At times you will find a sound so unique and different that you automatically fall in love. For myself, this was the case with Okinawa Americana. A musical duo touring from Okinawa, Japan performed an intimate acoustic show at the American Legion Post 155 in Carmel.
With a completely uncommon sound, Okinawa Americana showed the audience how blues, country, folk, and rock can be mixed with native melodies from the islands of Okinawa.
David Ralston and Merry Megumi Gushi (Merry) describe their music as "Okinawa Americana Music" where they blend their musical influences from Okinawa, Brazil, and America's heartland.
I sat in front of the duo photographing the performances and couldn't wipe the smile from my face as they played and joked with each other.
David (dressed in a blue flannel) would tell the stories in English as Merry (dressed in a bright kimono and four layers of long johns) dove into heartwarming stories in Japanese.
At one point, they told a story from a performance in Florida, where an older gentleman dressed in a WWII hat came front and center to watch them.
After their performance, the older man with his cane gently wobbled over tugging on Merry's kimono sleeve. "You know, I fought in Okinawa, and it was the worst time of my life," he said. "I am so happy to see that we are all on the same side now."
From then on, David and Merry knew that they were doing something special. "The world of music is not just changing, it has changed.” the two expressed together.
Catch them while you can before they embark back to the beautiful islands of Okinawa.