Escape From New York… And Ohio

January 27th, 2015 Jorma 4 comments
Far from Central Park

Far from Central Park

So… Sunday I made the trek… such as it was, from Ohio to San Diego. Freezing in Ohio… hot in Houston… temperate in San Diego. What a change. My friends at home in the Northeast were bracing for the big Winter Storm of 2015 while I was contemplating whether the minimal precip on the beach was worth daring. Wow… what a dilemma!

A little cloudy... hmmmmm...

A little cloudy... hmmmmm...

Just marking a little time before the first Fur Peace Ranch On The Road classes at The Dana next Monday. Urban California, whether coastal or not… are another world for me. Yeah, I know… I lived here a long time ago… but it was a long time ago. I’m a country boy now. That said, I’m sure enjoying this climatic moment this morning.

The girls on the beach...

The girls on the beach...

Well… time for a nice walk… more will be revealed.

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch Tags:

Getting Ready To Get Ready

January 24th, 2015 Jorma 5 comments
Last night's snow...

Last night's snow...

So I’m getting ready to hit the road… of course it starts to snow. Temperature above freezing… it won’t stick. Hmmm… The temperature was above freezing, but the snow is sticking. Dig it.

Yeah... it's sticking all right!

Yeah... it's sticking all right!

We’ve got a Fur Peace Ranch On The Road at the Dana On Mission Bay and as much as I’ve enjoyed being home, it’s time to start punching the clock again. I use the term loosely.

Yep... morning, and the snow is still there.

Yep... morning, and the snow is still there.

When I got up this morning, I shoveled the decks around the house and ran the vehicles up and down the driveway. 4X4 all the way of course. Good luck getting to the house in two wheel drive. Maybe I’ll plow before I leave. Hmmm….

Yeah... I think I'll plow.

Yeah... I think I'll plow.

Trouble is… I love this time of year. I don’t like the mud and wintry mix much… but when we get real snow… I love it. So California is in the offing for a while. Do I look forward to going? Sure… Would I look forward to staying? Sure! Good times either way. Here’s what I’m looking forward to.

Hmmm... this actually looks pretty good.

Hmmm... this actually looks pretty good.

Hey… choices! How good does it have to get. OK. I’m going to plow. Someone else might actually want to get up and down the driveway. I’m guessing I wont have to plow in La Jolla.

Onward!

Duende And Thoughts Of Upcoming Dana Point

January 16th, 2015 Jorma 34 comments

We have two great weekends coming up at this year’s Fur Peace Ranch On The Road at Dana Point In San Diego. The first week will feature G.E. Smith which would be Feb. 2nd through 6th. The second weekend would be be Me (Jorma) with David Wolff, and Larry Campbell… Feb. 9th through 13th.

It’s been an interesting time to say the least. Recently a number of friends have passed… some my age, some quite young. These things tend to lead to reflection. I start to think about what is important to me in my life and in my art and at this point in time, it is the tell… the story. I love the guitar, the instrument, the music, but these are the setting for the story… the real jewel.

Feb. 02, through 06th, 2015, at Dana Point in San Diego, is a songwriting workshop and I have been rethinking my approach to a class that so far, has been quite successful. We’ll be dealing with melody for sure. What is a song without the song? That said, this time around I see some serious interactive discussions about message, motive and metaphor.

My method has always been to write from life. I need to write about things that are affecting me at the time of the writing. I have never really been able to put myself in someone else’s shoes and create an imaginary landscape from scratch. Hopefully we will be able to learn to discuss the writing process and the emotions that drive it in an un-self conscious way. The writer will be led to put words on paper and music in the air in a way that will leave a lasting memory in the listener.

For me, song writing has always been cathartic and as a goal, to be able to really say what you mean and have others actually understand it is worth striving for.

