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That Same Old Wind…

March 22nd, 2012 Jorma 32 comments
Sunset On the Highway

Sunset On the Highway

Same Old Wind
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Today was the first day of Spring… 2012… as I waked Eli The Dog at 0600 there was an unseasonably warm wind blowing… already in the sixties. The Ides Of March have passed and Memorial Day is not yet here. I let that wind dance through my olfactory senses and I realized what an old friend it was. I don’t remember this of course, but I’ll bet my first Spring in March of 1941 was anointed by this same breeze.

The earth turns… seasons come and go and every year a Spring breeze nurtures us with hope for the coming season. Sometimes it is harder than others to perceive this. This year it was easy. Yesterday Izze and I were wrapping some present for Vanessa’s upcoming birthday… ‘Let me make the card myself, Dad,’ she stated firmly. ‘OK,’ I said. ‘You’re on your own.’

‘Give me a couple of sheets of plain white paper and I’ll do the rest…’ This stated with authority by my almost six year old. ‘You got it,’ I replied. ‘Dad’s on the case.’

Out came the who knows how many crayons from her trip to the Crayola Factory. Out came glitter markers, scissors, glue, tape… ‘How do you spell ‘birthday,’ she asked? ‘What’s the first word in ‘Birth Mother?’ B…I…R…T…H… yeah, she got it and she had no trouble with D…A…Y.

She spent an hour working on this project… that was yesterday and she’s finishing it today. ‘Mommy’s going to have the very bestest birthday EVER!’

Yep… could happen. This morning Izze and I went to the butcher in Logan. I just had a steer slaughtered there and I figured if you’re going to eat meat, you might want to know where it comes from. ‘I smell horse poop, Dad,’ she wrinkled her nose. ‘Well, it’s poop alright… but it’s cow not horse.’ We talked about the circles of life and our place in the food chain… well for us meat eaters anyway. She absorbed it all as she helped me with loading the meat trays in my Jeep. This beautiful steer dressed out at 611 pounds of meat. That’s what I’m talking about… organic home grown beef. Once you’ve tasted this stuff… you just can’t go back to store bought.

Anyway… we dropped the meat off and she finished up her art work on Mommy’s card. Yesterday she practiced relentlessly for an hour on her bicycle. We’re going back to the bike path to log some time in. ‘Don’t hold me Daddy. I can do it myself!’ Of course I would always like to be there to hold her… but at five… it’s already time to start learning how to let go.

Well… back to the bike path… I realized that the Barbie Bike was… well, a complete piece of junk so I went to the Athens Bike Shop and bought her a little Trek two wheeler… no training wheels. Now we’re talking. Back to the bike path again and she’s getting it a little at a time, just like we all did.

And there’s that breeze, bringing us a little respite in the 87 degree heat. I know that wind… it gentled me when I was learning to ride back in my hometown… D.C., in the late 40’s. That moment came when I rode free for the first time and that same wind that was with me then, was with us today… many Springtimes down the road.

A couple days ago was the fifth anniversary of Izze’s ‘Gottcha’ day… the day when she was put in Vanessa’s arms for the first time. Five years… a half a decade. A blink of the eye in my old world… a lifetime in hers… for now. Five years with Izze and my son graduates middle school in June and next year he’ll be in high school and in less than five years he’ll be out of his Mom’s house in college or whatever.

He called me yesterday from Hains Point where he was taking pictures of the cherry blossoms. I’m sure that wind was there, rustling the petals for him as it did for me and my brother when we were kids in the same place.

That wind… it reminds me of what is important… The flow of life, borne on that wind… the growing of family… the ability to keep on learning… the ability to enjoy each day as it comes whether or not there are stones in the road.

I think of that wind as I sit hear in my seventies next to our five year old daughter who is coloring and speaking thoughts that might elude most five year olds. ‘I’ve been working so hard,’ she says, and pats herself on the back… literally.

I’m not patting myself on the back. My rewards don’t come from me anymore. I would like to see as many Springs as I can and feel that wind on my face until the time comes for me open that Door Into Summer. Enough. Now is the time for smiling.

…and I am smiling.

And to all a good night...

And to all a good night...

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Another County Heard From

March 20th, 2012 Jorma 58 comments

I’m obviously home since I’m finding time to have on line fun with the blog. As I mentioned the other day, life is indeed a funny old dog and you never know how folks are going to react to anything you say or do. What has prompted this entry is this comment that popped up on Facebook. No… I’m not on Facebook… someone sent it to me… thank you very much!

