So much so that Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam took notice - by chance - a couple years ago in Hawaii, and this past year Pearl Jam released a live track Vedder performed along with Tavana called "Hawaii '78." The song was originally done by the late, Hawaiian legend, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.
The vinyl only cut is below for the download. And Tavana explains a bit about how it came together below as well. If you enjoy the song, and are in Austin next Wednesday (8/18,2010), come down to Ace's Lounge and check this dude out for yourself.
AustinSurreal: How did this recording with Eddie Vedder come together?
Tavana: Well man you know, I was playing a gig one night in Waikiki at a place called Kelly O'Neills. I had just come in and put my gear down and I turned around and he was standing right in front of me with his hand out. He shook my hand and said "Hi I'm Eddie." I was like, "Um yeah, I know who you are." I'm a big fan you know. He said "I heard there's a real great musician playing tonight, so I came to check you out."
He sat right up front and watched my whole set. And after my first set we just sat and talked and he was so super cool. So I of course asked him if he wanted to sit in on a song with me and he said "Yeah sure." So I called him up and he did "Roadhouse Blues" with me, and then just for kicks I started playing the riff to "Yellow Ledbetter," and he came up and sang with me. We ended up hanging out all night and just hit it off and it was really great and that was that.
Then a year after that, in 2008, I ran into him again at Kelly's and he's like "Aw man I been looking around for you and I really like your music, its some of the better stuff I've heard out here." So we ended up hanging out all night, and I drove him back to his hotel and we exchanged numbers and he called me the next day. He was like "Man I had a really great time, thanks for the ride." A few months passed and it was 2009 and I hadn't called him and I just figured you know, why don't I just give him a call. And he was like "I can't believe you called me I just finished booking the last dates for my solo dates and they are in Hawaii. You know what would be really great is if you sat in with me."
And he was like "We should do 'Hawaii '78' together." So he played 2 nights and he invited me up both nights for the encore. Which was awesome, I got to play the guitar and sing with him. I even added that little part at the end (check the mp3) and it ended up being really great both nights. I had no idea they were recording it and months later he called me up and told me he played the track for the other guys in Pearl Jam and they really liked it and wanted to put it on the holiday vinyl.
It's a 45 they put out usually around Christmas, but it never comes out until after Christmas, but thats the idea and they've done it for many years. It's something that the Pearl Jam fans look forward to and collect, it's just something that they give a way.
So yeah, the Tavana track is available on vinyl (a vastly superior format) but you can get it here on Austin Surreal for a limited time by CLICKING HERE TO DOWNLOAD - EDDIE VEDDER + TAVANA - HAWAII '78 (Israel Kamakawiwo'ole) LIVE!
And definitely come out to Ace's on 8/18 to the release party. Boy kills it.
Check these YouTubes of Vedder and Tavana. And holler back.
And of course the original by the legend himself. Incredible...