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Darwin To Wilkesboro

Early morning flight at the Ranch

Early morning flight at the Ranch

New Corral at the Ranch hombres... from the drone

New Corral at the Ranch hombres... from the drone

Merlefest is this weekend, and here we are. We drove down yesterday and arrived in Wilkesboro in the early evening. This morning I was on stage with a bunch of great players… Pat Donahue, Roy Book Binder, Steve James and a couple of others I can’t remember right now. Happy Traum hosted and a good time was had by all. I played Barbeque King and That’ll Never Happen No More.

A festival lunch for all of us and then I realized that I needed to review Blue Railroad Train for an afternoon show with Mitch Greenhill and some of his pals. Yes, I know… it’s a simple two chord song, but I’ve got a couple of cool licks in it and it required some thought… not to mention the lyrics. All went well, however… and there’s nothing like rehearsal when you need it.

Before our little blues jam the Waybacks played some great tunes and Celia Woodsmith knocked White Rabbit out of the park! Yeah buddy!

After the show it was back to the hotel to get our car and drive to 10th St. where we had been told about a great restaurant that served farm to table food.

Elsewhere on 10th... Don't miss it!

Elsewhere on 10th... Don't miss it!

Michael Nash, the Waybacks manager hipped us to this joint… and it was off the charts!

Now back at the hotel, time to hit the sack. Tomorrow’s another full day here at Merlefest!

Categories: Diary, Set Lists, Venues Tags:
  1. carlo pagliano
    April 29th, 2017 at 17:18 | #1

    Rock Them All High Tonight Jorma All Day Long.

  2. Joey Hudoklin
    April 29th, 2017 at 20:20 | #2

    Looks like a good time Jorma.
    Play them Follow the Drinking Gourd

  3. April 29th, 2017 at 22:35 | #3

    Heard you today! Great! I’ve been watching/listening to you for years. I loved your work with the JA–I talked with you in 1970? when you played at Indiana University (I was a student then) and again in Greensboro, NC at a weekend festival with Balin, Cassidy, Kantner . . . 1994.

    Thanks for continuing to make music. Heard some licks in “Good Shepherd” from the Volunteers album.

  4. Brian Doyle
    April 30th, 2017 at 10:23 | #4

    Anyone know of a good UFO transport service to get me to one of Jorma & Jack’s electric shows?

  5. johno
    April 30th, 2017 at 10:58 | #5

    @Brian Doyle
    Have you ever seen Electric Hot Tuna?

  6. Phil Zisook
    May 1st, 2017 at 09:30 | #6

    So great to see Jorma over multiple days at Merlefest. Merlefest is always a magical experience — it’s a music lover’s dream, but it’s much more than just the music. I’ve gone each year for the past 10 years and always feel rejuvenated from the experience. But I think hearing Jorma do “Lamps”, “True Religion” and “Brother Can you Spare a Dime” yesterday at the Sunday Morning Blues set under sunny blue skies definitively drove home that magical vibe. Thanks Jorma!

  7. Brett
    May 1st, 2017 at 12:19 | #7

    @Phil Zisook

    Agreed…that whole set that Roy hosted was great! Todd Albright, Charles Welch, Roy Bookbinder…..and The Captain !

    Jorma…what was the song you played for your encore!

  8. John B
    May 1st, 2017 at 15:11 | #8

    That is one fine looking corral Jorma. The Ranch is such a great place to spend time and it is nice to see the little additions that you and Vanessa add.

    Merlefest looked like a blast and one of these years i will get myself down there for a little relaxation and fine music. Blue Railroad Train and Barbecue King would have been worth the price of admission . See you out on the road this summer.

    Be well;
    John B

  9. phil zisook
    May 1st, 2017 at 20:27 | #9

    Brett, Also played in the Sunday morning set was “Light of this World”. “Brother Can you Spare a Dime” was the encore.

  10. Brett
    May 2nd, 2017 at 13:02 | #10

    @phil zisook

    Yup…after my post, I re read your post and said to myself “Doh …another Senior Moment Brett !! ”

    I have been trying to remember what the MJH song Charles Welch played was (2nd song)….Do you maybe / possibly remember what that one was ? (That one got me ALL misty eyed)

    Thanks again Phil


  11. Phil Zisook
    May 2nd, 2017 at 13:49 | #11

    Brett, Sorry Brother, chalk that up to my own senior moment! It was great, but I can’t remember the name.

  12. Cheri Guertler
    May 3rd, 2017 at 08:53 | #12

    Jorma, did you not play with Ricky Nelson on one of his tv shows and were listed on one of his 45’s. I sang with a band in Salt Lake City and our guitar player, Kenny Rardin idolized your guitar-pickin’ We went to his place for practice and he produced the 45 with your name on it and the Ricky Nelson Show was on and there you were. We couldn’t believe it. Were my eyes deceiving me? Have to know. Kenny still plays and is damned good.

    I used to sing Grace Slick songs and loved your acoustic “Embryonic Journey.”

