Grammy-Winning ‘Slack Key’ Guitarist Jim ‘Kimo’ West Drops Enchanting Album ‘Of Wood and Spirit: American Guitar Stories’

Grammy-winning Hawaiian “slack key” guitarist, producer, and composer Jim “Kimo” West unveiled his latest album, “Of Wood and Spirit: American Guitar Stores,” on August 14, 2023. This release marks the beginning of a tour that will enchant audiences across the United States and Europe. It will also include a special benefit concert, “The Hana Sound Returns,” dedicated to supporting the people of Maui, featuring Leokane Pryor and CJ Helekahi. Watch and Listen on YouTube here:

 Jim “Kimo” West’s journey into the enchanting world of “ki ho’alu” or Hawaiian “slack key” guitar began in Hana, Maui, in 1985. Here, he was introduced to the captivating sounds of Gabby Pahinui, Sons Of Hawaii, Sonny Chillingworth, and Atta Isaacs. These influences left an indelible mark on his musical soul, leading him to explore the rich tradition of alternate tunings and the soul-stirring melodies of slack key guitar.

Kimo’s reputation as one of the world’s preeminent slack key guitarists is evident in his music, which has garnered over seventy-five million spins on leading streaming platforms. He received a Grammy Award in 2021 for his album “More Guitar Stories” and a Grammy nomination in 2019 for “Moku Maluhia-Peaceful Island.” Additionally, Kimo is a four-time Na Hoku Hanohano (the Hawaiian ‘Grammy’) nominee and a two-time recipient of the LA Treasures Award for his unwavering commitment to preserving the acoustic guitar tradition.

“Of Wood and Spirit” takes listeners on a musical journey. Kimo’s innovative compositions and intricate fingerpicking style are showcased while staying true to the essence of slack key guitar. The album seamlessly weaves in influences from genres such as West African guitar, New Age, Classical, and Americana music. It serves as a testament to Kimo’s deep reverence for the American landscape and the spiritual energy unique to each location. The universal language of music connects them all.

Listen on Spotify here:  

Kimo’s “Of Wood and Spirit” tour celebrates music, culture, and the rich history of slack key guitar. Audiences can expect an immersive experience as Kimo shares the stage with some of the world’s finest slack key players and musicians.

As a sneak peek of the album, Kimo has released the single “Ghost Town Waltz.” Featuring a new video with  “crowdsourced” photos and video clips, woven together in a compelling montage by acclaimed video artist Doug Henry.

This hauntingly beautiful track invites listeners into an evocative soundscape where lingering melodies dance through the remnants of a deserted town.

Jim “Kimo” West Concerts:

September 6, 7:30 PM

The Hana Sound Returns-a benefit for Maui

with Leokane Pryor and CJ Helekahi

SOhO , Santa Barbara CA


September 17, 2023 3 PM  

Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, Ojai CA

October 18 – November 20 2023

Nacht Der Gitarren (International Guitar Night Europe)


Dec 2 2023  7 PM

With Richard Smith

Lord of The Strings Holiday Show

Mission Viejo Civic Center, Mission Viejo CA

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