The Crazed Mugs
SONGS AND STORIES
WHO ARE THESE CRAZED MUGS?
It’s the question that no one is asking and all the answers you never wanted are right here.
PICS, STORIES, UNRELEASED TUNES
We want to please listeners with the music and the aloha. We want to entertain and love and be loved. Have a listen.
THIS MUSIC IS STUPID AND SO IS THE BAND’S NAME.
We started out just strumming ukes and having fun. Rusty Key and pablus named ourselves ‘Happy Talk’ but that lasted 26 minutes. pablus had a large collection of old tiki mugs and many of them were crazed (cracked glaze is “crazed”) and as we sang about goofy tiki stuff and contorting our faces for our first CD cover – The Crazed Mugs seemed a natural fit.
Koka came along. Rusty left for the higher realm. Kanaka found us through serendipity as did Kanekila, Aloha Joe, Jumpin’ Josh, Doc Tiki, Mr. Ho, Valerie, Maddy Mango, Vance, Tommy Wanalikilei, Riki The Professor, Mary Ann, Ginger…
We found that we could make some lovely tunes using this ukulele sound. So the name stuck but the music began to change into something a little less whacky yet maintaining that same undercurrent that could break loose and fall apart at any time.
About The Crazed Mugs
pablus is the leader of this little island and rules with a bloody, iron hand. Or whatever this fish hook is made of that’s stuck in his wrist. He writes and plays and sings and cooks and laughs and swims and spends time in the garden as much as possible.
Russ Harrison, Rusty Key, was a man of excellent bearing. His kindness and generosity were contagious and his wit and talent brought joy to many. His ability to harmonize, improvise and his gifts of enthusiasm and joy are greatly missed on this planet.
Koka is the esteemed “holder of the truly crazed mind”. Seeming like a normal person is his super-power. Uke, percussion, background vocals and he’s “the smiling man” of the song, “Kahiki Moon.”
Hit on the head by a falling crate of pineapples, the man sometimes known as Ken Kanaka awoke from a week-long coma with a new personality and the sudden, unexplained ability to play the ukulele. Adopted by the Mugs in a feral state, he remembers nothing from before the incident. However, he now shares composing skills as the certified “hit maker” of the Mugs.
Kanekila is the man of steel. He will add the delicate and silky sound of the Hawaiian steel guitar to any song with aloha in it. When he’s not playing steel, he’s walking his dog, eating tacos or trying to keep his pool clean.
Jumpin’ Josh Gibson is the savvy soloist of strings. Always deftly adding a touch of skill to any tune, he leaps through the uke, shreds on the surf-toned electric and also thumps a mean upright bass. Josh is also a skilled artisan in woodcraft.
Aloha Joe Martin, who went to the furthest shore in 2022, was a man of many talents: singing, ukulele, percussion and drums, and he even was a champion rodeo clown. OK, that last one is a lie, but you could see it if you were around him. Always making people feel important was a skill set that brought “aloha” to his name.
Crazed Mugs & Haole Kats
Yes, we found actual musicians to play with us on our first effort. Fortunately, they liked the originals and pablus’ mixology skills or the Haole Kats; Kanekila, Jumpin’ Josh Gibson and Aloha Joe Martin, would never have made this record. This is Rusty Key’s last recording and we cherish the time we spent with him playing and creating fun for people.
1. My Mug Collection
The great bassist Jeff Berlin and Percussionist Jon Richardson set the hot island rhythm for this tribute to mugs, both old and new, and the libations that belong in them.
2. Hawaiian Hula Eyes
The Haole Kats swing with us on this nod to the Cazamiero Brothers‘ version of this classic tune.
This original was written by pablus for his Amber Love Goddess remembering their 7th Anniversary together in Kauai.
4. Wait for Me
A nice Hapa-Haole ditty with some nifty steel by Kanekila.
5. Hukilau Hurricane
A rememberance of the Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale that was shattered by Hurricane Jeanne in 2004. Our good friend Jochen Hirschfeld put together a video to it HERE.
6. Beautiful Kauai
Rusty Key sings his favorite song and though he never got to visit Kauai, he certainly takes us all there.
7. Kahiki Moon
Our good friend, Primo Kimo, opened up this establishment to rave reviews in the unlikely locale of Burlington, Vermont. We play “what if” with a macabre scenario.
8. Henehene Kou Aka
pablus heard this swinging version in the Molokai Lounge at the Mai Kai and stole it shamelessly, even amping it up. Kanekila and Jumpin’ Josh Gibson trade licks.
9. Mele Kalikimaka
6 men on a single microphone singing a Christmas classic during sweltering Florida heat.
10. Pass a Smile Along
pablus penned this one for his friends on the fabulous Tiki Central website. Aloha ohana!
My Mug Collection
Hawaiian Hula Eyes
Wait For Me
Henehene Kou Aka
Pass a Smile Along
Buy Some Music
We do this for fun, but we could do it more if we had a few more coconuts in the hut. A few more fish in the net. You know what we’re saying. Sure you do. We already gave you one album, why not buy the last one at Apple Music or Amazon or somewhere else out there in the inter-ether.
Buy Some Merch
T-Shirts, Mugs, Notebooks and other things you definitely do NOT need. But you’ll want them anyway. Kanaka’s designs are always fresh, while paying homage to the classic Tiki vibe.