Having just put all the emphasis on lyrics in these previous paragraphs… I’m going to back track a little for this next class, the 9th through the 13th of February, 2015… also at Dana Point In San Diego. In this workshop we’ll be learning, yes, instrumentals. Mostly ones that I have written, but not limiting ourselves to that. Again, with or without words, a musical piece must take you on a journey that has a beginning and an end. This is not about technical flash although we hope the songs we have chosen will challenge an elevate the student. It is about taking one on a listening journey that will have them at the end of the song saying to themselves, ‘That was nice!’

Since I’ll be going out to San Diego in about a week, I find myself psyching up for the trip and the teaching experience…. And having said that…

From Apprenticeship Of The Mule
By
Charlie Mehrhoff
‘They hand you a pen and perhaps some small corner to make
your home. And if you discover the strength which carries one
past exhaustion, if you are blessed, perhaps someone will arrive
to look over your shoulder and read what you are doing,
what you have done.
And if you are of the word, and if you have the duende,
they’ll be standing there, reading, long after you have gone.’

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Time Marches On

January 15th, 2015 Jorma 12 comments

Well, because of all the events in our collective lives, I’ve been remiss on this update.

First of all, last Monday I drove down to Lexington, Kentucky and was a guest on Michael Johnathon’s Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour. Lowell Levinger (aka’Banana’) was the other guest on the show… and we had a blast. Here’s my little set list:

Jorma Kaukonen 1, 2015
Michael Johnathan’s
Woodsong Old Time Radio Hour
Lexington, Kentucky
Monday, January 12, 2015

1. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
2. In My Dreams
3. Brother Can You Spare A Dime?
4. Ain’t In No Hurry

At the end of the hour, we all joined Lowell in a rousing version of Dino Valenti’s ‘Get Together.’ Good time had by all.

Then when I got home, Angie from Red House Records sent me this cool review by Bill Bentley from down Texas way.

Hey folks,

do ya’ll know Bill Bentley? Quite a guy – Texas, was a Warners for years, Neil young’s publicist for years, now at Vanguard but still a huge fans and writes about things he digs. He knew Roky erickson from the TX days (dig the 13th Floor Elevator reference:)
Went and reviewed Jorma already at the Morton Report please share!


Jorma Kaukonen, Ain’t In No Hurry. There’s no way a man who was the lead guitarist in Jefferson Airplane ever needs to be in a hurry. He’s done it, from pioneering early psychedelic music in the Haight-Ashbury to tearing down the walls with a revolutionary sound right up to Woodstock. He then continued to thrill with the duo Hot Tuna with Airplane bassist Jack Casady the past 45 years. Jorma Kaukonen has done it all, and it’s no surprise he’s turned his eyes and ears to the early folk music that first captivated him.
But there’s no way he’s going traditional, so whether he’s performing songs by Jimmy Cox, A.P. Carter, Woody Guthrie, Thomas A. Dorsey or touching new originals like the breathtaking “Seasons in the Field,” Kaukonen has a distinct ability to cast all his music in a shimmering glow, one likely learned on the edge of LSD waves but thankfully transferred to real life. There are very few musicians from the class of ’65 in San Francisco that still pull these dreambeams down from the sky and are able to put them into song. Jorma Kaukonen took the express bus to the 13th floor a long time ago, and through sheer spirit and hard work has stayed there. Producer Larry Campbell is the perfect choice to help him keep shining. Owsley-approved.

Not bad for openers…

Categories: Diary, Set Lists, Thoughts Tags:

Another Man Done Gone…

January 13th, 2015 Jorma 16 comments
Bill... in a younger time...

Bill... in a younger time...

Bill Thompson
RIP
Monday, January 12, 2015

I was driving to Lexington, Kentucky Monday morning for a gig, when I received a sad call. My old colleague, Bill Thompson, passed away this morning in California. At seventy four years of age, I have spent most of my life since my twenties on the road and in the beginning when Jefferson Airplane was starting to fly, our constant companion was Bill Thompson. He was with us when we started and wound up being our manager in the years before Jack and I left and the Airplane was retired to the hanger. Because of the way we did business back then, Bill was like a band member… his instrument were his phone, his desk and his voice. He was one of us.

As the years slid by, we lost Spencer and Joey to mortality… and now another one of us is gone. I remember that little sneer he would have when he laughed… that curling of the upper lip, accompanied by something utterly inappropriate.

My heart goes out to his surviving family… Bill was younger than I and that makes it much, much too soon. Here’s to those and those like us… damn few left.

Fair wind and following seas brother…

Jorma

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Quick Note From The Winter Garden

January 10th, 2015 Jorma 14 comments

OK… there’s been some chatter about automobiles that have been a part of my life… I’ve loved them all… more or less. Here’s the only shot I could find of me in the ‘55 Chevy Bel Air:

Note Hurst shifter and dashboard tach...

Note Hurst shifter and dashboard tach...

Yeah, I know… California Marijuana Initiative… Live and learn. It was a very long time ago.

The driveway at Hillside Farm

The driveway at Hillside Farm

One degree this morning… snow… more than crunchy. Beautiful Winter morning!

The Abarth went to live with a new owner in Indiana, and I have returned to my favorite vehicle… a Jeep Wrangler!

Now... this is a car!

Now... this is a car!

Just can’t beat a Jeep for country living… and the pickup truck ain’t bad either!

Nessa takes the dog of destiny for a walk

Nessa takes the dog of destiny for a walk

On mornings like this, Maverick is quick to do his business… although the crunchy snow makes him mighty frisky. Hmmmm…. I smell breakfast cooking. Enough fooling around online…

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Grass Valley… And Home

January 6th, 2015 Jorma 27 comments
Jack, his Diana bass... and Jorma at the Fillmore

Jack, his Diana bass... and Jorma at the Fillmore

Foto: I don’t know who… when I get info I’ll post it.

The day after the Fillmore, Jack and Myron and Phil and I jumped into cars and headed up to Grass Valley, California for a sold out gig at the Performing Arts Center there. Grass Valley has a lot of good memories for me. I had some dear friends who lived there back in the day… and I bought a nice 1940 Buick four door sedan there. My Dad,had his 1970 Mercedes Roadster restored in Auburn, my Mom lived in North Shore Tahoe and we used to go swimming in the American River. Good times indeed.

This wasn't there back in the 60's

This wasn't there back in the 60's

When I got out of the van, the air was redolent with the smell of redwoods in the brisk night air… it brought me back… a long time.

Here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 2, 2015
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
Center For The Performing Arts
Grass Valley, California
Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
3. Children Of Zion
4. Things That Might Have Been
5. Hesitation Blues
6. Barbeque King
7. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
8. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
9. The Terrible Operation
10. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. Search My Heart
3. Whining Boy Blues
4. Good Shepherd
5. Full Go Round
6. Bar Room Crystal Ball
7. Water Song
8. Come Back Baby
9. That’ll Never Happen No More
10. I Am The Light Of This World
11. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
12. Encore: Living In The Moment

Two words we love to see...

Two words we love to see...

We drove to a hotel near the Sacramento airport and yesterday morning we grabbed a plane to Dallas. IN Dallas, we found out that our flight to Columbus had been cancelled… who knows why? We got out on a later flight and flew into the storm that was hitting the Ohio River Valley. My 4×4 Nissan Titan was waiting for us in the garage in Columbus. We filled up with gas ($1.64 a gallon) and drove south in the storm. Three and a half hours later, I was home and in bed. (the trip usually takes an hour forty five)

We had a fabulous little New Year’s run to the Golden State. 71 gigs for Hot Tuna in 2014. We’ll see what happens in 2015. That’s about it for now… gotta walk Maverick and hit the sack.

A Perfect Night At The Old Fillmore

January 4th, 2015 Jorma 7 comments
The entrance to the Fillmore

The entrance to the Fillmore

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Well, much has changed over the years… but not the entrance to the Fillmore Auditorium. It looks the same today as it did in 1963… before… well, it all happened.

Paul Kantner stops by... and we take a selfie...

