A Day Late And A Dollar Short

October 15th, 2014 Jorma 12 comments

OK… the weekend that was is long gone and the weekend to come is almost here…Yeah, I’m a day late and a dollar short… but better late than never! Sitting here at the dealer (0819) getting my truck serviced… yeah, time to update the site a little.

Rusty Smith and Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton cut a rug

Rusty Smith and Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton cut a rug

So, last weekend at the Fur Peace Ranch we hosted Larry Campbell, the Rev. Robert Jones and myself. Larry and I had just finished recording my new CD and he stayed on to teach a class and to be joined by the lovely Teresa Williams to play a fabulous set Saturday night before Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton went on. Now, as if the musical excellence that Larry Campbell and Rev. Jones brought to the Ranch were not enough… Jerron Paxton just knocked our socks off.

During the sound check, our worthy producer of ‘Live At The Fur Peace Ranch,’ Rusty Smith (from WOUB) took a break from setting up mikes to grab a fiddle and start sawing on the strings. Loved it!

Larry and Teresa, live and in person backstage at the Fur Peace Station

Larry and Teresa, live and in person backstage at the Fur Peace Station

Jerron Paxton’s show was something I can hardly wait to see again… There is nothing like being witness to living artistic tradition. Sunday night, Larry and Teresa and I played for about a half an hour for the campers and then Rev. Jones came out and played another unbelievable set. What an unbelievable weekend of music and fellowship.

Fall colors wrap HIllside Farm in glory!

Fall colors wrap HIllside Farm in glory!

Monday on the way back to Hillside Farm, the Fall foliage just reminded me how great it is to be alive on a day like this.

Well, that’s about it for now. As always, I’m sure more will be revealed.

The tree by my pole barn

The tree by my pole barn

Categories: Diary, Friends, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

Tracks Done, On To The Rev. Gay Davis Weekend At The FPR

October 9th, 2014 Jorma 23 comments

We pulled into the stretch last night and finished the tracks on my new project… Tomorrow camp at the Ranch begins so I thought I’d just post some closing shots.

Jorma's guitars, ready for work...

Jorma's guitars, ready for work...

On my left is my old Gibson J-50. I learned to fingerpick on this guitar… Embryonic Journey, the first Hot Tuna album, Quah… and more… this instrument. Still sounds and plays great. On the right, is the Jorma Kaukonen Martin M-30 #1. The story of my life continues…

Larry's steel guitar station

Larry's steel guitar station

Larry does an overdub...

Larry does an overdub...

Here Larry is playing my Rickenbacker Tuxedo 6 string steel… through the Premier Amp David Bromberg thoughtfully gave me. Thanks David!

Beloved gear...

Beloved gear...

Here you see my Fender reverb tank, the old Ampeg B-15 and the Premier Amp.

Myron's guitar boat

Myron's guitar boat

You can see my new Fender Jazzmaster sort of in the foreground… yeah…

Jorma's amp heaven

Jorma's amp heaven

Two Fender Supers… a ‘61 and a ‘62. My ‘67 Deluxe and a ‘63 Ampeg Reverb-o-Rocket. Also a Baby Blue and a Fishman.

All done… Justin headed back to Red Hook and Larry and Teresa are here for the Rev. Gary Davis weekend at the Fur Peace Ranch.

Gotta get some sleep… more will be revealed!

Categories: Diary, Friends, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

A Pictorial Entry From The Fur Peace Sessions

October 7th, 2014 Jorma 13 comments
The Captain relaxes before the day begins

The Captain relaxes before the day begins

We’ve been working hard here and the results are happening. I must immodestly say, this is another good project!

A fresh wind before today's storms

A fresh wind before today's storms

Today started out beautifully, but we knew that thunderstorms were not far away.

Selfie

Selfie

Teresa works out some parts...

Teresa works out some parts...

Barry listens to his great take

Barry listens to his great take

After lunch, our new chef, Darren, took a break from the kitchen to snap a group shot for us.

Larry, Teresa, Jorma, Justin, Barry and Myron

Larry, Teresa, Jorma, Justin, Barry and Myron

What a good lookin’ bunch!

Pick it Barry!

Pick it Barry!

The Fur Peace Company Store

The Fur Peace Company Store

The sun kept coming and going and then an intense storm hit with accompanied by tornado warnings.

Double rainbow... good luck!

Double rainbow... good luck!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

The old Carlton Church

The old Carlton Church

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Farm by the Carlton Church

Farm by the Carlton Church

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Yeah, Vanessa sent me these shots she got on her way back to Hillside Farm.

Psylodelic Rainbow

Psylodelic Rainbow

Foto by Myron Hart

The sky kept changing by the minute… and every view was beautiful!

King Of Strings and the dusk sky

King Of Strings and the dusk sky

The tornado warning was still active… and the clouds were unbelievable!

You don't see this every day

You don't see this every day

Psylodelic Museum and the Amish gazebo

Psylodelic Museum and the Amish gazebo

Well, that’s it for now. We’re still cutting and the sun is down.

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Turn, Turn, Turn… And Some Geekery

October 3rd, 2014 Jorma 10 comments
The Izze Tree

The Izze Tree

Right before Izze came to us… I planted this Norway Spruce. It was about ten inches tall. It was a bit of time before it really took root… it is now taller than I am. I wish this for my children, that they will grow as straight and strong and tall as this tree… and I’m sure they will.

Myron and the bass!

Myron and the bass!

Myron is doing some bass parts right now and I have the miking information for my guitar from Justin Guip himself:

Gear From Justin Guip

Guitar
Microphone Mic Pre compressor eq

Royer 122 Api-512c Api-525 Api 550-b
Neumann U87 Api-512c Api-525 Api 550-b
Telefunken U47 Neve 33115 LA-3A Neve 33115
Fishman Aura DI Api 3124

Guitar Room Mike

(Stereo)
Rode-NT5 Drawmer 1969 ditto *

Vocal Mikes

Telefunken
ELAM 250 Neve 3115 LA 3A Neve
Sure SM7 Focusrite * *
ISA220

Enjoy, you gear geeks out there… remember, we’re there for you!

Yeah, I know it's a leech field... but it's still pretty

Yeah, I know it's a leech field... but it's still pretty

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

Fourth Day Of Recording At The Ranch

October 2nd, 2014 Jorma 18 comments
Angels At The Ranch

Angels At The Ranch

We’re busting hump here… 9 basics done…

A lovely fall accompanies the music!

A lovely fall accompanies the music!

Good music is being made…

You start a project and no matter what you envision, one you need to keep your heart open to messages from your higher power… and they are there if you listen.

I love this time of year...

I love this time of year...

Recording here in my back yard is something new for me… I could get used to it. Yes, it’s a long day of work, but at least I get to sleep in my on bed.

The Station Break Cafe

The Station Break Cafe

As one of my friends said yesterday as we were working late… ‘This is really work for you!’ Indeed, it is. It has little to do with live music in terms of execution… but it sure beats digging ditches.

Making music is a death defying act!

Making music is a death defying act!

No tip off yet on the tunes… many of them songs no one has ever heard me play live before.

Jorma at the office...

Jorma at the office...

Now, if you’re really a guitar geek… maybe you can tell what song I’m playing by the capo position and the chord shape… hmmmm…

Teresa gets ready to sing and make me sound good!

Teresa gets ready to sing and make me sound good!

That’s about it for now… I’m busy… I’m tired… but it’s going great!

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

Recording Begins At The Fur Peace Ranch

September 29th, 2014 Jorma 13 comments
Early evening Fall sky at the FPR

Early evening Fall sky at the FPR

So Larry Campbell came in yesterday to produce and play on my new recording project for Red House Records. We’re doing this at the Fur Peace Station so we have converted the Station into a recording facility for the next ten days or so. Justin Guip came down from Woodstock, N.Y. to engineer the session and to play drums as needed. (Justin is also currently playing drums with Electric Hot Tuna.) With the able assistance of Myron Hart my guitar tech and pal… we got three songs done the first afternoon… well, basics, anyway.

Kirchen's poster still rules the stage

Kirchen's poster still rules the stage

Myron, Larry, Justin and me...

Myron, Larry, Justin and me...

Well, that’s about it for the first day… good sounds with more to come. I’ll sleep well tonight.

Goodnight Ranch

Goodnight Ranch

Reflections On A Sunday Afternoon

September 28th, 2014 Jorma 14 comments
Fall comes to Meigs County

Fall comes to Meigs County

The tides of life rise and fall obedient to the gravitational pull of celestial bodies known and understood only by them. The cycle of good times lasts only so long before the sine wave of life thrusts us below the surface in a bi-polar swing. It used to be that a decade seemed like a lifetime… now it’s more like a month.

I was thinking about my friend Marjorie who passed earlier this month. She and hers had become family to all of us here in Southeast Ohio over the last fifteen or so years. Where did those years go? I guess the river of time claimed them as it swept all those moments downstream. It seems so… well, unlikely, so inconceivable, that she and I will no longer confer before a class at the Fur Peace Ranch… that I will no longer benefit from her often incisive and opinionated world views.

Grieving is such a selfish thing. Marjorie’s pain is over… her Samsara has moved to another plane, and she with it. I have come to realize that there is no way that one can ever truly say, ‘I know exactly how you feel.’ I believe that to be one of the most presumptuous statements. No one can ever really know how another feels… all we can do is try to relate. I guess what I am saying is that my grief is for me… that I will miss my friend. Do my thoughts and prayers go out to her family? Of course they do. But the grief that we all feel from loss surrounds us alone. I have realized that I am sorry for me… for my loss.

At almost seventy four years of age, I have lost friends and family members. Fortunately I have the distinct good fortune to still be alive… to be sitting here writing about it. My Dad has been gone for eighteen years, Mom for seventeen. They were both born in 1910… they would be 104 years old if they were still alive… Let’s face it, we will all pass at the end of the race. At least that’s what I’ve been told. When our breath stops, we truly belong to the ages. Everything we might have been will never come to pass. The story will have been written with a final ending. Those ripples we send out as we plunge into the pool of life will expand in concentric circles… and grow less, and less… until the pond is once more like glass.

And that is the way of things. A strong memory keeps things of the heart close at hand. At the end of the day, those of us left behind soldier on and new stories will emerge to be told, retold and heard.

To have made waves in our time here would seem to have been a good thing. As I sit here on the eve of beginning a new recording project I am thinking about making a few more waves. Still and all, the fragility of it all is inescapable. Thinking back on one of the great Robert Duvall movies, Broken Trail, one of his lines sticks with me. ‘Birth to death, from the sweet grass to the packing house… we journey between the two eternities.’ At this point in my life with the journey closer to the end than the beginning, each moment seems more and more precious every day.

It is a beautiful Fall day here in Southeast Ohio. I would like to go for a motorcycle ride and convince my daughter to go with me. This may or may not happen depending on her mood and desires… but one way or the other, we’re going to spend the rest of the afternoon together. If she doesn’t want to ride, we may do some archery or the like, or maybe I’ll just keep her company while she reads.

If that’s as good as it’s going to get, it’s perfect.

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Of Time, The River, And Pick ‘n’ Putt

September 22nd, 2014 Jorma 11 comments
Sheila, Ben and Me

Sheila, Ben and Me

So last Thurday, Sheila, Ben, Greg and myself went on a 250 mile ride… up past Marietta and down a magnificent little road oft touted as the ‘Baby Dragon.’ It was a majestic ride… twisty, contemplative, no traffic and perfect weather.

Perfect!

Country driving... can't beat it!

Country driving... can't beat it!

Before we descended into Hannibal, Ohio… we stopped do drink in the scenery and rest our butts.

No more needs be said...

No more needs be said...

Nice... very nice

Nice... very nice

The view off the mountain down into Hannibal, was truly… picture perfect!

What a day!

What a day!

Then Friday morning came… and so began another grand session at the Fur Peace Ranch. This weekend we hosted Maurice Cridlin, Bill Kirchen, David Wolff of Breakdown Way fame, and myself.

Saturday morning, we gathered at 0800 for our 13th Pick ‘n’ Putt run. We have decided that this will also be our first Marjorie Thompson Memorial Run. Marjorie didn’t ride, but she certainly was a free spirit. I think she would have liked this little tribute.

Before the run, Izze sits on Nessa's bike.

Before the run, Izze sits on Nessa's bike.

Again, weather was perfect for the Saturday Ride.

Gas stop on Rt. 124

Gas stop on Rt. 124

Jerry Bayha, as always, had scrupulously mapped this ride for everyone with mile by mile data. Unfortunately, some health issues prevented Jer’ from making the run with us. Everyone appreciated your efforts on our behalf, and your presence was missed. Get back up on the scoot soon brother.

I lead the pack near Canaan...

I lead the pack near Canaan...

Foto by Dennis Powell

Yeah, it just kept getting better and better…

Sound check for Mac, Jack, and Bill

Sound check for Mac, Jack, and Bill

And then we were back at the Ranch getting ready for Bill’s concert… which, by the bye, was more than stellar.

Before you know it, it was Monday morning… time for a class picture and time to pack up.

These men picked up a storm this weekend...

These men picked up a storm this weekend...

There’s always separation anxiety at the end of each camp… this one was no different. I’ll miss these folks… but it’s time to move on.

Olph… that’s Ole Phil Jacobs, just sent me this pick from Manhattan. Yep… Madison Square Garden… with an ad for Jack’s 70th at the Beacon.

We're big time now!

We're big time now!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

No time for lolligagging…I’ll be starting to record a new Jorma project later this week. Gotta finish writing… gotta practice… gotta ready to Larry Campbell and the gang to show up… and of course, much more will be revealed about this as time goes on.

Now? Well, it’s dinner time folks and I’ve gotta set the table.

Categories: Diary, Friends, Fur Peace Ranch, Hot Tuna, Venues Tags:

Another Angel In Heaven…

September 16th, 2014 Jorma 29 comments
Here Marjorie and I pick together at the FPR

Here Marjorie and I pick together at the FPR

Whether or not you believe in angels and heaven… allow me this mixed spiritual metaphor… there is another angel in Heaven today. Our dear friend Marjorie Thompson, passed away yesterday. She was such an amazing person… if your go to the Brown Daily Herald today, her list of accomplishments is legend. She was my colleague and my rabbi in so many ways. A professional educator all of her adult life, I learned so many things from her about teaching. As many have said, she was a force of nature.

Bob D., Marjorie and Paul K.

Bob D., Marjorie and Paul K.

She was a rock to her friends… a fierce champion and a sheltering sky… a foundation for her family and those close to her. She and I were speaking together three weeks ago…it was not a goodbye conversation, we talked about some of our next classes at the Fur Peace Ranch. ‘I’ll call you back,’ she said. Those were her last words to me. It seems unthinkable that we shall never speak again this side of the river.

I am rarely at a loss for words… but they are not coming to me tonight. Vanessa said it so beautifully in her note… I offer it here with her permission:

‘It is with a heavy heart that I let you all know that our dear friend, Marjorie Thompson passed away yesterday. As you all can imagine, this is not only an extremely difficult time for her family, equally so for all of us at the Fur Peace Ranch.

Marjorie was a part of the fabric that weaved together all of us and all of you in music and friendship. She was an amazing person who tirelessly gave of herself and her time to teach side by side with Jorma (The Captain).

She also taught her own classes and those of you that were lucky enough to sit in one of them understands the value that her role played as one of our instructors. If you knew her, you know she was an awesome force of nature…not only as your guitar teacher but as a woman and the Associate Dean of the Biology Dept. at Brown University, as a mother to her 7 amazing children and wife to her husband Ian. To say she will be missed does not touch the surface of how much we will feel her loss. I have so much more to say about her…but mostly she was my friend and a champion of ours and the vision we all had about giving back through the glory of music.

I can tell you that we will honor her memory with a memorial at the Fur Peace Ranch. Details will be shared in the coming months so that all of you who loved her as much as we did can be a part of a celebration of her life.

Thank you all,

Vanessa’

A gentle but indomitable spirit has left this earth, and we are the poorer for it. There may another star in the firmament tonight… but I would that it be here instead.

Fair winds and following seas little sister… we miss you and will always hold you dear in our hearts.

Sing it girl... sing it loud...

Sing it girl... sing it loud...

Categories: Set Lists Tags:

From The Rink To The Pawpaw Festival

September 13th, 2014 Jorma 13 comments
Smors and the moon... perfect

Smors and the moon... perfect

We had a great family cookout and then a campfire with smors… not too hot… not too cold. Perfect way to appreciate the coming of Fall.

Country girl with her Samsung Galaxie, waiting to go skating

County girl with her Samsung Galaxie, waiting to go skating

Izze conned me into going skating with her again… well, I didn’t need too much conning. I just need to heed my body’s warnings about what I can and can’t do on blades anymore. That said… it is still really all good.

The old man... and the frozen sea (apologies to Hemingway)

The old man... and the frozen sea (apologies to Hemingway)

Friday came, and it was Shabbat Shalom at the Hillel in Athens.

Loved this passage

Loved this passage

It was my first time back at services this Fall, and to be back with the community was a blessing indeed. After services, Nessa and Izze and I stopped off at the Court Street Diner for dinner. Love this place… and the senior citizen discount. It used to be 20%. They cut it down to 10% but if you get there before 0900, you qualify for the Early Bird Special which adds another 10%. Just sayin’.

Last night we watched The Hornets Nest about one of our elite units in Afghanistan. This is a must see, in my opinion.Today we all went to the 2014 Pawpaw Festival at Lake Snowden. This is my second year at the Pawpaw Festival and a good time was had by all.

Yeah, they had snakes.

Yeah, they had snakes.

The first thing we saw, were snakes. Now I’m not really a snake person, but this was pretty cool… from a safe distance.

The totem pole

The totem pole

There was a sacred fire circle… totemic sculptures… all good stuff.

The girls go shopping

The girls go shopping

who would have thought tye die would be an enduring industry?

who would have thought tye die would be an enduring industry?

A we were getting ready to leave, I saw bunch of stilts at the Haulin’ Hoof Farm booth. Just seeing stilts brought me back to when I was a kid… not even a teenager. My Mother was born on a tobacco farm in East Windsor, Connecticut. It was still in operation when I was young. We drove up there one summer and I got to spend a couple of days ‘working’ on the farm. After the harvested the tobacco, they speared the stalks with a lathe and when the lathes were full, they hung them in the barn to cure. The spearing was too dangerous for an inept city kid like me, but the hangers walked on stilts to hang the full lathes at various levels in the barn. My Grandfather Ben, taught me how to walk on the stilts. ‘Pull up with your hands, push down with your feet.’ And so it was.

I bought a pair… messed around a little and…

And so… over 60 years later, here I am.

It's like riding a bike...

It's like riding a bike...

Check out the Haulin’ Hoof Farm website. www.haulinhooffarm.com.

Onward…

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags: