steve Ferrone and bassist Will Lee, playing the New York club circuit with shows that featured such guest artists as Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, and Pat Metheny.

In 2011, he released the instrumental tour de force “Home Alone.” “I think it will be a great night,” says Caro about Tuesday.

* Paia Jam features Joe Caro, James “Hutch” Hutchinson, Steve Gadd and Gene Argel performing at Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 and $15, or $20 at the door, available at Charley’s or online at


After completing an extensive U.S. tour with Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood is back in town for the month of August to host a series of events celebrating the one-year anniversary of Fleetwood’s on Front St.

The festivities kick off tonight with guitarist Rick Vito presenting his King Paris show (with Chandu the Genie Giant on percussion), as well as on Saturday upstairs on the roof.

Friday night sees the return of the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band for some mighty rocking beginning at 9 p.m. in the lower dining room.

“I’m very happy that we got going and our reputation is getting better and better,” says Fleetwood about his Lahaina establishment. “We’re looking forward to an interesting future.”

Fleetwood will head to Ireland in September for the start of Fleetwood Mac’s European tour, then head to Australia in November.

When he returns to Maui after touring, Fleetwood hopes to play more shows. “I’m planning to play more with the (Blues) band, and try and do some things with local artists that are special,” he says.

More music events are planned throughout August at Fleetwood’s. Tickets for King Paris are $20 for VIP seating. Front seat tickets for the Blues Band are $50, and dinner reservations are recommended for all other patrons.


One of Oahu’s hottest rock bands, Kings of Spade, returns to Maui to perform at Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon on Friday night as part of their Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to complete a new album.

The band already has four songs completed with producer Dave Cobb, recording earlier in the year in Nashville. Cobb has worked with country legends like Waylon Jennings and George Jones, and has helped shape the sound of the popular, Led Zeppelin-influenced band Rising Sons, who count Jimmy Page as a fan.

“When we heard the Rising Sons’ album, we knew this was the guy who could capture our sound,” explains King’s lead singer, Kasi Nunes. “Our guitarist sent him some music and he said he’d work with us. His production level is above and beyond anything we’ve done before.”

Kings of Spade have been acclaimed for their fiery, passionate blend of rock, funk and soul. Their energetic live shows have landed them gigs at L.A.’s House of Blues and The Viper Room. In 2010, they beat out 50 bands in a contest to open for Bon Jovi at the Blaisdell Arena. And in March, they toured across the Mainland, including performances at Austin’s SXSW fest. “That was the highlight of the tour,” Nunes says.

Born and raised in Waianae, Nunes grew up listening to her mom’s soul music collection, including lots of Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin. “That’s definitely the base of where I come from as a singer,” she notes. “I sometimes find it difficult to get into indie rock things because the soul is missing.”

Later graduating from college with a degree in film editing, she had never thought about singing or fronting a band until she was invited one night by some musicians to step on stage at an open mic event.

“I said I knew the words to Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Paradise City,’ and the band launched into it and I started singing, and it was like a lightning bolt struck me. It felt so good. Literally my life changed. It became the ultimate focus of my life.”

Initially connecting with guitarist Jesse Savio, they formed X-Factor, which morphed into Kings of Spade with bassist Timothy Corker and drummer Matt Kato, plus dancer Natalie Phoenix.

In 2008, they released the album “Crave,” which included a powerful track “Don’t Hate Me,” encapsulating the prejudice Nunes experienced growing up as a lesbian.

“It’s so cool to be queer now, but there was a time when it was the worse thing to be,” she explains. “My mom was a Bible basher, and I tried coming out in 2nd grade and I got beat up. She forced me to wear a dress the next day, which was humiliating. From that point on I had to keep it secret. Then at 18, I decided I’m never going to care what anyone thinks about me, and I’ve never looked back.”

Known for their vibrant, eclectic sound, Nunes says: “We’ve never tried to mimic anybody. We get criticized sometimes for jumping all over the place, but who says you have to be in a box.”

* Kings of Spade play Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon at 9:30 p.m. Friday. The show also includes blues rockers Sara Robinson & Midnight Special from Arizona and Maui’s Little Sheep & The Black Sheep Nephews. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door, available at


Among the wonderful events at the third annual Lana’i Slack Key Guitar Festival held last weekend at the Four Seasons Resort’s Lodge at Koele, Keola Beamer gave a presentation on the deeper meaning of aloha.

“It’s not easy to follow the path of aloha,” he said, quoting his mother, revered Hawaiian legend Aunty Nona Beamer. “More than a word, it’s a way of being in the world. We can just try and keep aloha alive in our hearts.”


Ebb & Flow Arts will continue its ongoing North South East West 2013 festival with a free “Chamber Music from San Francisco” concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Seabury Hall’s A’ali’ikuhunoa Creative Arts Center.

Musicians from the San Francisco Symphony, including violinists Sarn Oliver and Mariko Smiley, violist David Kim, and cellist Sebastien Gingras will perform string quartets from the 20th and 21st centuries.

“We are excited to bring this captivating group to Maui, thanks to a second year of support from Makana Aloha Foundation,” says Ebb & Flow Arts’ Robert Pollock. “The program contains 20th century classics by Stravinsky and Shostakovich, a work by E&FA’s Honorary President, Dr. George Walker, and world premieres by a member of the group, Sarn Oliver.”

The evening includes a pre-concert discussion at 6:30 p.m.