Paul Kantner stops by... and we take a selfie...

Our old band mate Paul Kantner stopped by for sound check, and we took this opportunity to take a selfie in the dressing room we all shared so long ago!

The view from the stage... sound check

The view from the stage... sound check

The view from the stage is a little fancier than it was back then… but, in many ways, still the same.

Our trip to the Fillmore hooked us up with Joe Purdy

Joe and Jorma

Joe and Jorma

This was the first time we shared the stage with Joe, but not the last, we hope.

Wavy Gravy brings Tuna onstage at the Fillmore

Wavy Gravy brings Tuna onstage at the Fillmore

One of our dearest friends, Wavy Gravy made the trek to welcome us to the Bay Area, and he introduced our set! Thanks Wavy… you’re the best!

And by the bye… here is our set:

Hot Tuna 1, 2015
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
The First Show Of 2015
The Fillmore Auditorium
San Francisco, California
Saturday, January 3, 2015

1. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
2. Children Of Zion
3. Second Chances
4. Hesitation Blues
5. Come Back Baby
6. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
7. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
8. Sea Child
9. Good Shepherd
10. Barbeque King
11. I’ll be All Right Some Day
12. Bar Room Crystal Ball
13. Water Song
14. In My Dreams
15. That’ll Never Happen No More
16. How Long Blues
17. I Am The Light Of This World
18. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
19. First Encore: I Know You Rider
20. Second Encore: Embryonic Journey

Jack and I did a two hour show… the time flew by! A magic night for us, that’s for sure.

Wavy stops by after the show...

Wavy stops by after the show...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Well… that’s about it for now. What a grand trip to S.F.! Now we’re off to the Center For The Arts in Grass Valley. I bought a 1940 Buick four door in Grass Valley back in the 60’s.

Wow… where does it all go?

Onward!

Happy New Year… We Welcome 2015

January 1st, 2015 Jorma 11 comments
Our name in lights...

Our name in lights...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

So… we made it to Portland all right, but you all knew that. The Aladdin has been a home away from home for us for some years now, and to be able to play a New Years show there was a welcome treat. Considering the fact that we haven’t done a New Years show in over a decade… it was a big deal for us. The ample crowd there made us feel more than welcome and Jack and dove into our show with great heart!

Hot Tuna 71, 2014
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady

New Year’s Eve
The Aladdin Theater
Portland, Oregon
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
3. Second Chances
4. I See The Light
5. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
6. Sea Child
7. Trial By Fire
8. In My Dreams
9. Come Back Baby
10. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
11. Candy Man
12. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Hesitation Blues
3. I’ll Be All Right Some Day
4. That’ll Never Happen No More
5. Good Shepherd
6. Full Go Round
7. Happy New Year… 2015… Phil Jacobs counted down and blew the sacred silly whistle!
8. Bar Room Crystal Ball
9. Water Song
10. Search My Heart
11. Barbeque King
12. S.F. Bay Blues
13. I Am The Light Of This World
14. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burningq
15. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Mmmmm.... good!

Mmmmm.... good!

Wow… 2015… what a concept! How did we get this far? How it come to this? I’m probably going to ruminate more on this over the next couple of days, but for now… Happy New Year everybody! May you all be blessed in the coming year!

Day after tomorrow we play the Fillmore Auditorium in good old San Francisco!

Arrival In Portland, Oregon

December 31st, 2014 Jorma 8 comments
Mt. Hood from the window of the plane...

Mt. Hood from the window of the plane...

Up yesterday morning at 0300… got to the airport… flight scheduled for 0730… delayed… equipment problems… flew equipment in from Pittsburgh, plane took off… missed connection in Phoenix… waited standby… got on flight… got to Portland and the hotel about seventeen hours later, just in time for dinner.

Living the dream… always.

Tonight: Hot Tuna rings in the New Year at the Aladdin Theater here in Portland. Be there, or… well, you know.

More will be revealed…

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Venues Tags: