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Night One Birthday Bash At The Beacon

December 4th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Wow… what a night at the Beacon last night. We had so many wonderful guests. Happy Traum was the first one up to join us on stage and he did so with Sportin’ Life Blues. Happy and I go way back and back in the day he was one of the major players in the Big Folk Scare. Happy was and is still… one of the Big Dogs. Our next guest was was my old buddy John Hammond. John and I met at Antioch College in 1960. He and I have been friends for fifty years and he was the first of my musical buddies to be a star… he is still a star! As I said last night at the show, a long, long time ago in a parallel universe when I was in the Jefferson Airplane Bill Kirchen was in Commander Cody’s Lost Planet Airmen. Bill is such a good friend and of course he teaches frequently at the Fur Peace Ranch. The cat was really out of the bag now. Larry Campbell came up for Bill’s ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout Chicken and stayed up for ‘Come Back Baby’ joined by the master musician, Warren Haynes. This first set was over but the evening had just begun.

My old friend and colleague, Michael Falzarano, has spent the last seven months choreographing this mad little delight for us and what a great job he’s done. He will be joining us tonight behind his own guitar, but more on that later. Anyway, for the second set we brought up Byron House to join Jack on upright bass. Byron was part of my Grammy nominated CD, ‘Blue Country Heart’ in 2002 and he produced my Red House Records Project ‘Stars In my Crown’ a couple of years later. Speaking of Red House, my friends and colleagues from Red House, Eric Peltoniemi and Ellen Stanley flew in from the Twin Cities and it was really great to see them even for such a short time! Anyway, Byron and Jack are old buddies and they really teamed up together. Larry came out for Genesis and really played some simply beautiful guitar for us. Warren came out and joined Larry and us on Bowlegged Woman… and well, it was quite the notefest.

We welcomed Bruce Hornsby next and Bruce, genius that he is surprised us with a dulcimer… and a mountain version of ‘Children Of Zion.’ I had no idea, but I really dug it. Larry stayed out an played fiddle and for the next number, Bruce got on the Steinway Grand Piano and filled in the blanks on ‘I Know You Rider.’ Back in the stripped down Tuna format we played one of our new songs that we just recorded, ‘If This Is Love, I Want My Money Back.’ My buddy from down home in Meigs County, Mark Markham, penned that romantic ditty and that just set the stage for another dear old friend Chris Smither to come out and play an acoustic version of Blind Boy Fuller’s ‘Step It Up And Go.’ Thanks Chris!

The guitar guys came out for ‘Rock Me Baby’ and stayed of for ‘Funky #7’ with Bruce Hornsby. A twelve and a half minute version with some serious jamming. Here is our set list:

The Beacon
Friday, December 3, 2010

12/3 Guests
Bruce Hornsby
Warren Haynes
Happy Traum
Larry Campbell
Byron House
Bill Kirchen
John Hammond
Chris Smither

First Set:
1. I See The Light
2. Corners Without Exits
3. Talkin’ Bout You
4. Can’t Get Satisfied
5. Sportin’ Life Blues with Happy Traum
6. Ode To Billy Dean
7. Living Just For You
8. John Hammond …I Can Tell
9. John Hammond …. You Know That’s Cold
10. Talkin’ Bout chicken with Bill Kirchen and Larry Campbell
11. Come Back Baby with Kirchen and Warren Haynes and Larry Campbell
Second Set:
1. Water Song with Jack & Byron House
2. 99 Year Blues with Jack and Byron
3. Genesis with Larry Campbell
4. Bowlegged Woman with Warren Haynes & Larry Campbell
5. Children of Zion with Bruce Hornsby, Larry Campbell and the Tuna gang
6. I Know You Rider with Bruce Hornsby and Larry Campbell on fiddle
7. I This I Love I Want My Money Back
8. Step It Up And Go with Chris Smither
9. Rock Me Baby (with Larry Campbell, Warren Haynes, and Bill Kirchen)
10. Funky # 7… Warren Haynes, Bill Kirchen, Bruce Hornsby and Larry Campbell
11. Encore: Hit Single #1

Thanks guys… for sharing your art and friendship! Onward!

Oh yeah… one last thing. The great chef Andrew Zimmern did a Brazilian ceviche in my honor. Thanks Andrew. Click his name and check it out. I will.

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Set Lists Tags:
  1. Bob K
    December 4th, 2010 at 11:58 | #1

    an amazing night of music indeed.. Jorma and Jack were above and beyond the call of duty last night. The band was on the money last night right from the get go. As good as the set list looks on paper the playing was so great,, words do not do justice.The core Tuna band had there A game going all night.. Barry and Scooter deserve special recognition.. a fine job. as for the “guests’ well holy molly.. Larry Campbell added so much in every way,, some mighty fine fiddle added to stellar songs, tasty guitar parts on the jams .. he fit right in. Warrens guitar was singing last night..Come back baby .. epic!.. Good ole Bruce gave a real treat with children of Zion,, and his piano fills on rider were just right,, he also added some nice jams in funky#7..John Hammond did a real nice job,, lots of smiles for sure.. as well as Happy and Bill Kirchen.. so much magic in one night,, Byron and Jack put Water song into another place. a big guitar jam highlight was.Bowllegged woman this was 1976 and more with guitar army.. all over the song,, ,my ears are still ringing.. A great night Jorma,, We will be back tonight,, for who knows what more,, should be hot, I think I hear a good Shepard in the set, its all good, 70 yrs. young.. thanks Jorma all the best

  2. Jose Mediavilla
    December 4th, 2010 at 12:02 | #2

    I think I’ve seen Jorma/Tuna at least 25 times in my life, and this has to be one of the best, if not the best, shows I’ve ever seen. Even without any guests, the band was smoking, and Jack in particular was hopping around more so than usual. Love the phasing on Jorma’s guitar during some of the later songs too. Opening with I see The Light was great, and the second set Watersong > 99 > Genesis > Bowlegged opener was really nice. Funky #7 was mind-blowing, and they threw in Hit Single for good measure. All the guests were great, but especially loved Children of Zion with Hornsby on mountain dulcimer. The biggest surprise was Larry Campbell – not sure if this is his first time performing with them, but I hope once the new album is finished he joins them for the next tour. He’s like a combination of Papa John with John Cipollina, and fits in perfectly with the rest of the band.
    As for the Beacon itself, hopefully all those who swore they’d never come back after last year thought better of it. Either they’re under new management or else the band paid extra to overcome the union curfew, but they rocked on till 11:45, and the venue staff was very accommodating. One word of warning for anyone who didn’t go last night: 1st set started promptly about 10-15 mins after 8, and the lights went down quickly without warning for both sets. So wrap up your bathroom and booze trips quickly. Bring on the Airplane alumni!

  3. Gary
    December 4th, 2010 at 12:08 | #3

    Great night at the Beacon! Fantastic Hot tuna music all night long. Thanks Jorma, Jack all the guests and Falzarano for pulling this off. Jorma’s birthday celebration was the impetus for a big h.s. reunion of all my friends from home who together used to see Tuna regularly at every show, early and late, in the NY area in the day. We were talking this morning that if back at the Academy in 1974 someone had said that *36* friggin years later we’d still be going to Hot Tuna shows together,…well I don’t think our brains could have comprehended that fact. And here we are! Looking forward to tonight!

  4. Eagle Steve
    December 4th, 2010 at 12:16 | #4

    Last night’s show was simply spectacular, a rocking hillbilly hootenany I

  5. john o
    December 4th, 2010 at 12:32 | #5

    Happy birthday!!! Last night was incredible. Just like the good ole days. I never heard Jack talk so much-he was downright chatty. The whole show was amazing, blew me away. I don’t have tix for tonite-but if you do-be prepared!!!! Thx

  6. Eagle Steve
    December 4th, 2010 at 12:41 | #6

    Last evening’s show was simply………SPECTACULAR….a rocking hillbilly come electric rockability melange performed by master musicians pouring it on like I’ve not heard in a very long time. Those jams with Larry Camblell and Warren Hayes, to say nothing of Bruce Hornsby, and particulary Bill Kitchen, who can rock out with the best of them and did so, were a delight to experience. The Beacon’s excellent amplification/sound board guys are also to be congratulated. The Beacon’s size, with its refurbished interior and excellent acoustics provided the perfect setting to an evening I’ll not soon forget. The bottom line was that we got to experience great performances from master musicians who have honed their craft and talent to perfection over a lifetime. To “John William”, Jorma, Scooter, and Barry, thanks for your totally excellent performances. And to the man of the hour, Happy Birthday Jorma, and many more. The love pouring down on your from your adoring, perpetual, and committed fans must have been palpable. I so enjoyed watching you smile and having a good time as you observed your pals performing. I can’t wait to see tonight’s show! Thanks for the memory.

