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Archive for June, 2020

Light And Shadows

June 28th, 2020 29 comments
Day is done

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Sometimes it seems as if life is an equal mixture of ghosts and angels. I’d been agonizing all week about weighing in but I just really found myself with nothing positive to say about my world view so saying nothing seemed like the right thing to do. On the brightest of sides, our daughter Izze turned fourteen and being part of her life as she blossoms into a woman is one of life’s greatest blessings. My son Zach is a self-supporting young man… what a concept! He’s going to be spending some time with us in August so indeed, the kids are all right.

The virus is not going anywhere, and the folks that think masks are a political statement are no friends of mine. I don’t need to know someone to know what they think of me if they’re in my face with no mask. Just sayin’!

Having said that, the music is balm that never ceases to salve the soul. I watched the free Fur Peace Ranch show tonight featuring Spencer Bohren, Larry Campbell and myself. Spencer has been gone a year know and this show was taped four months before he was diagnosed. The soul goodness of this man was so evident in everything he did but his music always spoke to us all, deeply and profoundly. Death removes all possibilities and Spenser’s story now belongs to the ages. That said, to see and hear him still fit and healthy tonight on the small screen was magic.  Remembrance is difficult, but there are those who must be remembered. My mom and dad have been gone for over two decades but they still walk beside me every day.

The music continues to sustain me. My buddy Jack will be pulling into town and we will be doing some vigorous rehearsing for the July 4th show. The last time we saw each other was at our last gig in February at a casino in St. Louis. It seems like a lifetime ago and in some ways it is.

I get interesting questions from time to time about the creative process in my life. During these WWCV times I have chosen to seriously try to elevate my guitar playing as well as resuscitating some old seldom played gems. I have also been spending golden time with the family. I’ll take that win.

The older I get, the smaller my world of old friends become. I guess the good news is that I get to lament their passing in person. In the spirit of good news, I’m still in the game of life and that is more than a miracle.

Well, as confining as it is I’m grateful for the Zoom lessons. It is truly better than nothing. I was hoping to go paddle boarding at the lake tomorrow, but it looks like thunderstorms are going to make that unlikely.

Still and all… you never know..

Moving right along…

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Panini # 3 And A Pre-Father’s Day Ride!

June 20th, 2020 23 comments

The weather held yesterday midday for another stellar Panini Lunch and Mini Concert.

Jorma Kaukonen 14, 2020

 #3 Of The Panini Lunch Sessions

Live From The Fur Peace Ranch

& The Beatrice Love Kitchen

Friday, June 19, 2020

  1. Dime For Beer
  2. Come Back Baby
  3. Hesitation Blues
  4. Roads and Roads &
  5. Watch The North Wind Rise
  6. Travelin’ with John Hurlbut
  7. The Old Homestead with John Hurlbut
  8. How Long Blues
  9. Brother Can You Spare A Dime?
  10. Candy Man
  11. That’ll Never Happen No More

Always a pleasure to get together with Brother John… always and of course a special thanks to our esteemed colleague Myron Hart who always makes sure that our stuff works.

Today I got up early and saddled up Black Beauty to meet my friend Bim in Nelsonville for a more than awesome two hundred mile ride. We headed up SR 78 and made a stop at the Big Musky Bucket. All these year in Ohio and I’d never visited before.

Bim led me to the home where he grew up in Summerfield. He’s slowly renovating the place and it’s going to be beautiful when it’s done. In the meantime amidst the construction, a multi generational story lives on.

Long ago but not so far away…

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

I have lived here in Ohio for almost thirty years now and it is my home… it shall remain so. It was an honor to get to know my friend a little better by being a guest in his home place. On some levels, small town America might seem to dwindle, but it is still strong and the roots run deep.

We took a moment to pay respects to his mom, resting on a beautiful hillside.

Amazing Grace indeed…

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The roads, the weather, expanding one’s family by meeting another… just a great way to spend a day.

You know, I meant to write more but I’m not sure that more need be said.

It’s been a great day!

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Panini # 3 Tomorrow & Hot Tuna Electric Revisited

June 18th, 2020 11 comments

I keep hearing from my friends who I don’t see during this pandemic, ‘At least it must be great having all this time on your hands.’ I’ve never been home and had less time and I don’t know quite how that happened. The Quarantine Concert Series has had me practicing guitar in a way I haven’t done for decades. Playing gigs is not the same as practicing. I remember the great Steve James coming to the Fur Peace Ranch after eight weeks touring Europe. ‘My show is great,’ he said. ‘My chops are shot.’ I know exactly what he meant. This respite from the road has given me an opportunity to work on both my show and my chops, and I’m grateful for that.

Well, it’s Father’s Day weekend and although we didn’t really factor this into the decision, I’m glad to have a weekend off when it looks like the weather might be beautiful. We’re getting ready to host Jack Casady but we’ll still have time for ourselves. That said, I’m already feeling withdrawals from The Series and I’m really looking forward to getting back in saddle.

