On this occasion, Ray leaves the slack key playing to Yuki, with Ray's vocal style to the fore, evoking the 'real' deep blues of Hawaii. Yuki Yamauchi, probably the best slack key player outside of Hawaii, is a disciple of Ray Kane, under whom he studied for one year in 1976. In addition, Yuki plays every other additional instrument, such as ukulele, steel guitar and bass, and furthermore arranged each song. The sound of 'Maika'i no Blues', takes you back to the days of the legendary 60s group 'Sons of Hawaii'. According to Yuki, if Ray Kane had been in the band that featured Gabby Pahuinui, this CD is what it would have sounded like. The music is warm, and Ray's voice has an earthy, soulful blues quality. Ray sings straight from the heart, with true emotion. You can almost hear both his playful and very human character.
This is the first album Ray has recorded, where his voice is accompanied by instruments in addition to slack key guitar. Martin Pahuinui, the son of the late Gabby is guest vocalist on 3 songs, and he also plays acoustic guitar. The exquisite voice of Elodia Kane (Ray's wife) is also featured on several songs. Tracks include the title song, 'Maika'i no Blues', an original Yuki Yamauchi composition, that honours Ray Kane. Ray contributes an original song, an unusual 10 bar blues piece, 'Nanakuli Blues'. Nanakuli is the town that Ray lives in, and this is the kind of tune he grew up with in and aroun Nanakuli. The elder statesman of Hawaiian music, Ray Kane began playing music at the age of 9. Now 74, on this album Ray fulfils the promise of his middle name, Kaleoalohapoinaoleohelemanu, 'The voice of love that comes and goes like a bird, and will never be forgotten.'