A Wondrous Milestone… 2019 Season Closes At The Fur Peace Ranch

November 11th, 2019 Jorma 4 comments
Full moon over the Ranch!

Full moon over the Ranch!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Things are always hot at the Fur Peace Ranch but this fine November availed us all of a beautiful weekend. There is snow and an Arctic Blast coming in tonight, but the weekend was golden! Our good friend Tom Feldmann was on hand to help with our closing Level IV class. The room was filled with great players and on Sunday our guitar tech and sound man, Myron Hart came in and gave the class a multi dimensional taste of what it is like for a professional performer to adapt to different environments every night and still come up with a great sound. Thanks Myron!

Saturay night, good old fun loving Hot Tuna closed the Fur Peace Station Concert Series with two rocking electric sets. Our worth compatriot Justin Guip drove down from Upstate New York to play drums and a grand old time was had by all!

Hot Tuna 46, 2019
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip

Fur Peace Station
Final Concert 2019
Darwin, Ohio

First Set:
1. Been So Long
2. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
3. I See The Light
4. Ode To Billy Dean
5. Talkin’ Bout You
6. Sea Child
7. Roads and Roads &
8. Bowlegged Woman
9. Come Back Baby

Second Set:
1. Living Just For You
2. Letter To The North Star
3. Serpent Of Dreams
4. Can’t Get Satisfied
5. Hit Single #1
6. Rock Me Baby
7. Sleep Song
8. Trial By Fire
9. Good Shepherd
10. Funky # 7
11. Encore: Water Song

Big thanks to Justin and his son Angus for making the trip. See you both soon at the Town Hall in NYC on the 29th and 30th of this month.

Jack, Tom, the gang at the Ranch and I on Sunday

Jack, Tom, the gang at the Ranch and I on Sunday

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

I brought out my 1968 Gibson J-50 for the guys to see and play. This guitar was with me every step of the way from 1960 really into the early 80’s. Other guitars may have reared their peg heads, but the old Gibby was never far away!

Tom Feldmann did another stellar Coffee Break Concert in the Beatrice Love Kitchen for the breakfast show!

Another year begins to slip away. Their has been laughter and tears in the course of this year… but we are still alive to wrap ourselves in both.

I expect snow tonight…

Time moves on… as do we…

And last… but not least… I honor all our veterans, past and present. In my family, my dad and his two brothers… all WWII vets. Jorma Sr., USN, Pentti Kaukonen, US Army, Tarmo Leonard Kaukonen, US Army.

Thanks to you all!

Catch Up Again

November 7th, 2019 Jorma 16 comments
Twilight at the Ranch

Twilight at the Ranch

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The night sky is moving subtly from Fall into Winter even though Winter per se is over a month away. Today is rainy and chilly here in Southeast Ohio. At least it’s no freezing. In any case, last weekend our dear friend Dave Revels brought his Shadows Of The Sixties troupe to our very own Fur Peace Station.

With the ladies...

With the ladies...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

To make it easier for me… I’m just going to list personnel before proceeding.

Dave and Sonia Revels vocals
Elmore Martin, vocals
Wiley Lopez, vocals
Susan Spain, vocals
Samuel White, vocals
Lawrence Anthony Grant, bass vocals
Anthony Davis, Vocals
Rick Humphreys Horns
Joseph Badaczewski Horns
(apologies to Rick and Joseph for me not being more specific about their personal instruments. This is a parallel universe for me.)
John Michael Cullens, Drums and percussion
Kevin Hill, bass
Charles Turner, keyboards
Melvin Miller Jr., guitar and band director

I just can’t say enough about this amazing cast of artists… their dedication to their art and their mission to tell an important story!

Melvin MIller jr. and me...

Melvin MIller jr. and me...

We have had the distinct honor to count count Dave Revels as one of our dearest friends for some time now and we are so grateful that he brought this amazing revue to our little venue!

Second set show...

Second set show...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

As the owners and operators of a small business, Vanessa and I face all he realities of business owners in our position. When everything goes as planned, it’s gravy. When our business needs a little transfusion, it’s up to us to give it. On weekends like this, surrounded by the joy of the music and what it brings to us and those who choose to spend time with us here at the Ranch… it is more than worth whatever we have to do to make it happen. Our amazing staff, our students, our audiences and the artists who come to teach and/or play concerts… I love you all!