Last Saturday night Jack Casady, Barry Mitterhoff and myself played an acoustic trio show at the Fur Peace Station… the first concert of the first camp of the 15th year. Now… after being on the road for a month the boys and I were really sharp… I thought we nailed everything… blah blah blah. In other words I had a really great time. Well… what do I know? My opinion, like everyone else’s, does indeed fall into the, ‘Another county heard from,’ category. A comment popped up on the wall of the Fur Peace Ranch Facebook site that went like this:

‘Went to the opening concert on March 17. Hot Tuna was anything but hot. If I had known they were going to call it in I wouldn’t have driven 300 miles to see them. I like the mandolin but not over the enjoyment of two world class guitarist(s) (sic). I was set up. I just kept wishing they were about to rally play for us. Wishing never made it happen. I fell back to sleep.’

Wow… What do I know? As I have said before, opinions are like, well you know. Everyone’s got one… me too. But this one made me reflect a little on my place in the musical world. I was telling my class over the weekend how lucky Jack and I are that our fans allow us to grow and change. Even Embryonic Journey has mutated over the years. If I wanted to play it like I did on Surrealistic Pillow, I would have to go to the original recording and learn in the same was that any guitarist would. Now personally, I am very satisfied with our collective musical incarnation today. I play better than I did when I was younger and I must immodestly say that I wasn’t bad back then. My musical ideas continue to evolve and by the grace of G_d, I don’t have to be a self involved tribute band to my own ‘Greatest Moments.’ :)

I am almost at a loss for words… and those of you who know me know what a rare event that is. All I can say is that Hot Tuna NEVER calls ‘calls in a show!’ Never… I know… because I’m always there! Well, I heard somewhere that it isn’t my business what people think of me and I know that’s true. Just personally thought this observations was from so far out in left field that I wondered if we were at the same show. Maybe I don’t make enough guitar faces… I don’t know.

I guess I would just like to say to the woman who posted the above comment, ‘Sorry we disappointed you dear. We did the best we could.’

Another county heard from… me.

Addenda 2

March 19th, 2012 Jorma 13 comments

Hi Jorma, On the subject of guitars, what happen to all the fender strats and the gibson es’s with the custom paint jobs that you played with, and will any of them make it to “Second Chances? And maybe you can answer the 64,000 dollard question?
What happen to Jack’s Almebic bass ?
That one question has been driving me nuts for years.I heard that someone stole it. I also heard that the neck snapped…I just don’t know.So Jorma please if you could please answer this one question. All of the early Tuna fans would love to know as well of all of your newer fans. Thanks Jorma…PEACE Angelo

These are a good bunch of questions… All of those guitars are long gone… economic stress and divorce realities… I know where the painted ES-345 is and it has a good home… it’s been more than 30 some years since it or any of them belonged to me. That’s a lifetime and a lot of water under the dam. Good times….In any case… they’re all long, long gone.

Jack’s Alembic Bass was stolen after an Airplane show in Seattle in the 60’s… that bass and a bag with my passport in it were stolen at the gig. Neither has ever surfaced again… ever… as always, good times.

Thanks Angelo… these are just memories from life… and they’re all OK. Life is a funny old dog.

Categories: Diary Tags:

Fifteenth Year At The Fur Peace Ranch

March 18th, 2012 Jorma 4 comments

This weekend, we at the Fur Peace Ranch begin our fifteenth year hear in Darwin, Ohio.

A beautiful night for March... or anytime!

A beautiful night for March... or anytime!

My dear old friend John Hurlbut opened the show… Vanessa joined him, Barry joined him… the mandolin class joined him, Myron Hart joined him and it was all indeed… really good. Kudos John.

Barry, Jack and I took the stage after Johnny was done and we played a two hour show… the list of which follows:

Hot Tuna 20, 2012
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
Fur Peace Station Opening Night
Darwin, Ohio
Saturday, March 17, 2012

1. True Religion
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Second Chances
4. Children Of Zion
5. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
6. How Long Blues
7. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
8. Barbeque King
9. Bread Line Blues
10. I See The Light
11. Sea Child
12. Come Back Babyq
13. Goodbye To The Blues
14. Things That Might Have Been
15. 99 Year Blues
16. Vicksburg Stomp
17. I Am The Light Of This World
18. Nine Pound Hammer
19. Encore: Water Song

I was asked about Tuna Tabs. We have never really done an official Tuna Tab book or such, but a buddy of mine in France, Idj has a whole bunch of our stuff tabbed out on his site and it’s reasonably accurate. Thanks for that Idj. http://idj.pagesperso-orange.fr/tablemat/tablemat.htm

Got another class tonight… just wanted to get this up.

Good times!

Thanks for the beautiful poster Kevin Morgan!

Thanks for the beautiful poster Kevin Morgan!

