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#38 And A Trip To Akai Hana

February 21st, 2021 Leave a comment Go to comments

#38 was yet another good time for us here at the Fur Peace Ranch. Instead of waiting until our 8 o’clock start time, we started recording at four. We’ve had some nasty weather here (I know we’re not alone) and the temperature dropped to 8 degrees F last night. We just couldn’t have our people driving these country roads late at night under those conditions. Things look like they’re warming up, if a little rainy. We’ll be live and in person for #39!

While I’m making corrections, for years I’ve been crediting Snooks Eaglin with Uncle Sam (or Questionaire Blues as it is also called.) I also went back last night and checked the Folkways LP I have been referencing. The song is not there. Armed with these facts, I can’t remember where I got the song and why I blamed Snooks. Could it have been Ian Buchanan? Perhaps, but that’s not even an educated guess. I stand corrected… the true facts may be lost in antiquity.

Moving on… the set list from last night:

Jorma Kaukonen 9, 2021

Quarantine Concert Series #38

The Fur Peace Station

Darwin, Ohio

Saturday, February 19, 2021

  1. Been So Long
  2. Trouble In Mind
  3. That’ll Never Happen No More
  4. Second Chances
  5. Ninety Nine Year Blues
  6. They Call Me The Breeze with John Hurlbut
  7. Smokestack Lightning with John Hurlbut
  8. Uncle Sam Blues
  9. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
  10. A Walk With Friends

Like I said… 8 degrees when I got up this morning… and then things started to warm. After Izze’s volleyball practice, we collected Vanessa and drove to Columbus for a delicious dinner at Akai Hana, one of Columbus’ premier Asian eatery.

Back home we look forward to warmer if rainy days. Got some great ideas already for #39.

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Set Lists Tags:
  1. Greg C
    February 21st, 2021 at 22:36 | #1

    There is a Snooks Eaglin Smithsonian Folkways compilation from 1985 listed here:


    Track 6 is listed as “I Got My Questionnaire” and the liner notes say: “The original notes said that Eaglin learned this song from a Clarence Burton recording, but Burton was an actor, not a musician, so this is puzzling. Some of Eaglin’s lyrics had appeared in various blues recorded during World War II and later, including Hot Lips Page’s “Uncle Sam Blues,” Brownie McGhee’s “Million Lonesome Women,” and Arthur Crudup’s “Give Me a 32-20” (which gives the lyric an ironic twist by following the “questionnaire” line–like Eagline–he pronounces it “questionnairee”–with “Now if I be a murderer, don’t have to break the county law”). This is one of Eaglin’s most powerful slow-blues performances, his voice more forceful than usual, and his guitar snapping and growling its responses.

  2. BrendanC
    February 21st, 2021 at 23:29 | #2

    Happened to take a long walk on a sunny Lenox, Ma. day and drove past Tanglewood on way to lodge. John & Jorma duet covering I’ll Remember You played a bit in my mind as I pulled in, so I watched some of yesterday’s show (been a while due to artist overload avoidance effort). Not paying close attention to banter, I processed some as “Moon could freakin pahtee, but don’t get me stahted on Bernstein.” So’s I run a search on Len. He had a big foot for a someone 5 ‘7″ alright.

  3. February 22nd, 2021 at 08:23 | #3

    Greg… you are right, and I was originally right. I found my original Folkways album (I almost never throw anything away) and there it was. Ian taught me a lot, but not this song. My original ‘memory’ was correct. Monday is starting to feel better already.

    Thanks, and stay well!

  4. John R.
    February 22nd, 2021 at 09:03 | #4

    As a professor advised during my college days: “If you have to change an answer, don’t change it from right to wrong. Change it from wrong to right.” You couldn’t tell if he was being dead-pan or serious.

  5. Dale Radeleff
    February 22nd, 2021 at 10:28 | #5

    Jorma :
    Monday is starting to feel better already.
    Thanks, and stay well!

    Happy Monday Morning Jorma 🙂

  6. eaglesteve
    February 22nd, 2021 at 10:40 | #6

    Dug 38. Thank you.

  7. Tom Pevear
    February 22nd, 2021 at 14:09 | #7

    Bears a strong resemblance to Vietnam Blues by Steven Mann, too. I know you’re a big fan of his! Hope you’re well, Jorma! https://open.spotify.com/track/3UykntXVxEPNxflhfhPG7U?si=VhiKbxaUR4i3R-3Ec65RKw

  8. chinaski
    February 23rd, 2021 at 17:07 | #8

    Not to take away from the blues dialog but I was saddened to learn of the passing of another San Francisco giant, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, founder of City Lights Books. Spent many hours and $ there followed by many beers and $ next door at Vesuvios back in the day. It was sort of a tradition to do, visit City Lights and then Vesuvios. *sigh*

  9. John R.
    February 23rd, 2021 at 18:12 | #9

    Wow! Had not heard. Major news.@chinaski

  10. Todd Ellenberg
    February 26th, 2021 at 11:55 | #10

    Enjoyed discovering the wonderful Snooks Eaglin and got to see him perform several times in NOLA. Jorma, how about reviving the R&R version of Uncle Sam Blues?

  11. Tom in St. Louis
    February 26th, 2021 at 15:09 | #11

    The Library of Congress thinks that “Uncle Sam Blues” was written by trumpeter and singer Oran “Hot Lips” Page and first recorded in 1944. Link: https://www.loc.gov/static/programs/national-recording-preservation-board/documents/UncleSamBlues.pdf
    The Smithsonian agrees-see the section on “I Got My Questionnaire”:
    More on Page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Lips_Page

  12. KJ Bleus Parsons
    February 26th, 2021 at 19:24 | #12

    Whoops, I posted this earlier, belongs here with relevant commentary …..

    February 26th, 2021 at 12:01

    Re: Additional info regarding origins of “Uncle Sam Blues”

    Digging into some blues history this morning ….. The origins of blues tune “Uncle Sam Blues” is quite interesting. Below web link to Library of Congress Archives offers the origins story. Blues & Jazz musician Oran Thaddeus Page is the original performer, on the Savoy record label, 1944.


    Of course, Hot Tuna and Jorma K made “Uncle Sam Blues” a big, big thing during the Vietnam War era. Here’s wishing for Jorma and Jack to continue performing this tune into future years !!!

    KJ Bleus Parsons
    MadCity, WI USA

    Re: Additional info regarding origins of “Uncle Sam Blues”

    Uncle Sam Blues
    Oran Page & Swing Seven
    Savoy Record label 1944



  13. Tom in St. Louis
    February 26th, 2021 at 23:29 | #13

    Thank you, KJ. Very thorough work on your part.
    From my reading I learned that Snooks mostly acquired his repertoire from the radio and records, as he didn’t write too many songs himself. He was usually quite forthcoming about the origins of the songs he played, but understandably didn’t always remember the details. His interpretations also frequently differed from the originals. He sure was a tremendous talent!