Kevin Hill, Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen, John Michael Cullens and Melvin Miller Jr.

Kevin Hill, Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen, John Michael Cullens and Melvin Miller Jr.

I could go on and on about this show… but I’ll just post some more pictures.

Rick, Joseph and Melvin

Rick, Joseph and Melvin

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

A night to remember for sure!

Back in the real world of the Fur Peace Ranch on Sunday before the Student Performance we shot our group foto.

Group wih Pumpkins

Group wih Pumpkins

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

And on Monday, my class foto:

Handsome group

Handsome group

Foto by Wendy

Another great weekend that just reaffirms why we do what we do… and now…

The other night Jack and I played a very cool show at Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza in Worthington. We love this venue!

Hot Tuna 45, 2019
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
The Original Duo
Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza
Worthington, Ohio
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

1. Whining Boy Blues
2. How Long Blues
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Second Chances
5. Letter To The North Star
6. I See The Light
7. Barbeque King
8. I Am The Light Of This World
9. River Of Time
10. Watch The North Wind Rise
11. Sea Child
12. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
13. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
14. Come. Back Baby
15. Second Chances
16. San Francisco Bay Blues
17. Sleep Song
18. Good Shepherd
19. Trouble In Mind
20. I Know You Rider
21. Encore: Water Song

Good times!

As Always… Adrift On The River Of Time

October 30th, 2019 Jorma 39 comments

So much has been going on… both joyful and sorrowful. Births, deaths, weddings… funerals. Quite the emotional landscape.

A walk down by the Shade River

A walk down by the Shade River

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

I was going to go on about this and that, but on second thought I had a great day. I drove our daughter to school… and we talked. I dropped her off and she told me shoe loved me. I came home and spent some time in the woods. It was lovely… now it’s raining and it is truly all good.

My highway to the stars

My highway to the stars

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Life is going on… and I am still here to enjoy it!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

It Is With Great Sorrow…

October 26th, 2019 Jorma 15 comments

…that I note our friend Paul Barrere passed today. I was playing a wedding tonight in Virginia and when I got back to the hotel, Vanessa called me with the news. There is never any good time for bad news. A couple of days ago I was in California for Robert Hunter’s funeral, and now this. It was nice to be at the wedding this evening surrounded by a feeling of beginnings… it is sad to witness an end. We were so blessed to have Funky Feat at the Fur Peace Ranch in June and it was an honor to sit in with the guys.

Here we all are at the Ranch in June in a happier time.

Fred Tackett, Jorma, Vanessa, John Hurlbut, Kenny Gradney and Paul Barrere

Fred Tackett, Jorma, Vanessa, John Hurlbut, Kenny Gradney and Paul Barrere

We’ll miss you Paul…

Fair winds and following seas brother…

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

The Weeks That Were…

October 9th, 2019 Jorma 19 comments

So… last weekend, me and the guys headed out to San Francisco for a Saturday show on the Rooster Stage at Hardly, Strictly, Bluegrass. It had been a minute or two since we were there, so it was great to be back. I got in Friday morning, met Jack at the hotel and went to pick up Madame Cecilia Chiang for a lunch celebrating her 100th birthday. I first

Cecilia, Jack and jorma

Cecilia, Jack and jorma

met Madame Chiang in 1964 or ‘65. My ex wife, Margareta, and I wandered into her place on Polk Street… the Mandarin. Today, everything is just a fashion statement. How you wear your hair and how you choose your wardrobe in today’s climate really seems like a statement of, well, nothing. Now I know I’m an old guy and I don’t spend a lot of time looking back, but back in the mid 60’s for a man to let his hair grow long could be life threatening at worst… and at best, you could get refused service at restaurants. Madame Chiang welcomed us into her establishment and treated us with respect. I will never forget that and I will always honor her for warmth and acceptance. I any case, Jack and I had the opportunity to break bread with her at the Zuni on Market Street.
What an honor and a treat.

Saturday we had to load in at 1300 so it promised to be a long day for all. The weather was beautiful in Golden Gate Park, so all was good. There was quite a cast of characters to hang with.