  7. Craig Keaveney
    December 4th, 2010 at 13:13 | #7

    Hands down one of the best Hot Tuna Shows of all time! The band was HOT and the sounds was spectacular! The “Special Guests” just helped to push this show to another level! The band with Larry Campbell on fiddle just brings you back to the Papa John days. Barry, Skoota, Jack, and Jorma have never sounded better!

  8. Dmarras
    December 4th, 2010 at 13:36 | #8

    i don’t know how they can top last night tonight, but last night was truly amazing, thank you so much Jorma for bringing the heat to the beacon and happy birthday! my favorite parts of the the show were all the JORMA SOLOS! no disrespect to anyone else, because they were all great! but Jorma is my hero and last night he was wailing that guitar like his back aint got no bone! SEE YOU TONIGHT! ONWARD!

  9. December 4th, 2010 at 14:00 | #9


  10. Kevin Burke
    December 4th, 2010 at 15:33 | #10

    Sounds like last night all that was missing was Papa John Creach, god rest his soul!

  11. Richard Kamin
    December 4th, 2010 at 18:08 | #11

    What a special show simply stellar..I am on my way soon for another great night..Thanks for all you do Jorma.Have a happy and healthy Bday.

  12. Steve Alfano
    December 5th, 2010 at 09:22 | #12

    Thanks for choosing NYC to help you celebrate your 70th. I certainly would have made the trip to Ohio (again) but the electricity to power Hot Tuna is much better here. I cut my Tuna teeth at those Thanksgiving Saturday night late shows. They certainly changed my life. Now after countless Hot Tuna, Jorma , Vital Parts and red hair Jorma shows it was great to be there at the Beacon. Both nights were fantastic but I’ll give the edge to the 12/4 show. Great to hear How Long blues, I was hopoing for a Feels So Good at the end but Baby What you Want Me to Do was a fine choice. Thanks for all the great music, and all the years. Here’s to more of both!!

  13. SteveM
    December 5th, 2010 at 12:35 | #13

    Went both nights. Unlike Friday where core Tuna was on the money from the first note, this how took some time to build. Bob Steeler !!! Banging it out. Of course, Bob W. great to hear joint version of Walkin Blues. Also mesmerizing to hear Oteil B. fit in and color with Jake. As Jorma said at one point: two sets of drums and two bassists. But, of course he held his own and then some. .

  14. Kevin Burke
    December 5th, 2010 at 12:58 | #14

    Happy Birthday, Captain…May you live as long as you want to, and want to as long as you live!

  15. pete
    December 5th, 2010 at 14:15 | #15

    Absolutely a fantastic show friday night…The allstar game and superbowl of Tuna performances. two fabulous setsand a great Tuna encore…Thanks guys and Happy Birhtday Jorma and many many more birthdays and f****in’ hot tuna concerts.

  16. Helene
    December 5th, 2010 at 14:49 | #16

    Happy Birthday and thanks for the wonderful show on the 3rd! This brought back memories of when the band first began. The guests fit in so well and brought very special talent to the show. Looking forward to the new album. Thanks again and keep on truckin’!

  17. December 5th, 2010 at 15:00 | #17

    John Hammond’s second song was “You Know That’s Cold.” (I kept setlist notes.)

    My notes show a short instrumental, featuring Bruce Hornsby on piano, in between Children of Zion and I Know You Rider. Nothing I could put a title to.

    I also have slightly different confirgurations on a few of the songs – e.g., Warren Haynes played on I Know You Rider – but who wants to quibble?

    It was a terrific night. Many thanks to Jorma & Jack, and everybody who played and made the show happen, for so much great music.

  18. ric siler
    December 5th, 2010 at 16:09 | #18

    I was at last night’s show (the 4th) and can’t comment on the Friday show, but it sounds awesome . . . all I can say with absolute honest to pete certainty is: Sat night rocked big time. Great guests, though I’m depending upon Jorma’s eventual post to find out who the guest bass player and drummer were, whoever they were they were amazing. Steve Earle was as always wonderful, and Weir was a nice surprise (Weir came out unannounced after Micheal Falzarano was introduced). Hadn’t seen Weir since Jerry died (can’t bring myself to do it) but he added something to the evening for sure; and an inspired When I Paint My Masterpiece was really cool. Coolest was an, I don’t know, must have been 15-20 minute jam with a big drum duet (both of them were amazing – I think Scoota is a keeper for sure) followed by a major league bass duet . . . primal fucking rock and roll at its level best. I have to mention Pete Sears as well . . . great to see him. Anyway, I figured it clocked in at around 3 1/2 hours of music and not a moment that wasn’t amazing. All in all, I’d have to say that Tuna right now is making some righteous music. So happy b-day Jorma, keep rocking and my wife and I will be there to melt in sheer rocked out bliss.

  19. Jose Mediavilla
    December 5th, 2010 at 16:38 | #19

    @Kevin Burke he was there in spirit as Larry Campbell!

  20. December 6th, 2010 at 18:07 | #20

    Jorma: Happy Birthday. The Dec. 3rd show was unreal and from the looks of it Dec. 4th too. Can’t wait to get back to the ranch and thank you in person for all the great rock and roll, but until then…rock on!

  21. MO
    December 6th, 2010 at 19:28 | #21

    Just a note, since I like to create a playlist of all the songs for my ipod, that steve earle song (2nd night) is called Hometown blues, and yes Itunes has most of the
    above mentioned songs, Of course since I have EVERY hot tuna album from the first to double dose, and I converted them to digital files, it was pretty easy (now locating those cd’s was trickier. Thanks for the great show and I’ll see YOU in Easton. I sure would like to see this show available for CD too, like some of the recent shows you have for sale. btw, just an observation, it seems like the guys outnumber the girls about 5 to 1 in the audience, I don’t know why.

  22. December 8th, 2010 at 19:06 | #22

    That’s why my Wife loves Hot Tuna concerts, there is never a line for the ladies room.

  23. December 9th, 2010 at 12:54 | #23

    On that note, I have a funny story. My wife and I arrived at the Beacon a little early, so we wanted to have a glass of wine or a drink before the show, being drinks are a little pricey at the Beacon. So we walked down to Columbus avenue and I noticed a bar called “The Candlebar.” I said honey, there’s a bar, let’s go check it out. We walked in and upon entering the bar, I realized there were mostly guys in there, didn’t think anything weird, there is a Hot Tuna concert at the Beacon tonight. Walked up the Bar, and ordered a couple of drinks, and said to one of the patrons sitting at the bar, “Hey Dude, Hot F**ing Tuna!. He looked at me kind of weird, like where is this guy coming from. Next thing you know, my wife is whispering in my ear, “Honey, this is a Gay Bar” That’s why there are so many guys in here!

  24. marc gertz
    December 9th, 2010 at 22:32 | #24

    fri.night hot show,blew my doors off,still buzzin, wish my my kid bro was still around, he loved hot tuna,!my buddy sat him up on the stage when he was12yrs old at the academy.

  25. Big Daddy
    December 19th, 2010 at 13:30 | #25

    I was at the 12/3 concert and like everyone else that has posted, I was totally unprepared for the amazing music that came from the stage.
    I’ve been a Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna fan since 1972 (I was 14), but never saw Hot Tuna play (I live in the Chicago metro area and for whatever reason, WXRT doesn’t tell us much about JK/JC tours).
    Also a first for me was the Beacon Theatre. Reminds me of the Auditorium in Chicago – good sight lines, nice acoustics.
    I would love to purchase that night’s performance – I have never heard a better version of Bowlegged Woman in my life!!

  26. Brett E
    March 9th, 2011 at 16:33 | #26

    @ Doug Mlyn…Just saw your comment about lines at the MEN’S Room and NOT the Ladies Room at Tuna shows….

    My wife commented on same after the Durham Hot Tuna Blues show….It was apparently a source of MUCH amusement and conversation in the relatively small line at the Ladies room during intermission…”did you see the LINE at the Men’s room ??………”

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