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Archive for December, 2013

Merry Christmas!

December 25th, 2013 Jorma 25 comments

Just a very short note of good wishes. Today we met some friends for a lunch at the China Panda in Athens. Chinese food for Christmas… what else? After a delicious meal we went over to the Athena Grand and played arcade games until it was time for our movie… The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. A great movie for Christmas Day indeed!

That’s about it… except for one thing:

Merry Christmas to all… and to all a good life!

Onward!

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Indeed… Here I am

December 23rd, 2013 Jorma 44 comments

When I was young, this was never the happiest time of the year. I’m wasn’t an abused kid and I’m not putting any blame on my parents. It was a long time ago and they did the best they could. That said, their relationship was a volatile one, especially in the years following WW II. My mother being a non observant Jew, we sort of celebrated Hannukah when my grandparents were around. Christmas wasn’t as well… omnipresent as it is today but it was there… and expectations were always high. Yeah, it was more about the presents than Christ and the presents almost never lived up to their expectations. Yeah… short of that Daisy Red Ryder BB gun, you could pretty darn well expect to be let down.

I mean look, my birthday is the 23rd of December… I’m getting cheated out of presents anyway because people kept doubling up. ‘Yeah, this is for your birthday, AND Christmas.’ Inconsiderate to say the least. And then there was the toys themselves. No matter how cool you thought they were going to be, they never worked the way you envisioned they would. Yeah… tragic. I may have to go back into therapy just thinking about it.

The other day I was driving down Court Street with a friend of mine after a meeting, and the Xmas decorations were, well beautiful. There were kids on the street… Morgan horses pulling hayrides… Yeah… good stuff. The holidays are for kids and now that there are kids in my life… I am able to enjoy them as I never could when I was there age.

Better late than never.

Good friends at my birthday dinner at the Fur Peace Ranch

Good friends at my birthday dinner at the Fur Peace Ranch

I knew a couple of folks were getting together for lunch at the Fur Peace Ranch today, but I didn’t realize how cool it was going to be. It was John Hurlbut’s Dad’s birthday too. Ray, at 92 is one of the oldest living WW II vets still living here in Ohio. Always good to see Ray. John’s sis, his brother in law, his niece and her husband, friends from Columbus and my good bud Jerry Sullivan who escaped Buchtel for an afternoon with us.

The culinary motif was Italian, and it was as good as any I’ve ever had. The fellowship outstanding and the kids, Izze and Liam had a great time too. Liam is Kevin Morgan’s son, so it was extra special to see Kevin out and smiling.

Sunset after lunch

Sunset after lunch

What a beautiful day… Scrooge was gone, and the holiday spirit was here. Yep, I feel pretty darn good about the whole thing. As for my birthday… check this out:

1958 Warren Smith on drums, Jack Casady on guitar, and me guitar and vocals

1958 Warren Smith on drums, Jack Casady on guitar, and me guitar and vocals

Just a flash across the years…

Izze and Dad at the 75th Anniversary Wizard Of Oz Monopoly Set

Izze and Dad at the 75th Anniversary Wizard Of Oz Monopoly Set

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Well, it didn’t start out bad and it just keeps getting better. My expectations are more than filled this holiday season, and I hope yours are too! Many thanks to the hundreds of people who wished me happy birthday on our collective Facebook Pages. it means a lot to me.

May nothing but the best surround all you out there. May your dreams come true in the New Year… and my no one go hungry tonight.

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

There Are Many Rooms In My Father’s House John 14:2

December 13th, 2013 Jorma 44 comments

It was cold, cold , cold this morning… 17 degrees at Hillside Farm. The air was more than crisp and I could smell the smoke from wood stoves as I gave Maverick The Dog his morning walk. The mud of wintry mix was hardened into jagged spires much as I would imagine a miniature version of the mountains of the moon.

Izze was going on a field trip to the museum in Cincinnati with her cousin, Montana and Vanessa and I were heading to the little country town of Zaleski, Ohio where my friend Pat Morgan was being laid to rest. The service was at the St. Sylvester Catholic Church and we wanted to be a little early.

Zaleski is a tiny little town off SR 278 on the way to Lake Hope but on this day it was a funeral we were going to, not brunch at the Lake Hope Lodge.

Blue sky and earth at the graveyard

Blue sky and earth at the graveyard

Pat Morgan was my friend Kevin’s brother. I had known him casually for a number of years and over the last year we found ourselves to be members of the same fellowship. There is no rhyme nor reason for the cards in the hand that life deals us. Pat was found dead in the bed of a pickup truck stabbed thirty times. His story and his struggles are now over. I was at this same church a couple of years ago when his Dad passed and today I was able to hug his mom and express my condolences. It is not right that a parent should outlive their children… but again, right doesn’t have much to do with anything.

