Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

An Evolving Home

November 8th, 2015 Jorma 4 comments
Sunset on the Ranch Road

Sunset on the Ranch Road

Well, we are in our new home, and memories… both good and bad… will always live in our hearts. The sight of this fall sunset on my own road… well, it’s not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all!

Looking down off my deck is one of my neighbor’s fields and the Shade River.

The mighty Shade!

The mighty Shade!

I’m writing this from California… and as beautiful as California is (and it is beautiful!) I’m looking forward to being home tomorrow!

Back at Hillside Farm, if there is ever a second coming, a lot of dogs and cats are going to rise up out of our old back yard. They will sleep where they lie as long as they are allowed to… but I took my stone to the FPR with us.

It's got Marlo's name on it, but we loved them all!

It's got Marlo's name on it, but we loved them all!

Those who have moved on… four footed and two, will live in our hearts… for a long time!

Last week was an election and as an American, I wouldn’t miss an election.

Home town proud indeed!

Home town proud indeed!

This will be the last time we vote in Scipio Township… from now on it’s Bedford… I love small town American. Indeed, it has been my home for a quarter of a century.

Well, it’s time to head down to Santa Cruz for two shows at the Kuumbwa Jazz.

I’ve been thinking a lot of late… so after I catch up on the diary of the last three gigs, I’m going to devote myself to some thoughtful writing… in the meantime… onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Sunday Night At Jazz Alley And Home…

October 14th, 2015 Jorma 16 comments

Got to hang a little bit with our old friend Michael Shrieve. Great to see Mike again… really great!

Jack Casady, Michael Shrieve and Jorma

Jack Casady, Michael Shrieve and Jorma

Selfie by Jack Casady

Lovely little run out there on the Left Coast. Played some good music with some good people, hung with old friends and made some new ones. Time well spent.

Sunday night was our last show at Jazz Alley and here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 39, 2015
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
Seattle, Washington
Sunday, October 11, 2015

1. Dime For Beer
2. Heart Temporary
3. Hesitation Blues
4. I See The Light
5. Children Of Zion
6. River Of Time
7. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
8. Come Back Baby
9. Where There’s Two There’s Trouble
10. The Terrible Operation
11. Ain’t In No Hurry
12. 99 Year Blues
13. I Am The Light Of This World
14. How Long Blues
15. Good Shepherd
16. Water Song
17. Encore: Bar Room Crystal Ball

Monday morning up early and off to the airport.

Seattle morning

Seattle morning

Foto by Myron Hart

Mt. Rainier and sunrise...

Mt. Rainier and sunrise...

Foto by Myron Hart

Well alrighty then… Monday was a long day… got home about 0130. This coming weekend at The Fur Peace Ranch we have me, Stefan Grossman, Roy Book Binder and a concert Saturday night by Corey Harris.

Got to get going…


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

Jahrzeit For Marjorie

September 15th, 2015 Jorma 9 comments
Marjorie and Paul some years ago...

Marjorie and Paul some years ago...

It has been a year since our dear friend Marjorie passed… may her memory be a blessing. She was such a part of our life, and indeed she was such a part of everyone’s life she touched. She touched a lot of people. I miss her every day… her wise counsel… her humor and her art.

This is such a small note for such a big love… but it is all I can offer right now.

We miss you Marjorie… always.

Fair winds and following seas.

Categories: Diary, Friends, Thoughts Tags:

And So It Goes Dear One…

September 2nd, 2015 Jorma 27 comments
Cousin Audrey Dobkin Brett

Cousin Audrey Dobkin Brett

At four thirty PM on Sunday the 30th of August, 2015 my Mother’s last living first cousin Audrey Dobkin Brett cast off the shackles of this life and left this world behind. Audrey was born on August 13, 1926. She was a Dobkin but the Dobkins and the Levines (my grandparents) were kin and inextricably intertwined. My Mom was born on June 12, 1910 on the tobacco farm in Ellington, Connecticut. Audrey and all of them grew up in that strange mix of Old World Jews… and became those freethinkers who would help shape this nation over the next century.

She was always an innovative thinker, outspoken with no verbal boundaries and a great lover of family! She took me and Vanessa and Izze and Zach to her heart and never let us go. She honored us all with her boundless love. She was a living connection to the Old Ones up there in East Windsor… yet she was always totally in the moment!

…and she was my friend.

A great one has left this plane, and if you choose to believe in such things, heaven is the richer for her presence for that is surely where she would be. I shall miss seeing her up in Rhode Island… I shall miss her emails… the occasional phone calls and well… I shall miss her.

We love you Audrey… always…

Fair winds and following seas!

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Late Summer Ride

August 27th, 2015 Jorma 13 comments

I’ve been home for over a week now and the weather has been interesting to say the least. These late summer days just seem to slip through your fingers… something you would like to hold onto, it’s there… and then it’s gone. Got to ride my motorcycle into town tonight… brisk going in… jacket coming home. Just makes me think as Summer bleeds into Autumn. Someday we all take that last ride… no telling when that might be so it’s up to us to make every one memorable.

Nothing like riding with friends. Last week it was with Jerry B. and tonight with Ted S. Yeah… it’s all about the ride.

May we all ride… ride free to the end of the earth!



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Arts And Minds Starts Tomorrow…

July 24th, 2015 Jorma 12 comments

This has been an incredibly busy year for me… and that’s good. Self employed people don’t get days off, they’re out of work. I’ve had so many great gigs… some with Barry Mitterhoff, some with Jack Casady, some with Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, the Dear Jerry show with Buddy Miller, Don Was, Sam Bush and a host of others! How good does it have to get?

The flip side, of course, is being away from home so much. Now, Vanessa and Izze are used to my being gone… that’s the deal. I love my gig, but I miss home when I’m gone. To be back on our farm for a couple of consecutive weeks is like Summer Vacation to me and I’m enjoying every moment. I’ve had a couple of great motorcycle rides and well… just having coffee in the morning in the quiet peace that only the country can give you makes my day.

Of course, even at home that madcap life that music brings surrounds us. Tomorrow and Sunday is our Arts & MInds Festival at the Fur Peace Ranch. Yep, the 25th and 26th of July from noon to eleven o’clock the Fur Peace Ranch the joint will be jumping. Both Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM, I will be playing a free set in the gazebo next to the Psylodelic Gallery. Saturday night there is a ticketed concert with It’s A Beautiful Day and Sunday, Jack and I will be doing another ticketed show… the acoustic duo. Cool beans.

Izze Kaukonen will be selling her Worry Dolls and Paracord Survival bracelets made by her own hand and I’ll be around all weekend to hang out and chew the fat.

My life is filled to overflowing… why should I slow down if don’t have to. Now… it’s time to walk Maverick, Dog Of Destiny, Dog Of Light…

Onward doesn’t even begin to cover it.

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

Another Grand Fourth Of July!

July 5th, 2015 Jorma 3 comments

Even after all these years, the Fourth Of July is still exciting… still special! First of all, as a kid you cannot help but notice that this grandest of occasions… occurs in the warm throws of Summer Vacation. Summer… hanging with your buds… swimming… staying up late… really digging the long days… driving, if you’re old enough to drive… all that stuff and more. When I was a kid, I wasn’t burdened by overt thoughts of patriotism, or criticism of patriotism. Life was simple in an odd way. I was a second generation American with an odd name in a time when odd names singled you out for bullying and the like. I accepted that for the way it was and even as a skinny kid (what happened to that skinny kid?) I learned to be tough and take care of myself. Anyway, when it came to America, the Stars And Stripes and of course, the Fourth Of July… that’s just who we were. My Dad and his two brothers fought in WWII as most parents of kids my age did… Our identity was simple in those days.

Back to the present… The Fourth Of July still means so much to me. Last night Vanessa, Izze, Zach and I jumped into my pickup truck (what’s more American than that?) and drove down to the Ohio River, to Middleport for the annual fireworks display on the river.

Vanessa sets up to take some pictures of me and the kids

Vanessa sets up to take some pictures of me and the kids

Now I know all around the U.S.of A. in the large urban areas, there are mind boggling fireworks displays… The Big Dogs have lots of money to throw around and the fireworks displays reflect that. Here in a small town, everyone competes for the coolest display… and Middleport has one of the best! Down on the river we could be relatively close to the launching barges and the sound of the big mortars echoed back and forth across the river to the West Virginia side. What a sound!

Zach, Dad & Izze

Zach, Dad & Izze

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Yeah, we got down to the river a just before launch time and parked in a pharmacy parking lot with a bunch of cars, motorcycles and trucks… but it just couldn’t be better… Families, kids… some pets… vehicles of all sorts… Really good stuff! Small town America shows its colors proudly. Simple, and for a moment… pure.

The display lasted for thirty five great minutes…

NIce... very nice!

NIce... very nice!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

As the last echoes faded of the Ohio River…Nessa and kids and I drove back to Pomeroy by the Mason Bridge past the Veteran’s Outreach Center and on the back roads to Hillside Farm where Maverick the Dog and Zammy the Cat were waiting for us.

Good times with the family…

Happy Birthday America! Happy Birthday!

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July 5th, Ohio Tattoo Museum, Bidwell, Ohio!!!!!! Be There!

July 1st, 2015 Jorma 17 comments
Here ye, hear ye. Be there or be square!

Here ye, hear ye. Be there or be square!

July 5th I’ll be down in Bidwell, Ohio to do some pickin’ on the guitar and talkin’ ’bout tattoos. Bidwell is right down river by Gallipolis. It’s in the old Gallipolis Harley Davidson building. We’re talking about the Ohio Tattoo Museum here. Rich has an unbelievable collection of flash that goes back several hundred years… and lots of other cool stuff too! I’ll also be playing some music. What’s not to like?

I was in Hawaii recently an got a chance to have breakfast with my old pal Ed Hardy who did my back piece. Hey, I know, life goes on and I hate to keep talking about ‘The Old Days,’ but I’m going to talk about the old days. I realize that tattooing has become mainstream in a way and that as in most art forms… the modern inkers are doing things that were unthinkable when I got my first tattoo in Lyle Tuttle’s shop over the Greyhound Station on Seventh St. in San Francisco back in the 60’s. Tattooing inhabited a demi monde back then… and the work really meant something lurking in the shadows of society.

Just sayin’

Jorma Kaukonen and Don Ed Hardy

Jorma Kaukonen and Don Ed Hardy

Couple of survivors here… Ed and I. Here’s to us and those like us… damn few left!

Good times. I’m going for a walk with Maverick the Dog.

Categories: Diary, Friends, Thoughts Tags:

Another Man Done Gone

June 29th, 2015 Jorma 31 comments

Yesterday just as Jack and I were getting ready to go onstage at the Crossroads here in Honolulu, I got an email from one of my old buddies… Charlie. Charlie was in Barcelona and he wrote to tell me that my old University Of Santa Clara room mate, Peter Byrne Manchester had just passed away yesterday morning. Peter was my room mate and friend, back when I was in Santa Clara… trying to keep my grades up while playing out as much as possible, Peter was a taper before the tapers knew what taping was. We’re talking 1962 and ‘63 here. He had a machine that was hot rodded to record at 15 ips and he also had some fancy condenser mike. Many of the tapes that are floating around today from that period were made by him.

After college, he was in grad school and I was in Jefferson Airplane… another kind of grad school. He and his wife at the time Susan and I and my ex Margareta (may she rest in peace) were pals in those halcyon years. Time went on as time does and we lost track of each other. He wound up teaching philosophy at SUNY Stonybrook… and I… well I just continued to follow my path. He came to visit me in Ohio five or six years ago and stayed at the Fur Peace Ranch. It was great to see him. His health was failing, and his age was circling him like a morning mist. We broke bread, shared old times… caught up on the not so old times and promised each other we would get together again.

We never did…

Life is a funny old dog and replacing hope with regret is a poor choice…

There are those moments and they just never fade
The look in his eyes and the way the light played
God moved in that moment and the angels all cried
And they gave you a memory that you have till you die
And the lessons you learn and you don’t forget
What makes you grow old is replacing hope with regret

Patty Loveless… Too Many Memories

Yeah… death comes in its own time… unbidden and patient. The sadness of course is all for those of us left behind. What more could I have done? At this point it really doesn’t matter. The answer will not change… this book is closed. I guess it’s just another example of life on the backside of the mountain.

Peter was one of us… we were friends when our earth was new.

We were young together…

Fair winds and following seas brother

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One Man’s Opinion

June 23rd, 2015 Jorma 70 comments

One Man’s Opinion
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Yeah buddy… lots of commentary action since I’ve been here I Hawaii. Interesting… very interesting. When I first stared my ‘blog,’ the term ‘blog’ didn’t even exist yet. Wow… what a forward thinker I am! Anyway, in the beginning not only did I not yet have the technical capacity to allow comments, I didn’t’ want to allow them anyway. I figured, ‘Hey, it’s my space… get your own.’ Hard facts over the years have proven to me that the only constant in this life is change and I have re-evaluated my opinion on a lot of things, and this is one of them. I have a comment section and y’all can say almost anything you like. By the way, you’re welcome. Anyway, as the comments descended into politics and social commentary, I thought I’d add my two cents worth. Hey, it’s my blog. I can say anything I want… well… almost.

Yo… we got Bernie Sanders and the Pope not only in the same comment but the same sentence. You got my attention. My wife loves the Pope. She thinks he’s a Rock Star, whatever that means. On many levels he seems more enlightened than some of his predecessors. Cool, if that’s the way you roll. I can’t tolerate dogma and I have no need for anyone on this earth to intercede on my behalf If I want to have a dialogue with G_d. Then there’s the ‘rock star’ thing. I hate that nomenclature. There are no ‘Rockstars!’ I have found a more than comfortable place in this world as a musician, storyteller and sometimes commentator. I am not a ‘Rockstar,’ and neither is anyone else.

Let’s move on… Bernie Sanders is probably a really nice guy. I have family members who think he’s the second coming of sliced bread. We try to avoid talking politics. It makes dinner more enjoyable.
Bernie is a self avowed Socialist. Sorry pal. That lets him out when I go to vote. Who am I going to vote for when the time comes? That’s none of your business. My Mom and Dad didn’t discuss that and my family doesn’t either.

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on
the support of Paul.
 George Bernard Shaw

Way to go George. I hear you brother.

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep
voting on what to have for dinner.
–James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

Even though Bernie’s metaphor of the American Problem being couched in the abundant selection of hygiene products in Wal-Mart and the like may be closer to the truth than we would like, I’m sure there is more to it than that.

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much
money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to
the other.
–Voltaire (1764)

By golly, there sure is nothing new under the sun, is there.

Now I see that Andriy got all fired up by Jim’s comment. Congratulations to you both. Welcome to America Andriy… as you have noted… we get to have these discussions in this country.

I am a second generation American. My Mom’ s folks came over from what was then Russia in the late 1800’s. Hey, my grandmother was sent to a Czarist Gulag… she escaped… found her brother and most of her family trampled to death by the hooves of Cossack horses. It is said that she and some of her friends committed acts of violent civil disobedience and then left Russia for America… where she and my grandfather had long and extremely interesting lives. My Dad’s folks escaped the dearth of work in Finland and went to the copper mine country of the UP in Michigan. Now… you history buffs will know there were Red Finns, Pink Finns and White Finns. Lot of cool history here… My family was not Communist or Socialist. That’s just how it was… just another American Story.

No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the
legislature is in session.
 Mark Twain (1866)

Like I said… yeah buddy! Anyway… I’m not going to engage in a political dialogue with anyone. That’s like trying to teach a pig to dance. It’s frustrating for you and it pisses off the pig. I’m just spewing here. In my line of work I have many colleagues who have quite different opinions than I do and that’s more than OK. We get to do that here in America. Try that in Afghanistan or Syria. Have a nice day.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the
blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing
of misery.
 Winston Churchill

Wow… good thing I’m still sort of on East Coast time… I’m up early with nothing to do except blather on the internet. I’ve got a couple more quotes I like that I’m going to lay on you and them I’m going to do some exploring on this magnificent island… Hawaii.

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is
strong enough to take everything you have.
 Thomas Jefferson

Heads up folks. We’ve got another big election coming in 2016. It’s not even close yet and I’m already sick of political posturing. We need a hero or a heroine to rise up out of the forest. It ain’t Hillary Clinton, I can tell you that! As for politics in general… do I vote in all elections. You bet I do! As a student of American history, I find there is nothing… I said nothing, new under the sun. The bloviating, mendacity and mediocrity that surrounds the politics of all parties has been with us since time immemorial.

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of
Congress. But then I repeat myself.
 Mark Twain

OK… enough windbaggery from the old guitar picker. Well, almost enough…

Like I sort of said, I’ve had my chance to re-evaluate my opinion on a lot of things… and I’m not done yet. A quick revisiting of the Rock star thing. I know when the Jefferson Airplane hit it big I become a legend in my own mind and happily assumed the mantle of the Rock Star… which is why I know what a pile of poop it is. Sure, I know… when we’re selling merch we invoke the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee stuff… and that’s OK from my point of view. We’re working here. On the street, it’s ‘How’re you doing and how is the family?’

We’re all just folks here.

Wait a minute… another couple of good quotes popped up.

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor
people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
 Douglas Case, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University.

As you may have guessed, I’m really having a lot of fun with a really serious subject. I think that’s about it… It’s a beautiful day here on the big Island of Hawaii… I’m going to have some breakfast and hit the beach.

To my brothers and sister who read my stuff… enjoy this great day wherever you are.

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