This Saturday the 20th, we have the last electric Hot Tuna show of last year for your perusal!

Getting serious!

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to Fur Peace TV on YouTube. You’ll get announcements and it helps us… plus, it’s free.

Got to get back to work on some tunes Jack and I will be unearthing!

Stay well!

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Number Eleven And Onwards

June 14th, 2020 30 comments
Maverick and I head for the river

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Yeah, the day was beautiful and cool enough so there weren’t many mosquitoes

.

The stairs from the A-Frame to the house

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Percy and Mav on the prowl

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Sunday, June 14, 2020

An epic Quarantine Concert last night… well for me they’ve all been epic. My good pal Jack Casady will be heading our way soon and we’re going to do a special Hot Tuna show for the Fourth Of July and the next weekend as well. Needless to say, we are both truly looking forward to this. Working on new old songs as well as some new, new ones… yeah, it’s going to be fun.

Here’s the set list from last night’s concert:

Jorma Kaukonen 13, 2020

 #11 Of The Quarantine Concert Series

Live From The Fur Peace Ranch

Fur Peace Station

Darwin, Ohio

Saturday June 13, 2020

  1. Too Many Years
  2. Wolves & Lambs
  3. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
  4. Folsom Prison Blues
  5. Great Divide Revisited
  6. Flying Clouds
  7. She Belongs To Me with John Hurlbut
  8. Sugaree with John Hurlbut
  9. Hamar Promenade
  10. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
  11. Water Song

This morning stellar and Ness and I hiked the property with the dogs and I taught Zoom lessons for three hours. A great day, all in all.

Our own botanical garden

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Next Saturday at 8 PM we’re going to run the last Electric Hot Tuna from the Fur Peace Ranch last November and the Quarantine Concert Series will be back July Fourth. We are not done with the Quarantine Concert Series by long shot!

Good times!
The Psylodeic Gallery From The Lower Road

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

I’ll be weighing in as the week evolves.

Stay well you all!

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Mom’s Jahrzeit And Panini Concert #2

June 12th, 2020 17 comments
John and I play All Along The Watchtower

Were my mom still of this earth she would have been 110 years old today. Born June 12, 1910 she walked across most of the century with very long strides indeed and along the way touched many lives. I hope that at the end of her life (and Dad’s too) she could rest knowing that her kids would be all right. I’m sorry my kids Izze and Zach never got to meet their paternal grandparents. I’m sorry Mom and Dad never got to meet them but time is a finite commodity.

I read this poem for Mom before I started my little lunchtime gig.

In Many Houses

In many houses

all at once

I see my mother and father

and they are young as they walk in

Why should my

tears come,

to see them laughing

That they cannot

see me

is of no matter:

I was once

their dream:

now

they are mine. 

Izze, Nessa and Myron on the workshop porch

Jorma Kaukonen 12, 2020

 #2 Of The Panini Lunch Sessions

Live From The Fur Peace Ranch

& The Beatrice Love Kitchen

Friday, June 12, 2020

  1. True Religion
  2. River Of Time
  3. I Am The Light of This World
  4. Ain’t In No Hurry
  5. Flying Clouds
  6. Dark Hollow with John Hurlbut
  7. All Along The Watchtower With John Hurlbut
  8. Barbeque King
  9. San Francisco Bay Blues
  10. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning

Now, people get ready for Quarantine Concert #11 tomorrow, Saturday, June 12, 2020 at 8 PM Eastern Time.

Remember, if it’s not free, it’s not me. Enjoy the day and hope to ‘see’ you tomorrow.

Happy Birthday Mom!

I love you!

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Number 10 Comes And Goes On A Beautiful Weekend

June 7th, 2020 41 comments
Sunday at the Ranch

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Our 10th Quarantine Concert evolved last night and as it always days it once again gave me a sense of purpose and removed the stress that had been building up all week. We really had such lovely goings on at the Ranch this week it sometimes seemed hard to realize that our world here in the States was… well the way it was. I did have some reminders though. There was this one POS who has been trying to get his comments approved. He’s anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic and generally speaking a waste of human skin. The mere fact that I read his shit before I deleted it made me want to take a bath! I have prided myself on not being heavy handed in the editorial department but I’m done with that laissez-faire nonsense.  I will do my best not to let the enemy at the gate in… in any way, shape or form. My wife and daughter have both been protesting and that’s a good thing. If you can’t stand up for what you believe in there’s not much point in being human.

Anyway, all this real life conspired to really put me off my feed as the week rolled on. When we went live for Quarantine Concert #10, all that melted away for a couple of hours. The music and the human interaction nourishes my soul.

Here’s what we played:

Jorma Kaukonen 11, 2020

 #10 Of The Quarantine Concert Series

Live From The Fur Peace Ranch

Fur Peace Station

Darwin, Ohio

Saturday June 6, 2020

  1. Heart Temporary
  2. New Song For The Morning
  3. San Francisco Bay Blues
  4. Blues Stay Away From Me with Vanessa
  5. A Little More Faith In Jesus with Vanessa
  6. Walls Of Time with Myron Hart
  7. Been So Long
  8. Travelin’ with John Hurlbut
  9. Get Together with John Hurlbut
  10. Follow The Drinking Gourd
  11. That’ll Never Happen No More

It’s been a while since Nessa and I sang together on stage. It was a real treat for me. So much for my world for now. Looks like a little yard work is calling my name.

Stay well!

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#1 Of The Panini Lunch Sessions

June 5th, 2020 25 comments
Setting up for the lunch crowd!

Foto by Myron Hart

Today the Fur Peace Ranch was open for a panini lunch and we hosted twenty guests. It’s the first time we’ve been open for anything since The Crises began and we were so grateful to be able to do it. I picked a bunch of songs and of course had Hurl join me for two tunes.

Jorma Kaukonen 10, 2020

 #1 Of The Panini Lunch Sessions

Live From The Fur Peace Ranch

& The Beatrice Love Kitchen

Friday, June 5, 2020

  1. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
  2. Search My Heart
  3. Letter To The North Star
  4. Sea Child
  5. Living In The Moment
  6. Oklahoma Hills with John Hurlbut
  7. She Belongs To Me with John Hurlbut
  8. Follow The Drinking Gourd
  9. In My Dreams
  10. I Know You Rider
The boys and I

Selfie by Myron Hart

Yeah… really good times in this time of not such good times. We are so blessed!

Now:

What a great day. Hope to see everyone 6/6/20… tomorrow night at eight PM.

Stay well…

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Fourteen In Two

June 4th, 2020 27 comments
The calm before the storm

Drone Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Justin set up his studio in the workshop on Sunday and we settled in for the Jorma Kaukonen/John Hurlbut project. I had been thinking about doing this project for some time and this just seemed seemed like the right moment to get it done.

Hurl with his Gibson J-45

Our good friend Justin drove down from Upstate New York and with Myron’s able assistance the studio gear moved from the SUV to the Fur Peace Ranch Workshop. The workshop has been empty for over two months now wo it was a treat to be bouncing musical life off the walls again. Normally when Justin Guip is seen with us, it is as our drummer in Hot Tuna… but there is so much more to this man. A master in the studio, he is also a great chef. He’s the man.

Anyway, he brought the good stuff for this recording session and for all you gear heads out there, here is the data:

Justin’s Gear List

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Jorma Kaukonen’s Guitar Chain

  1. Telefunken Elam 251 Tube Condenser Mike (neck)
  2. Beyer Dynamic M-160 Ribbon Mike (bridge)
  3. API 3124 Mike pre’s
  4. API 5500   Equalizers
  5. Vintage Neve 33609 Compressor
  6. Apogee A/D converters at 24 bit 96K sampling rate

John’s Guitar:

  1. Brauner VM-1 Tube Condenser Mike
  2. Beyer Dynamic M-160 Ribbon Mike (bridger)
  3. API 3124 Mike pre’s
  4. API 5500   Equalizers
  5. API 2500 Compressor
  6. Apogee A/D converters at 24 bit 96K sampling rate

Vocal Chain:

  1. Neumann U-87
  2. Into a Shadow Hill Mono Gamma Mike Pre
  3. Into a Pultec EQP 500A Equalizer
  4. Into a Urei 1178 Compressor

Room Mike:

Stereo Room Mikes,  Audio Technica 4047

Into Drawmer 1969  Mercenary Edition Vacuum Tube Compressor Pre-Amp

Recorded into Pro Tools Version 12

It was a closed session, no kibitzing although Vanessa did drop in to sing on a track.  We cut fourteen songs in two days and they’re all winners. I really loved being able to just accompany John and help him tell the story without being concerned with being Jorma or a member of Hot Tuna, if you know what I mean. Hey, I get to do it all. How good does it have to get?

Three Wise Men?

Foto by Wendy

Two days… fourteen takes. Not bad if we do say so ourselves. Oh yeah, I played the 1958 J-50 I got at Pop’s Music in Dayton, Ohio in 1960. Hurl played his 20 year old J-45 he picked up at Merlefest two decades ago.

To be surrounded with such relative peace in these more than trying times was a blessing of immeasurable magnitude. Now back to our real world such as it is and already thinking about the set list for Quarentine Concert #10.

As for the real world, I’m not blind to what is going on in this country and in the world right now. That’s an encyclopedia unto itself. I may weigh in on this tomorrow… or I may just vote, as I suggest that you all do.

Driving on…

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