Addenda

March 17th, 2012 Jorma 21 comments

Hi folks…

I love the thoughtful and heartfelt comments I get on my site. I get a few nasty and mean spirited ones sometimes too… that’s life and that’s OK. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and since it’s my site, I’m entitled not to post the like. So it goes. I also get comments from people who notice errors in the set lists, inconsistencies etc. I appreciate these and my acknowledgement of same can be found in my corrections.
Thanks… keep’em coming. I get questions about songs that people would like to hear. Sometimes I get turned onto songs that I have forgotten and it spurs me on to relearning new old gems… I appreciate this too. Someone asked me about my old Ovation Guitars… long, long gone… they were the first ‘amplified’ acoustic guitars and were ahead of their time. They served me well for a while. I have not yet yet directly replied to comments on the site because frankly I just can’t seem to find the time. Being chained to an online conversation is why I got off Facebook. Free at last, free at last… etc.

Why am I writing this? I just want my friends to know that I do read everything and I get to what I can get to… Thanks for your patience.

Gotta get to the Ranch… Our first Saturday and there’s a show tonight.

Take care all…

Categories: Diary Tags:

The Run To The Queen City

March 16th, 2012 Jorma 12 comments

Yikes… we drove down to Cincinnati yesterday for our gig at the 20th Century Theater. Barry and I played there in 2003 with our pal Cindy Cashdollar . It was a Sold Out show then… and guess what…

Two words we love to see!

Two words we love to see!

The20th Century Theater is one of those kind of places we just love to play… tradition abounds!

Have your next wedding here...

Have your next wedding here...

Here is our set list for tonight:

Hot Tuna 19, 2012
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
20th Century Theater
Cincinnati, Ohio
Thursday, March 15, 2012

First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Children Of Zion
4. Second Chances
5. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
6. Barbeque King
7. Sea Child
8. Full Go Round
9. 99 Year Blues
10. River Of Time
11. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
3. Come Back Baby
4. Goodbye To The Blues
5. Things That Might Have Been
6. Whining Boy Blues
7. Good Shepherd
8. Bread Line Blues
9. Vicksburg Stomp
10. I Am The Light Of This World
11. Nine Pound Hammer
12. Encore: Water Song

What a place

What a place

Well, it’s 0412 and I just got back to Pomeroy… it’s late so Barry and I came right to the Fur Peace Ranch. Tomorrow is the opening day of our fifteenth year. Congratulations to us!

Long may it wave!

Long may it wave!

Second Chances Rides Again: A Trip To Treats And Treasures

March 15th, 2012 Jorma 12 comments

OK… now that I’m back I’ve been opening the doors to the vault where Second Chances lives… and what have I come up with? A very rare Oahu Tolana Doubleneck Steel Guitar with a working Stringtone lever on both necks. This beautiful instrument is in 99% condition and includes the original case and legs. This beauty is not cheap, but it is worth every penny. Treats And Treasure, here we come!

I've only seen two of these, and this one is in the best condition!

I've only seen two of these, and this one is in the best condition!

It really doesn't get much better than this, conditionwise

It really doesn't get much better than this, conditionwise

Look a the bridge covers and Slington details

Look a the bridge covers and Slington details

Pickup switch and volume and tone controls

Pickup switch and volume and tone controls

Peg head and mother of toilet seat detail

Peg head and mother of toilet seat detail

Even the bottom is in fabulous condition

Even the bottom is in fabulous condition

This beauty has two six string necks… the original legs and case… it is not a lap steel… it’s a table steel. You’ll never see another one in this condition!

The price on this beautiful rarity is $1800 including tax and shipping.

Categories: Treats And Treasures Tags:

Later Still, But Still Here

March 15th, 2012 Jorma 3 comments

Well… what a run this last little bit has been. We got back to Meigs County, Ohio mid day Monday and here we are getting ready to set out for Cincinnati for our show at the 20th Century Theater . Our last on Sunday was at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee. This is a great gig and if you get a chance to see any shows at this venue… do it. Anyway… in the ongoing spirit of ‘Better Late Than Never,’ here is our set list from Sunday, last:

Hot Tuna 18, 2012
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Pabst Theater
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Sunday, March 11, 2012

First Set:
1. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?
2. True Religion
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Children Of Zion
5. Second Chances
6. Come Back Baby
7. Been So Long
8. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
9. How Long Blues
10. Vicksburg Stomp
11. 99 Year Blues
12. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
13. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Heart Temporary
3. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
4. Barbeque King
5. Sea Child
6. Bread Line Blues
7. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
8. Things That Might Have Been
9. Goodbye o The Blues
10. Whining Boy Blues
11. I Am The Light Of This World
12. Parchman Farm
13. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
14. Encore: Water Song

OK… tonight the Century… home after the gig and tomorrow the opening day of our fifteenth season at the Fur Peace Ranch! More on that later.

Good times!

From Chicago To Minneapolis

March 11th, 2012 Jorma 10 comments

The morning after the Englert we drove to the Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago… played two shows and drove on to Minneapolis to the Cedar Cultural Center.

Ah... the dressing room at the Old Town

Ah... the dressing room at the Old Town

Both shows sold out… and here is our collective set lists:

Hot Tuna 16, 2012
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Old Town School Of Folk Music
Chilcago, Illinois
Friday, March 9, 2012

First Show:
1. True Religion
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Children Of Zion
4. Second Chances
5. River Of Time
6. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
7. Barbeque King
8. Goodbye To The Blues
9. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
10. How Long Blues
11. Serpent Of Dreams
12. Red River Blues
13. Trouble In Mind
14. I Know You Rider
15. Encore: Water Song
Second Show:
1. I See The Light
2. Heart Temporary
3. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
4. Whining Boy Blues
5. Good Shepherd
6. Come Back Baby
7. Vicksburg Stomp
8. Things That Might Have Been
9. 99 Year Blues
10. I Am The Light Of This World
11. Parchman Farm
12. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
13. Encore: Embryonic Journey

We packed up and drove nine hours to Minneapolis getting into the hotel in time for breakfast. After stringing my guitar, doing to set list and taking a little nap of fto the Cedar Cultural Center where we had a five o’clock and a nine o’clock show.

It's like Finn World up here in Minnesota

It's like Finn World up here in Minnesota

We goofed up a little and got to the gig an hour early so there was a little time to walk around.

Love the Cedar Cultural Center

Love the Cedar Cultural Center

The weather was unseasonably warm so walking around was as much fun as it was for me and Barry when we were here in Fall of last year.

Good Times

Good Times

Yep, the hits just keep on coming.

Home in the dressing room

Home in the dressing room

We’ve played the Cedar a lot and it’s always like home here.

Tradition

Tradition

Boy, it’s hard to imagine sometimes that so many of the good ones like Dave here, are gone. Time has a funny way of making itself felt. Here are the set lists from our shows:

Hot Tuna 17, 2012
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Cedar Cultural Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saturday, March 10, 2012

First Show:
1. I See The Light
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Been So Long
4. Children Of Zion
5. Second Chances
6. Let Us Get Together
7. Barbeque King
8. Bread Line Blues
9. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
10. How Long Blues
11. Red River Blues
12. 99 Year Blues
13. Goodbye To The Blues
14. I Know You Rider’
15. Encore: Water Song
Second Show:
1. I See The Light
2. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
3. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
4. Things That Might Have Been
5. The Terrible Operation
6. Sea Child
7. Vicksburg Stomp
8. Come Back Baby
9. Whining Boy Blues
10. Full Go Round
11. Candy Man
12. River of Time
13. Uncle Sam Blues
14. I Am The Light Of This World
15. Nine Pound Hammer
16. Encore: Genesis

The calm before the storm

The calm before the storm

And after all is said and done… nice job guys!

The smile says it all

The smile says it all

Now we’re off to Milwaukee for the final show on this run at the Pabst Theater. Actually, there are two more gigs. Friday in Cincinnati at the Twentieth Century Theater and Saturday night at opening concert weekend at the Fur Peace Station.

Onward…

Iowa City And The Englert Rocks!

March 9th, 2012 Jorma 10 comments
Entering The Dressing Rooms At The Englert

Entering The Dressing Rooms At The Englert

We’ve been looking forward to this gig at the Englert and we weren’t disappointed. It’s a simply beautiful theater… magnificently restored without losing any of it’s days of yore charm.

Good wall photo op

Good wall photo op

The gig was walking distance from the hotel but what a great place to hang out.

Jack relaxes backstage

Jack relaxes backstage

Here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 15, 2012
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Englert Theater
Iowa City, Iowa
Thursday, March 8, 2012

First Set:
1. Search My Heart
2. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
3. How Long Blues
4. Hesitation Blues
5. Children Of Zion
6. Second Chances
7. Sea Child
8. Full Go Round
9. Come Back Baby
10. Bread Line Blues
11. Goodbye To The Blues
12. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. Goodbye To The Blues
3. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
4. Barbeque King
5. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
6. Good Shepherd
7. The Terrible Operation
8. 99 Year Blues
9. Vicksburg Stomp
10. Death Don’t Have No mercy
11. I Am The Light Of This World
12. Nine Pound Hammer
13. Encore: Water Song

The hospitality room beckons

The hospitality room beckons

I got a chance to hang out with some old friends as well as making new ones. The kind of stuff that is the frosting on the cake for this great gig.

Barry prepares for the show backstage

Barry prepares for the show backstage

Well, tomorrow we will be at the Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago so it’s time for bed.

What a great stage!

What a great stage!

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