It was a beautiful service and it was gratifying to see family and friends… all, regardless of affiliation, getting comfort. In my life I have been in dangerous places, leading a dangerous life and but for the grace of G_d, it could have been me in that box years ago. I am a grateful man today.

At the end of the service, we all drove to a tiny country graveyard on a small hilltop and Pat was laid to rest. I was asked to play a song as they lowered the coffin and I was honored to do so! I played, What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?

‘Peace if flows, like a river they say. What are they doing there now?’

Rest in peace brother

Rest in peace brother

I have loved the Morgan family for years… they are like my own. Pat and I were not bros, but we were brothers in a very profound way. Fair winds and following seas brother… sail on! There are many rooms in my father’s house, and in one of those rooms Pat, there is a table sitting for you.

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

The Weekend That Was Silver

December 10th, 2013 Jorma 14 comments
Some fun!

Some fun!

After our gig at the Kent Stage, we drove down to Southeast Ohio, dropped the guys at the OU Inn, and I got to go home with Izze and Vanessa. Yep, a night at home in my own bed. Then on Saturday morning, the three of us were up nice and early, had a yummy home cooked breakfast and went back to town where we picked up Jack Casady and Phil Jacobs and went to Ohio University School Of Music where Izze has been studying piano. It was a recital for the students and I was thrilled to be able to be there for her recital.

Izze at the Steinway

Izze at the Steinway

She nailed her piece with a lovely admixture of poise and passion! It was an honor to be there. It was also an honor to be home for Vanessa’s and my Twenty Fifth Wedding Anniversary. Silver sure beats cardboard! The woman is a saint among saints. I love you to pieces Nessa!

Onward to the Ranch where we were hosting a Dinner With Jorma followed by a concert with Della Mae. Now we’ve got thing at home about ‘daring girls.’ Not risk takers… daring. Big difference. We encourage our daughter to live with a measure of audacity. Why follow the crowd if you don’t have to? Anyway, the members of Della Mae, Celia Woodsmith, Courtney Hartman, Shelby Means. Jenni Lyn Carter, and Kimber Ludiker. rolled into town for their show and these are daring women for sure.

After a delightful dinner with friends old and new, well all joined the public and Della Mae for a grand concert. The ladies invited me to sit in on the last song of their first set. We picked Red River Blues from my Blue Country Heart album.

Some fun!

Some fun!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

After Della Mae’s first set Jack and I stopped backstage to say ‘Hi’ to the ladies and then got ready to drive to Chicago and the City Winery.

Thanks for a great show Ladies!

Thanks for a great show Ladies!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

This is some band and they richly deserve their Grammy nomination. You can count on my vote ladies!

Out of the Fur Peace Station and into the night on our way to Chicago. Some hours later we were in the good old Windy City, caught a couple of hours of sleep and drove over to the City Winery. Barry and I have played the Winery with Steve Kimock, but this was Hot Tuna’s first trip to this fine venue.

The boys in Chicago..

The boys in Chicago..

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Here are the set lists from the two shows:

Hot Tuna 56, 2013
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen And Jack Casady
Early Show
The City Winery
Chicago, Illinois
Sunday, December 8, 2013

1. True Religion
2. Children Of Zion
3. Second Chances
4. Sea Child
5. Hesitation Blues
6. Been So Long
7. Barbeque King
8. 99 Year Blues
9. River Of Time
10. Re-Enlistment Blues
11. That’ll Never Happen No More
12. Living In the Moment
13. Candy Man
14. I Am The Light Of This World
15. I Know You Rider
16. Encore: In My Dreams

Hot Tuna 57, 2013
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen And Jack Casady
Late Show
The City Winery
Chicago, Illinois
December 8, 2013

1. I See The Light
2. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
3. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
4. Things That Might Have Been
5. Mama Let me Lay It On You
6. Come Back Baby
7. Third Week In The Chelsea
8. Embryonic Journey
9. Wining boy Blues
10. I’ll Be All Right Someday
11. Prohibition Blues
12. How Long Blues
13. Good Shepher
14. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
15. Encore: Genesis

Two great sold out show for us and we got to say hello to some old friends.

After the show and into the night...

After the show and into the night...

We dropped Jack and Phil at the airport and Myron and I headed home where we will be for almost two weeks. After a great little run, this is the frosting on the cake!

Onward…

Kent Stage And Home

December 6th, 2013 Jorma 12 comments

Last night the boys and I played the Kent Stage in, you guessed it, Kent, Ohio. Barry and I had been there twice before, but this was the first timed with Jack Casady and Hot Tuna. Some fun! Here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 55, 2013
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
Kent Stages
Kent, Ohio
December 5, 2013

First Set:
1. Search My Heart
2. Hesitation Blues
3. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
4. How Long Blues
5. Children Of Zion
6. Second Chances
7. Let us Get Together Right Down Here
8. Uncle Sam Blues
9. The Terrible Operation
10. Living In The Moment
11. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
Second Set:
1. I See the Light
2. Heart Temporary
3. Vicksburg Stomp
4. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
5. Come Back Baby
6. River Of Time
7. Prohibition Blues
8. Good Shepherd
9. 99 Year Blues
10. I Am The Light Of This World
11. Nine Pound Hammer
12. Encore: Bar Room Crystal Ball

It’s snowing here at 0730 and we’ll be off for a day at home shortly. Well sort of… Saturday is A Dinner With Jorma at the Fur Peace Ranch, followed by a show at the Fur Peace Station with Della Mae.

As soon as that concert is over, Jack, Myron, Phil and I drive to Chicago for a Sunday gig at the City Winery. Barry will be heading home to New Jersey today so this is the last trio gig until next year. Thanks for a great year Barry.

Onward!

Set List From The Ark

December 5th, 2013 Jorma 8 comments

Last night the boys and I were at the Ark in Ann Arbor. Barry and I have been playing the Ark since it was in a house many, many years ago. Good then… good now. I love this place. Here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 54, 2013
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Ark
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Wednesday, December 4, 2013

First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Children Of Zion
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Heart Temporary
5. More Than My Old Guitar
6. Barbeque King
7. Vicksburg Stomp
8. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
9. 99 Year Blues
10. Nobody knows You When You’re Down And Ou
Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
3. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
4. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
5. Prohibition Blues
6. Come Back Baby
7. Goodbye To he Blues
8. Izze’s Lullaby
9. Good Shepherd
10. I Am The Light Of This World
11. I Know You Rider
12. Encore: Bar Room Crystal Ball

This is just a short entry… we’re on our way to the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio for our gig tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll actually be home for most of Friday. I have a gig Saturday with Della Mae at the Fur Peace Station down at the Fur Peace Ranch in Darwin, Ohio.

Then the bus leaves after the show and we go to Chicago to the City Winery for two shows and then home on Monday. Yeah buddy.

That’s it for now….

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

Ann Arbor Wake Up

December 4th, 2013 Jorma 6 comments

Well, after the show last night at the Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem we hopped on the bus, went to sleep and woke up in Ann Arbor, Michigan where we will play at the Ark tonight.

OK… a quick rewind from last night.

Nice use of old space for a new club

Nice use of old space for a new club

This is a really lovely gig… and in the shadow of the old steel mills it welcomes old ghosts with new life.

We played two grand sets for our friends… and here they are:

Hot Tuna 53, 2013
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Musikfest Café
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

First Set:
1. Search My Heart
2. Children Of Zion
3. Second Chances
4. Sea Child
5. Hesitation Blues
6. Serpent Of Dreams
7. Barbeque King
8. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
9. How Long Blues
10. Vicksburg Stomp
11. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. Genesis
3. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
4. Prohibition Blues
5. Come Back Baby
6. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
7. Living In The Moment
8. Good Shepherd
9. Candy Man
10. 99 Year Blues
11. 9 Pound Hammer
12. Encore: Bar Room Crystal Ball

Meanwhile, back at home, our lovely daughter Izze was at the post office mailing some Girl Scout goodies to some of our service friends stationed in Afghanistan.

Good job sweetie...

Good job sweetie...

That’s about it for now. Off to soundcheck at the Ark and as always…

Onward!

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

PBS And Martin Guitars In Bethlehem

December 3rd, 2013 Jorma 10 comments
Bethlehem steel today

Bethlehem steel today

Yesterday we left Stafford, Connecticut early so we could drive down to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where we were to be a part of a pilot PBS special that focuses on American guitar music. Strangely enough, Martin Guitars out of Nazareth, PA is one of the major sponsors. Anyway, Dick Boak everybody’s dear friend from Martin asked us to be a part of this first show that would be hosted by his friend and colleague, Craig Thatcher. Now, Dick and Craig have brought their stringed magic to the Fur Peace Ranch a number of times, so it was our pleasure to make the drive for them.

The glory that was Rome...

The glory that was Rome...

The steel that built the Golden Gate Bridge was forged in Bethlehem. So many landmarks, so many building… so many lives and families evolved surrounded by the great steel mills of Bethlehem, PA.

The gantries and catwalks live in their own memories

The gantries and catwalks live in their own memories

The steel industry in America will probably not be born again. It is a victim of time.

Blast furnaces from the 1800's

Blast furnaces from the 1800's

…and this is no longer that time here in the good old U S of A.

The latest additions... 1967

The latest additions... 1967

One can decry those moments now vanished from the American landscape but that will not bring back those halcyon days. But indeed, the closing of those doors may have shrouded the community in rust for some decades, but life is coming back even though the mills are silent. The communities of Bethlehem and Allentown are filled with the American spirit. Good news for us too since we will be playing tonight at the Musikfest Cafe located in the Steel Stacks right around the corner from the PBS station where we filmed the show. The arts are blossoming in the shadows of the old Bessemer converters.

Makeup. Makeup.

Makeup. Makeup.

I started the shoot out in makeup. Allison Kocher from the Clementine Salon had the herculean task of making me presentable for the TV cameras.

Her work is cut out for her. Thanks Allison!

Her work is cut out for her. Thanks Allison!

After my ‘touch up’ it was out to the studio.

Craig Thatcher... the host with the most

Craig Thatcher... the host with the most

The shoot went well and after we were done, Tim Fallon the President of the local PBS station took us all out to dinner at Mama Nina’s in Bethlehem. Now, I’ve enjoyed Italian food all over the world for decades, but this was absolutely some of the best, bar none! I kid you not!!!!

To eat good is to live good!

To eat good is to live good!

Tonight it’s back to the Steel Stacks for our gig at the Musikfest Cafe about which, more shall be revealed.

Onward.

Set List From Stafford, Connecticut

December 3rd, 2013 Jorma 2 comments

Fun show last night at the Palace in Stafford… just a short note with the set list:

Hot Tuna 52, 2013
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Palace Theater
Stafford Springs, Connecticut
Sunday, December 1, 2013

First Set:
1. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
2. Children Of Zion
3. Second Chances
4. Sea Child
5. Hesitation Blues
6. Goodbye To The Blues
7. Barbeque King
8. 99 year Blues
9. The Terrible Operation
10. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
Second Set:
1. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
2. Izze’s Lullaby
3. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
4. More Than My Old Guitar
5. I See The Light
6. Heart Temporary
7. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
8. Come Back Baby
9. Good Shepherd
10. How Long Blues
11. I Know You Rider
12. Encore: Bar Room Crystal Ball

Long day today… will run that down for everyone tomorrow.

…and now… goodnight!

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

The Last Two… On To Stafford

December 1st, 2013 Jorma 9 comments

Busy, busy… here are the last two Hot Tuna set lists:

From Syracuse:

Hot Tuna 50, 2013
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Palace Theater
Syracuse, New York
Friday, November 29, 2013

First Set:
1. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
2. Search My Heart
3. Been So Long
4. Heart Temporary
5. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
6. Hesitation Blues
7. Come Back Baby
8. 99 Year Blues
9. Goodbye To The Blues
10. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
11. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
3. How Long Blues
4. I’ll Be All Right Some Day
5. Second Chances
6. Keep On Trucking Mama
7. Barbeque King
8. Good Shepherd
9. I Am The Light Of This World
10. I Know You Rider
11. Encore: Bar Room Crystal Ball

Great show… and, as if it weren’t cold and snowy enough… here we are in Jay, Vermont.

Hot Tuna 51, 2013
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
Foeger Ballroom
Jay Peak
Jay, Vermont
Saturday, November 30, 2013

First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Children Of Zion
3. New Song For The Morning
4. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
5. Barbeque King
6. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
7. More Than My Old Guitar
8. That’ll Never Happen No More
9. Things That Might Have Been
10. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
11. Candy Man
12. I know You Rider
Second Set:
1. Hesitation Blues
2. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
3. Keep On Trucking Mama
4. Vicksburg Stomp
5. Goodbye To The Blues
6. Come Back Baby
7. Prohibition Blues
8. Good Shepherd
9. How Long Blues
10. Nine Pound Hammer
11. Encore: I Am the Light Of This World

This was last night’s show, of course. It’s 0655 here in Jay and we’ll be rolling towards Stafford, Connecticut shortly for a show at the Stafford Palace Theater.

Short but sweet… I’m outta here. More anon and, of course… onward!

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