Music to his ears

KAPAA – Dave Greenberg looks like a musician. 

Greenberg thinks like a musician. 

Greenberg put more miles on the road touring as a musician than he can ever begin to count, oftentimes six or seven nights a week, 48 weeks a year. 

“Been there, done that,” Greenberg said. 

So what does the musician, besides music, have in common with Tommy Shaw from the group Styx; Rock N Roll Hall of Famer Timothy Schmit, the bass guitarist, composer and singer from the group The Eagles; Grammy award winner Sheryl Crowe; Alex O’Loughlin, the actor who plays Steve McGarrett on “Hawaii 5-O” and Pierce Brosnan, the actor who played James Bond OO7?  They have all done business with Greenberg, a Kapaa music business owner. They’ve either stepped foot inside Kauai Music and Sound, rented or purchased musical instruments, sound gear or sheet music from him.

Greenberg, a songwriter in his own right, moved his life and his wife to Kauai six years ago. They planted the seed to move when they honeymooned on Kauai in 1999. 

“Two days after we got to Kauai, I looked at my wife Barb and said, ‘Someday we’re going to live here,’” Greenberg said.

That “some day” came in 2008 when he was reading a trade magazine during his break as a sales trainer at the Guitar Center store in Phoenix. 

“There was an ad for a business in paradise,” Greenberg remembered. 

When Greenberg called the phone number in the ad, the business for sale was a music store. He jumped at the chance and within two months was loading his belongings onto a boat headed for Hawaii. 

His yearly visits since his honeymoon to Kauai had deepened the couples love affair with the island. He even composed music about it. “Ice cold coconuts,” and “Buckeye in Hawaii,” are but a few of his titles with a Hawaiian theme. 

All his compositions – more than 35 – are born from personal experiences, most with a bent on humor in them, except one in particular he wrote about his wife. 

“No one has ever confused me with being a Don Juan, and I was struggling with this one,” Greenberg said. “I turned to the Bible and the last chapters in Proverbs where it talks about how to choose a wife. I picked bits and pieces of what my wife was all about from that and included it in the song.” 

The title is “Inspiration,” and it fits Greenberg’s selfless, good-natured wife Barb who he said has a good sense of humor. They’ve been married for 15 years. He had long since left the upside down crazy life of a touring musician with bands with even crazier names including, “Fun with tools,” and “Buster and the nomads,” long before he moved to Kauai. 

“I’m incredibly blessed to be here,” Greenberg said. “I’m living a dream that most guys can’t fathom.”

The dream includes selling instruments and renting equipment by day and playing bass by night with his current bands on Kauai, “Not my first rodeo,” and “Kwika and the Houselot Chilli’s.”

But it’s no more tour buses for Greenberg. His roots are deep and permanent.

“I have a papaya tree at our house,” Greenberg said. “It blows up all the time. I love papaya. I’m a fan of mangos, too. My neighbor has the biggest mango tree I’ve ever seen. I could eat them morning, noon or night.” 


This is an ongoing feature that focuses on everyday people who reflect the spirit that makes Kauai the place it is today. If you know of somebody you’d like to see featured, contact Lisa Ann Capozzi at


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