I’m very much a tiki newbie when it comes to the music of this subculture. Acceptable genres include Exotica, Surf and Hapa Haole (Hawaiian music with mostly English lyrics). I may not know too many artists, but I can recognize it when I hear it, so I was excited when I heard some Hawaiian music on the fourth episode of “True Blood” season one—“Escape from Dragon House.” Bill and Sookie (Sookie!) were driving and it seemed like the vampire was trying to impress upon her how worldly one can be from living 150 years by playing exotic tunes like Tuvan throat singing and this little Hawaiian number.
A little googling easily uncovered a list of all the music from season one, and revealed that the song was “Hoi Mai, Ku’u Ipo” (“Come Back, My Sweetheart”) by Kalani Kinimaka and his Kanakas. You can hear a sample of the song here, it’s track 10 on a collection called “Happy Hulas for Your Luau.” (And apparently, you can still catch this 72-year-old artist performing on Maui.)