My buddy... Buddy

My buddy... Buddy

Foto by Anthony Pidgeon

Jorma, Jack, Maria Muldaur and Buddy Miller

Jorma, Jack, Maria Muldaur and Buddy Miller

Foto by Anthony Pidgeon

Great to see my pal Trey Hensley

Great to see my pal Trey Hensley

... and then Rob Ickes showed up.

... and then Rob Ickes showed up.

Foto by Anthony Pidgeon

Back in 1994 or ‘95, I was on a songwriter’s panel at the Bottom Line in New York. The great Bobby Braddock was on that gig, so it was more then nice to reconnect with him a quarter of a century later.

Bobby and me

Bobby and me

Jack Casady, Steve Earle and me... note Robert Plant in between Jack and Steve's head

Jack Casady, Steve Earle and me... note Robert Plant in between Jack and Steve's head

Foto by Anthony Pidgeon

The hits just kept on coming…

I take a picure of Anthony Pidgeon... returning the favor

I take a picure of Anthony Pidgeon... returning the favor

Almost time for Tuna's set...

Almost time for Tuna's set...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Hot Tuna 44, 2019
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass
The Rooster Stage
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
Saturday, October 5, 2019

1. Been So Long
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Ode To Billy Dean
4. Baby What You Want Me To Do?
5. Roads and Roads &
6. Sea Child
7. Trial By Fire
8. Bowlegged Woman
9. Hit Single # 1
10. Come Back Baby

The boys... getting it!

The boys... getting it!

Nothing like a Les Paul

Nothing like a Les Paul

Then on Sunday, I had a real treat. Unbeknownst to me an old friend of mine, Catharine, bought 2400 Fulton St. thirty years ago. She and her husband Paul, restored and modernized it without losing any of the cool stuff. They graciously invited Myron and myself in and allowed me to take some pictures.

The Tiffany stained glass window on the landing

The Tiffany stained glass window on the landing

Photo by Jorma Kaukonen

Collage by Marty Balin

Collage by Marty Balin

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

There was one of Marty’s collages… pretty much as it was four decades ago.

Freya... goddess of love

Freya... goddess of love

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

This was the ceiling of the room where Margareta and I lived for a while when our apartment in Pacific Heights burned. There was Freya…; just like I remembered her. Many thanks to Cathy and Paul for opening that door into another time.

Then for me… red eye flight in time to pick up our daughter after high school let.

All that other stuff is good… but there’s no place like home!

I think it's time for a ride!

I think it's time for a ride!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Damn Few Left…

October 6th, 2019 Jorma 27 comments

So Jack and Justin and I played Hardly Strictly Bluegrass yesterday and it was a glorious hang. This post is not about that. I’ll get to that later. This is to note and reflect on the passing of Ginger Baker. What Ginger, Jack and Eric did with Cream changed my life in a profound way. The musicianship was off the charts, of course, but it was more than that. In my opinion, no one transliterated the work of the acoustic blues masters into an electric format better than Cream, and I’m not even talking about their originals. They invented that stuff, so thanks guys… muchly appreciated.

My ex, Margareta and Ginger and I found ourselves staying at the Landmark hotel… yep, the same one where Janis checked out. 2001, A Space Odyssey was just opening on Hollywood Blvd. Margareta and I had just purchased Manley P. Hall’s massive book on the Rosicrucians at an antique book store up the street. We dropped that tome off a our room, snagged Ginger Baker and headed for the movies. No one had ever seen anything like 2001 before and we made sure we were properly chemically prepared for that visual adventure. Everything was a psychedelic melange of sensations but I have a vague and colorful memory that Randy California of Spirit was also in the audience and that he got out of his seat and walked into the screen. As Pete Seeger would say, ‘Wasn’t that a time?’

I’m not saying that Ginger and I were buds… I’m not sure he had buds in the traditional sense, but we did hang together for a couple of minutes back there in Hollywood in the late 60’s. I would see him again in 1989 at the Mondrian hotel as the Airplane was preparing for the 1989 Reunion Tour, but that too is a tale for another time.

He was one of a kind and undeniably a force of nature. I would probably never have run into him again, but the planet earth is a poorer place without him.

Rest in peace brother!

Here’s to us, and those like us. Damn few left!