  13. Sweetbac Jr.
    May 3rd, 2017 at 11:33 | #13

    Cheri….that was actually rick NIELSON of Cheap Trick….Jorma did a uncredited guitar solo on the classic “Dream Police”

  14. Brian Dolye
    May 3rd, 2017 at 11:47 | #14

    ” Have you ever seen Electric Hot Tuna? ”

    Nope. One of my regrettable mistakes in life…

  15. mikie
    May 3rd, 2017 at 13:10 | #15

    If I recall correctly, Jorma said in an interview (by John Hurlbut) that the first concert he attended in DC as a youngster was a Ricky Nelson show – with James Burton on lead guitar). m

  16. Brian Doyle
    May 3rd, 2017 at 23:09 | #16

    ” Have you ever seen Electric Hot Tuna? ”

    Nope, one of my regrettable mistakes in life…

  17. Joey Hudoklin
    May 4th, 2017 at 02:14 | #17

    @Brian Doyle
    It’s not too late

  18. Dead Head
    May 4th, 2017 at 08:07 | #18

    Never seen electric Tuna? Better get on the ball; life don’t last forever. IT IS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION. Think of a Dead ball without the Hell’s Angels.

  19. Dead Head
    May 4th, 2017 at 08:16 | #19

    Always wondered if Jorma ever schmoozed with Clarence White. Talk about chops..

  20. JB
    May 4th, 2017 at 09:27 | #20

    Brian- You must fix that! I am a big fan of never having to say should have or could have! Get er done!

  21. carey georgas
    May 4th, 2017 at 11:47 | #21

    @Brian Doyle
    Hell, I made a 1200 mile drive to see ’em, and would do it again. No more excellent reason for a road trip can I imagine.

  22. johno
    May 4th, 2017 at 12:24 | #22

    @Brian Doyle
    Where do you live? That might have something to do with it.
    Boy, you’re in for a treat!

  23. Brian Doyle
    May 4th, 2017 at 16:10 | #23

    Beautiful sunny Sanibel Island, Florida. Plenty of theaters around here. Tell Jorma & Jack I’ll put them up at my place…(now I’m in for it)

  24. johno
    May 4th, 2017 at 21:52 | #24

    @Brian Doyle
    I just love Sanibel and Captiva – great shelling, sunsets and warm breezes.

  25. Brian Doyle
    May 5th, 2017 at 11:02 | #25

    I’m really a Rockland County New York boy about 10 years too late for Woodstock. Could have seen Hot Tuna in New York I guess. Some times it’s the luck of the draw of what your buddy’s are in to…My first Grateful Dead show was Roosevelt Field 1976. I was a young nervous 16 year old kid and didn’t dare venture off our picnic blanket in to the sea of freaks. My friend talked his father in to driving us to the show. Years later he told me he ventured in to that sea of freaks and found his first hit of acid. Guess he didn’t tell us because that was a big move…

  26. Sweetbac Jr.
    May 6th, 2017 at 02:36 | #26

    The infield at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City was CHILDSPLAY compared to the surreal experience of entering the mens room at 3am at the Palladium on 14th street in NYC during the 4th hour of a typical late ’70’s electric onslaught of Hot F’ing Tuna…think “Land of the Zombies” meets “La Dolce Vita”…
    You wouldn’t lasted a minute, Junior!

  27. John B
    May 6th, 2017 at 09:59 | #27

    Yes indeed Sweetbac.@Sweetbac Jr.

  28. Brian Doyle
    May 6th, 2017 at 12:50 | #28

    Try me now Sweetback bucko…Lol…

    Probably not a good idea admit Tuna virginity on this board lol…

  29. Sweetbac Jr.
    May 6th, 2017 at 22:42 | #29

    Look here, kid…ALL I’m sayin’ is them rock palaces was NO place for the timid back in the day….hell, I remember a Tuna gig at the Suffolk Forum musta been late 75-76 or thereabouts…the balcony had the usual card tables set up with various zooms n’ whams we used to do back then..nothin’ out of the ordinary, mind ya…when ALL of a sudden, some dudes start a g’damn cock fight…roosters going at it…feathers flyin’…I had a $20 on some bird named “Maurice”…it got a bit hazy after that, but I remember Tuna was in the middle of “Invitation” and some usher threw open the door, and the long island sunrise brought us gently back to reality…the possibilities were endless back then.

  30. Brian Doyle
    May 6th, 2017 at 23:35 | #30

    It was pretty crazy back then. Your surreal cock fight was the dawn of my awareness. If it wasn’t for those times I would probably not be posting here and would be an orthodontist somewhere with a trophy wife. We’re probably both saying the same thing and I was still green enough that that scene was scary to me and probably why I didn’t ever make it at the time. Not recommendable times but I’ve never seen anyone say they weren’t the best and film doesn’t lie…A lot of us were 16 going on 30 with not enough sense to appreciate it…But we didn’t have Viet Nam to drive us…

  31. Gail Gaddy
    May 26th, 2017 at 23:10 | #31

    Whenever you play at Merlefest, the experience is priceless! I loved all your sets! You were incredible on the cabin stage. Thanks so much!