Ken Emerson plays slack key and lap steel guitar with a finesse that allows him to switch masterfully between the two.
His development as a finger style picker began when he learned right hand finger style techniques from folk and blues songs of the early 60s. Later in the 60s he was immersed in rock and electric blues and was drawn to bottleneck and slide guitar. In 68 he moved to Hawai`i and began listening to vintage Hawaiian records including the jazz and blues styles of Sol Ho`opi`i and Sol K. Bright, and he began emulating players from the 20s and 30s. Soon he was playing alongside the legendary artists including Gabby Pahinui, Genoa Keawe, Raymond Kane, and Moe Keale.
Ken tours across the US mainland, Hawai`i and Europe performing his own blend of blues, jazz, and Hawaiian guitar.
"Ken Emerson's style reflects the Hawaiian guitar's grassroots origins of a century ago. He taps into classic jazz and blues influences as well as Latin styles, completing a cultural circle from the first vaquero guitarists through jazz steel guitar virtuoso Sol Ho`opi`i and into new unexplored musical territories" ---- Maryanne Cord, Hanaola Records