Categories: Set Lists Tags:

Requiem And A Weekend At The Ranch

September 24th, 2019 Jorma 32 comments

(There’s always late breaking news. Sometimes good, sometimes bad… and sometimes it just is. I got a call early this morning from a friend who told me that Robert Hunter had just passed. ‘Don’t say anything,’ he said. The family hasn’t announced yet. That’s what they wanted and that’s what I did. My orbit tangented Robert’s from time to time. I played on his Amagamalin Street. double LP back in the 80’s. We never really hung out, but over the years we occasionally worked together and… in a distant way he was a respected friend. I shall miss sharing the same astral plane with him.)

Robert, Jorma and Bob

Robert, Jorma and Bob

This picture was taken fifteen years ago easily… there we are, frozen in time for the times to come.

Fall is beginning to wrap its leafy fingers around us all here in Southeast Ohio. The end of another year is underway and even before it arrives I know that Spring will come again and the world will continue to spin. If indeed there is another destination for us when we shuffle off this mortal coil, I hope that Robert is there surrounded by people who will challenge his intellectual curiosity.

Fair winds and following seas my friend.

Back to the Ranch Diary

Yeah, it was a great road trip and he gigs were some of the best ever… great venues, great people to play with… good times! Sometimes I hear, ‘Yeah, you’re going home. Gonna kick back for a while?’ Are you kidding? Kicking back is not part of my existence, and for me that is a good thing! The detritus of the atmosphere in the bus finally caught up with me and as the week evolved I started to show signs of something. Tour Kennel Cough we call it. That said, I had two motorcycle rides to lead. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it!

The Sportsters fuel up in Nelsonville.

The Sportsters fuel up in Nelsonville.

Foto by jorma Kaukonen

The big bikes all had five plus gallon fuel tanks so the gas stops were for the two Sportsters with peanut tanks. There were some detours due to Fall construction and the ride wound up being 130 plus miles… then back to the Fur Peace Ranch, a class, dinner and the concert with Rob and Trey with me opening the show.

Nessa blos the conch shell for dinner

Nessa blows the conch shell for dinner

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

As time approached for set opener I had no voice at all. I grabbed John Hurlbut and asked him if he wanted to do the gig with me, and do all the singing. He said ‘Sure,’ and started to make up a set. What are friends for?

The Kaukonen/Hurlbut Allstar Review:

Embryonic Journey…..Jorma
Ballad of Easy Rider…..JK and JH
Kansas City Southern…. JK and JH
Oklahoma Hills…….JK and JH
The Old Homestead….JK and JH
Summertime…….JK and JH
Driftin and Driftin……JK and JH
All Along The Watchtower…..JK and JH

Thanks Brother Hurl, and… we gave the folks a great set!

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley were awesome as they always are! Love these guys.

Before you knew it, Sunday came with Student Open Mike ans pictures et al.

Cameras anyone?

Cameras anyone?

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

The collective classes

The collective classes

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Well… fall is coming but it’s warm today…

Rob, Jorma & Trey

Rob, Jorma & Trey

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

A great weekend with good friends!

Two wheeled friends blissfully together

Two wheeled friends blissfully together

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

The Final Three

September 16th, 2019 Jorma 20 comments
First time at the Moore...

First time at the Moore...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

We were getting short by this time, but the Moore was a great place to begin the endgame.

Hot Tuna 41, 2019
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
With David Bromberg
@ The Moore Theater
Seattle, Washington
Friday, September 13, 2019

1. Been So Long
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
3. Barbeque King
4. Talkin’ Bout You
5. Rock me Baby
6. Roads and Roads &
7. Hesitation Blues
8. Bowlegged Woman
9. Baby What You Want Me To Do?
10. Trial By Fire
11. Sleep Song
12. Good Shepherd
13. Walkin’ Blues
14. Funky #7
15. Encore: Water Song

All the boys

All the boys

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then down to Revolution in Portland

New use for the old school

New use for the old school

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 42, 2019
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
With David Bromberg
Revolution
Portland, Oregon
Saturday, September 14, 2019

1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Can’t Get Satisfied
4. Ode To Billy Dean
5. Living Just For You
6. Watch The North Wind Rise
7. Bowlegged Woman
8. Letter To The North Star
9. Roads and Roads &
10. Baby What You Want Me To Do?
11. Come Back Baby
12. Sea Child
13. Good Shepherd
14. Funky # 7
15. Encore: Water Song

And it's not even October...

And it's not even October...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then to Eugene…

Old Macdonald had a theater...

Old Macdonald had a theater...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 43, 2019
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
With David Bromberg
McDonald Theater
Eugene, Oregon
Sunday, September 15, 2019

1. Been So Long
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
3. Barbeque King
4. Talkin’ Bout You
5. Rock Me Baby
6. Letter To The North Star
7. Roads and Roads &
8. Bowlegged Woman
9. Sleep Song
10. Trial By Fire
11. Good Shepherd
12. Funky # 7
13. Encore: Water Song

Tuna rocks!

Tuna rocks!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

And then he tour was done.

The whole fandamily

The whole fandamily

Now it’s morning… and time to go to the airport.

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

Working Our Way Through Montana

September 12th, 2019 Jorma 13 comments
I-25 to Billings... mornng

I-25 to Billings... mornng

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We stopped in Billings for some needed rest in a bed that wasn’t moving… and then headed on to Bozeman.

Mornng in Billings...

Mornng in Billings...

Foto by jorma Kaukonen

Up in the AM and a moderately short drive to Bozeman.

Really nifty little club...

Really nifty little club...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 39, 2019
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
The Rialto Theater
Bozeman, Montana

First Set:
1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Barbeque King
3. Can’t Get Satisfied
4. Ode To Billy Dean
5. Letter To The North Star
6. Living Just For You
7. Bowlegged Woman
8. Trial By Fire
9. Sleep Song
10. Hit Single #1

Second Set:
1. Been So Long
2. Roads and Roads &
3. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
4. Walkin’ Blues
5. Watch The North Wind Rise
6. Sea Child
7. Good Shepherd
8. Talkin’ Bout You
9. Funky #7
10. Encore: Water Song

The boys in Bozeman...

The boys in Bozeman...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then a mad dash to Missoula…

The Wilma rocks!

The Wilma rocks!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Whereas the Rialto was modern in every respect, the Wilma is old school.

Could be in New York...

Could be in New York...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Lovely place… and we are back with David Bromberg and hs buddies!

Hot Tuna 40, 2019
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
With David Bromberg @ The
Wilma
Missoula, Montana
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

1. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?
2. I See The Light
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Barbeque King
5. Can’t Get Satisfied
6. Ode To Billy Dean
7. Letter To The North Star
8. Roads and Roads &
9. Bowlegged Woman
10. Trial By Fire
11. Sea Child
12. Good Shepherd
13. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
14. Funky #7
15. Encore: Water Song

We had the honor to sit in with David and his pals!!!!

We had the honor to sit in with David and his pals!!!!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Meanwhile… back home it was almost a full moon.

Late summer night at the Ranch!

Late summer night at the Ranch!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Just lovely…

Now after an all night drive… we’re in Seattle. We have now driven from sea to shining sea!

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

9/11… 18 Years On

September 11th, 2019 Jorma 6 comments

My Uncle Pentti remembered landing at Leyte Gulf to the day he died. The WWII battles in North Africa and Sicily were a part of Uncle Tarmo’s short life. For my father, Jorma Sr. passing through the Philippines and landing in Japan after VJ Day was his story. For me, these are all episodes of Victory At Sea… a show I watched every week on TV as a kid. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s theme music is still burned in my aging brain.

My son was four when that plane hit the Pentagon in Arlington not far from where he and his mom lived. I remember calling to see if they were all right when the lines went dark. Our daughter was not even born yet. She has no memories of 9/11.

I got a call that morning from my friend Michael. I was going into a doctor’s appointment in Columbus. ‘I’ll call you back,’ I said and hung up. ‘Wait a minute. What did he say?’ I called back immediately but the cell service went dark. Nessa and I saw the first tower fall on a wall of TV’s in a Sam’s Club in Canal Winchester and the rest is more than history. Like so many we lost dear friends in the Twin Towers. Nessa went into the pit with Bob… a friend of ours who was a first responder at the time. We had driven to Manhattan that day for a funeral service.

Those days will forever be etched into my memory.

Today in my small way I honor those who fell on that beautiful Fall morning… and those who continue fall as a result of what happened that same Fall morning… September 11, 2001.

I do not forget today… and I will continue to remember.

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags: