Gabby Pahinui helped to lay the foundation for Hawaiian slack key guitar playing. Although he recorded only one internationally released album, Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Vol. 1, his influence continues to be reflected in the playing of Hawaiian slack key players and American guitarists including John Fahey, Leo Kottke, and Ry Cooder. During an early-'90s interview, Pahinui's son, James "Bla" Pahinui, also a skilled slack key guitarist, recalled, "My dad got away with a lot of stuff because it worked. He touched so many people because he shared what was in his heart in such an honest and direct way."