Some things take time — something we don’t always have enough of. I first connected with Rob Butler, the man behind Be With Records, in October of 2014. He sent me a friendly email and mentioned plans to visit Hawaii in mid-2015.

He’s here now, and we’re hosting a special release party on Thursday, Sept. 3, at Bevy, starting at 6 p.m.

Rob and I both do the same kind of thing: run a record label that focuses on reissuing out-of-print classics and obscure finds that deserve to be classics. Rob’s home base is way out in London, and for many years, he worked at Piccadilly Records, one of the city’s best record shops. His label’s specialty is simply music he loves.

“I suppose the scattershot mix of records I have wanted to release reflects my background. I have always been — if you like — an ‘anything goes’ DJ, and Piccadilly Records is the very epitome of an all-over-the-place approach to music love,” Rob says. “Be With Record’s output has and will continue to reflect what I am into and what I want to see out there on vinyl again. The only thing I would use as criteria is ‘do I like it?’ and ‘is it ripe for a vinyl reissue?'”

It just so happened that Rob was really into a hard-to-find Hawaiian LP by singer Nohelani Cypriano, entitled Nohelani and released in 1979. In late 2014, Rob secured the rights to reissue it on vinyl. It hit stores worldwide last month — 36 years after its debut — and currently is available at Hungry Ear Records near UH Manoa.

“The album is record(ed) to surrender to in full rather than consume in pieces,” Rob says, offering his take on this contemporary Hawaiian classic. “It’s a gloriously carefree showcase of a uniquely Hawaiian musical hybrid. This reissue provides a vital reminder of just how beautiful and important Nohelani is.”

I’ve been grateful to be able to work with Rob in helping re-release the album. Not only is the LP an important landmark in the history of contemporary Hawaiian music, but also, Rob recognizes this — even though he’s never lived in or visited Hawaii before. It goes to show how powerful music is, to be able to affect someone on the other side of the world so much that he takes it upon himself to ensure more people can enjoy the same music.

So, thank you Rob for the support you’re giving the music of Hawaii and for helping to perpetuate it in places that might not have access to it. (Piccadilly Records is just one of many shops in Europe now stocking the LP.)

You can catch Rob, me, DJ Oliver Twist and a surprise guest at the Honolulu release party of the first-ever vinyl reissue of Nohelani. Entry is free. For more information, visit

Roger recently turned his blog into a record label: