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Recording Begins At The Fur Peace Ranch

September 29th, 2014 Jorma 7 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 13 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:

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:

I Remember 9-11-2001

September 11th, 2014 Jorma 14 comments
My friend, David Weiss

My friend, David Weiss

Another year has passed, and here it is September 11, once more. My friend Jerry and I usually ride a memorial run at this time each year. This year we drove. Jer’ wasn’t feeling up to snuff. David was the first name with a face for me on that fateful morning… I use his name, but I honor them all. In some respects it seems like yesterday that the world turned that corner… and yet it is thirteen years ago. It is up to us who remember that fateful morning in the first person to take special care to carry the tell to those who were too young to remember that day…

I remember in 2003 I was on a Rt. 66 motorcycle trip back and forth across the country with Jerry. We stopped in Oklahoma City to pay our respects at the Murrah Memorial. It is a very powerful memorial indeed. Anyway, we were talking to one of the law enforcement officers stationed on site. ‘Some people say we need to forget this and get past it,’ he said… paused, and then continued. ‘We need to remember this every day!’ I couldn’t agree more.

As for the victims of 9/11/2001… may they rest in peace. They, and their families are often in my prayers.

Normally, Jerry and I ride our motorcycles as I intimated. Jer’ had some physical issues today so we did it in my truck.

We both remember, and I hope you do too.

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts, trips and journeys Tags:

Rockin’ At Lockn’ And Home

September 8th, 2014 Jorma 18 comments
Izze tickles the ivories on the street in Lychburg

Izze tickles the ivories on the street in Lychburg

Lynchburg, Virginia is an immensely cool college town… no Interstates go there. What a concept. There are tuned and decorated uprights on the street… Izze sat right down and played a tune.

Taj Mahal and Me...

Taj Mahal and Me...

Back at the Holiday Inn, I ran into my old pal, Taj Mahal in the lobby. We stopped to chat for a while. Sorry I missed his set. He’s a master! I must get him to the Fur Peace Ranch. Perhaps next year!

Some good food at the Market At Main and a walk about town.

Nothing like an old wall for an architectural foto

Nothing like an old wall for an architectural foto

Lynchburg is girdled by malls just like any small town in America… but the nucleus is still a real small town.

WW I monument...  Lynchburg

WW I monument... Lynchburg

The 6th of September was my son Zach’s 17th birthday and he came down to spend the day with me and go to Lockn’. He was going to play a song with Hot Tuna on the Triangle Stage so we thought a little rehearsal might be in order.

Been So Long... together... Zach and I

Been So Long... together... Zach and I

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Zach has been playing my tune, Been So Long, for a year now… and he nails it every time.

The afternoon of the 6th... Lockn'

The afternoon of the 6th... Lockn'

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Our set at Lockn’ was supposed to be at midnight… after Tom Petty’s set on the main stage. Weather intervened, however, and the Festival was locked down for a while. Our set was postponed to 0100. The skies cleared… Tom Petty rocked out and then good old Hot Tuna hit the Triangle Stage.

We called Zach out to join us for the first song of our set… Been So Long.

Been So Long with Zach

Been So Long with Zach

Here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 61, 2014
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
Lock’n
Arrington, Virginia
Saturday, September 6, 2014

1. Been So Long with Zachary Kearse
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
3. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
4. Hesitation Blues
5. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
6. How Long Blues
7. Full Go Round for Brian Farmer
8. Children Of Zion
9. Bar Room Crystal Ball
10. Water Song
11. 99 Year Blues
12. I Am The Light Of This World
13. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
14. Candy Man
15. I Know You Rider
16. Encore: Keep On Truckin’ Mama

Zach and Jorma onstage

Zach, Jorma and the Boys onstage

Good time at Lockn’ and great to have the seventeen year old on board! Finished our set, got to the hotel at 0400, slept to 0630 and then a fast six hour drive home in time for Izze to practice some archery.

The view down range

The view down range

Monday here at Hillside Farm… homeschooling Izze and getting ready to fix her some lunch. It sure feels like Fall today. The seasons are sliding by for sure.

Onward

A Trip To Lynchburg With Lockn’ In The Offing

September 6th, 2014 Jorma 15 comments
Sunset before the drive

Sunset before the drive

A beautiful evening at home before the drive to Virginia… The hot Ohio weather has returned, and you know… that’s OK. The Farmer’s Almanac says it’s going to be another harsh winter so we’re enjoying this as long as we can.

Izze and Maverick... post dinner

Izze and Maverick... post dinner

The big Mav’ was hanging with us after dinner… as always. We love this dog, plus… when he barks the windows rattle.

Coffee on the porch... with Mom's old Flag

Coffee on the porch... with Mom's old Flag

Beatrice’s old flag from Talmont in Tahoe… keeps us company every morning at the pergola.

After a beautiful ride from Ohio, through the mountains of West Virginia and Virginia, we arrived in Lynchburg in time to dine at Ty Thai.

This place rocks!

This place rocks!

Tonight, Hot Tuna plays at midnight on the Triangle Stage after Tom Petty’s show on the main stage.

Jorma on the steps of the Beatrice Love Kitchen

Jorma on the steps of the Beatrice Love Kitchen

That’s about it for now… thinking about the coming Fall at home…

My front yard

My front yard

Yeah, it’s a trick shot I know, but I like it anyway. Filters… I love them!

Northeast Weekend

September 1st, 2014 Jorma 19 comments
Cool stuff at Mille's

Cool stuff at Mille's

I was able to snag my son Zach, for the last week of his vacation… we got a couple of motorcycle rides in and got to eat at Millie’s in Rutland, Ohio.

The ride home...

The ride home...

A nice ride home back to Hillside Farm… and ready to leave on Thursday for New York.

On our way to Amagansett and Stephen Talkhouse we stopped for the night in Riverhead and on Friday morning for breakfast we went to Anthony Meras’ Star Confectionery for breakfast.

Zach outside Star Confectionery

Zach outside Star Confectionery

If you’re ever in Riverhead… you gotta stop by… at least for a shake.

Very old school!

Very old school!

Next stop… Montauk Point.

The young man and the sea...

The young man and the sea...

A perfect day… not too hot… not too cool… no fog!

Then… the Talkouse.

Barry, Jorma & G.E.

Barry, Jorma & G.E.

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Here is our set list from Friday night:

Jorma Kaukonen & Barry Mitterhoff 5, 2014
Stephen Talkhouse
Amagansett, New York
Friday, August 29, 2014

1. Re-Enlistment Blues
2. Children Of Zion
3. Full Go Round
4. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
5. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
6. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
7. In My Dreams
8. Bar Room Crystal Ball
9. Water Song
10. Barbeque King, GE joins us
11. Hesitation Blues
12. Long Gone From Kentucky, GE sings
13. Good Shepherd
14. Let It Rock, GE sings
15. Come Back Baby
16. That’ll Never Happen No More
17. I Know You Rider
18. Encore: Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning

G.E. and Barry backstage at the T'House

G.E. and Barry backstage at the T'House

Great hanging with G.E., picking some tunes with him and enjoying Peter Hohnerkamp’s domain… filled with delightful eccentrics.

Phil and Zach in the Jaguar

Phil and Zach in the Jaguar

On the way to Hudson, Phil let Zach drive his Jag giving the young man a taste of exotic machinery and NY traffic. Good times.

The we pulled into Helsinki… in Hudson N.Y.

Helsinki Hudson

Helsinki Hudson

What a beautiful club. We can hardly wait to get back to this one. Here is our set list:

Jorma Kaukonen & Barry Mitterhoff 6, 2014
Helsinki Hudson
Hudson, New York
Saturday, August 30, 2014

1. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
2. Children Of Zion
3. Second Chances
4. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
5. How Long Blues
6. I See The Light
7. Heart Temporary
8. Hesitation Blues
9. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
10. Come Back Baby
11. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
12. In My Dreams
13. 99 Year Blues
14. The Terrible Operation
15. Bar Room Crystal Ball
16. Water Song
17. Vicksburg Stomp
18. Barbeque King
19. Good Shepherd
20. I Am The Light Of This World
21. Nine Pound Hammer
22. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Good job Jorma!

Good job Jorma!

Early Sunday morning, Phil and I went over to Tanzy’s at 223 Warren St. in Hudson. We were meeting some folks there to present a surprise Fur Peace Ranch Gift Certificate to this cool gentlemen whose extremely thoughtful wife gave him a session for his 50th birthday. What a woman.

Tanzy's rocks!

Tanzy's rocks!

The food was delicious… fellowship outstanding!

A weekend of old school... Tanzy's

A weekend of old school... Tanzy's

Then it was time for the drive home.

A young man and a truck... Pennsylvania truck stop

A young man and a truck... Pennsylvania truck stop

I dropped Zach of with his Mom in Hagerstown. Tomorrow is his first day as a Junior in High School. Boy does the time fly! Seems like only yesterday that… oh well.

We beat feet on down the road and before you know it, we were in West Virginia.

Sunset on Rt. 50

Sunset on Rt. 50

Foto by Myron Hart

Home by 2230… Nessa waited up for me… Izze was sound asleep.

Great weekend, but there’s no place like home!

Catching Up… A Week’s Worth

August 25th, 2014 Jorma 9 comments
Heading out of Meigs

Heading out of Meigs

So, last Wednesday I started up to Columbus around 2000 to pick my son Zach up at the airport. ON Rt. 33 just off my home road, I noticed this great sunset and just had to take a shot. Zach came in around 2230 and we burned it back to the county so we could get some sleep and hit Burr Oak Lake on Thursday with my pal Jerry, my nephew Montana and Zach and Izze.

We got to the marina about 1000 just in time to snag a pontoon boat.

Let that girl drive...

Let that girl drive...

There was some rain coming according to the radar, our luck was holding.

Zach, surveying his fiefdom

Zach, surveying his fiefdom

Burr Oak is one of those CCC projects… used to be a reservoir… now it’s just a big, beautiful lake for all to enjoy.

Da kidz enjoying the voyage

Da kidz enjoying the voyage

Good times were abounding.

Little bit of rain... who cares?

Little bit of rain... who cares?

A great day for all. Friday, we all headed to the Fur Peace Ranch for a weekend with Tom Feldman on slide, Roy Book Binder, Livingston Taylor and myself. A great weekend of music and fellowship!

If you build it, they will come...

If you build it, they will come...

Saturday night was beautiful… very beautiful. A hot August Ohio night… with good music and lots of people. What a great show Roy and Livingston put on!

Zach and Hurl backstage at the Station

Zach and Hurl backstage at the Station

Before you know it, it was Sunday and student performance.

The campers and us in front of the Station

The campers and us in front of the Station

Tom and I did a little show for the folks Sunday night and Zach and I road our motorcycles home to Hillside Farm. This was his first night ride, so I took the lead. There was a scent in the air… it reminded me of when I was sixteen in Manila, P.I. and I would drive my Lambretta at night. Through the hot, muggy night, the smell of copra would wrap us in it’s sweet aroma. It was like a window time for me. Maybe I was the only rider who got to smell that tropical smell… who knows.

For a very brief moment, I was sixteen again. Nice… that doesn’t happen often.

Today, a half a day of camp and then Zach and I took a 70 mile ride and met the girls at the China Panda in Athens for dinner… then a ride home.

Good times… very good!

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

Couple’s Weekend At The Fur Peace Ranch

August 18th, 2014 Jorma 23 comments

Monday afternoon… 1555… Couple’s Weekend At The Fur Peace Ranch is over and I’m already starting to have separation anxieties. All weekends here are special, but to have all the ladies on board for a weekend adds a special dimension.

Teaching this weekend we had my old friend and band mate Pete Sears. Pete was here to give a bass workshop which he did in spades. He’s a good one for sure. He also came to play with Moonalice, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Barry Mitterhoff was the masterful conductor of the Mandolin Orchestra class and Dave Revels (Shadows Of The 60’s) lent his spirit and his magic to the men and women in his vocal class… and, hey… I was there too!

Two old dogs... the two Jerry's

Two old dogs... the two Jerry's

Foto by one of the campers

Jerry S. seen here with me on the porch swing by the Workshop is one of my oldest friends here in Southeast Ohio. As some might know, my nickname used to be ‘Jerry,’ so there you are.

Moonalice soundchecks...

Moonalice soundchecks...

Roger McNamee, John Molo and Barry Sless make up the Moonalice gang. Moonalice’s music knocked out the folks here in Southeast Ohio… and it was a total production… light show… the works! Well… before they took the stage, Barry and I played a set and here is our set list:

Jorma Kaukonen & Barry Mitterhoff 4, 2014
The Fur Peace Station
Darwin, Ohio
Friday, August 15, 2014

1. Re-Enlistment Blues
2. Full Go Round
3. Living In The Moment
Brother Can You Spare A Dime… thanks Pete
4. Vicksburg Stomp
5. Come Back Baby
6. Prohibition Blues
7. In My Dreams
8. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning

Pete Sears backstage with the cricket bat steel guitar

Pete Sears backstage with the cricket bat steel guitar

Sunday at the Student Performance, Hurl’s Girls sang beautifully as always and Gail Kaufman signed the words.

You go girl!

You go girl!

By this morning… one more workshop and a heartfelt good goodbye.

Old friends... good times!

Old friends... good times!

foto by Bob Doherty

Well… that’s it for another great weekend of fellowship and music. As Roy Rogers would have said:

‘May the good Lord take a liking to you!’

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