Comment World

March 3rd, 2020 Jorma 41 comments

Hey Folks… pulling into the final gig of this little run, and it’s been really swell. The first two nights of the tour were acoustic at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix and the rest of the run was the electric trio and that mostly with the David Bromberg Quintet. I love those guys! It’s been a helluva run. Anyway, the last two nights with David and his pals was at the Boulder Theater, in Boulder. I’ve always loved the Boulder Theater for what I considered to be its generally lovely acoustic properties. I’ve played it solo, I’ve played it with Barry Mitterhoff, I’ve been there as a guest of Nick and Helen Forster’s eTown… I’ve played it with Jack Casady acoustic and electric…well, suffice it to say I’ve been there a lot. It has always treated me well and I’ve always given it my best.

So last night we pulled into St. Louis for our last show today at the River City Casino. I was just heading to the restaurant for dinner when I got a text from Vanessa with this note. Now I’m not including the name of the gentleman who sent this to Ness. This is one man’s opinion and he is welcome to it. I don’t want to set him up to be piled on… I did not sit in his seat… I did not have his experience, this is his and his alone. Here is what this disgruntled soul had to say.

‘Hi Vanessa,

First, let me say I’m a long-time Jorma fan. I’ve been eager to hear Hot Tuna live and I’ve wanted to come to the ranch for a workshop for years. But another day for that.

I finally had the chance to hear Hot Tuna last Friday at the Boulder Theater. Well, I started the show anyway. We left during the third song because the sound was detestable. Way too loud, distorted and poorly balanced. I was clocking 105db (peaks were higher) in the balcony. God only knows how much louder it was closer to the stage. But not just loud. The sound was all thumping bass guitar and bass drum. Jorma’s voice was largely inaudible and sometimes even his guitar was covered. Really unpleasant, distorted and all one dynamic. Bad and unacceptably so.

I love my Hot Tuna albums. I appreciate that Jorma is a craftsman, laboring to select the right guitar, right amp, right mikes for each song. And he sweats the details, frequency balance, dynamics, spatial balance. I just can’t believe that he doesn’t care about the quality of his live sound. If his albums were so poor sounding, I wouldn’t buy another one. I doubt he would be proud of any album that sounded so bad, either.

No, I didn’t complain to management at the Boulder Theater. I have in the past (a Dixie Dregs show that was even louder) and they shrugged, saying “Nobody else has complained”. I can’t explain that. Maybe audiences are just so accustomed to bad sound they don’t know any better. But the lack of complaints is not evidence of good sound. Nor is the lack of complaints evidence that a good sounding concert would not be appreciated by the audience. Boulder Theater is not unique, there’s plenty of bad sound out there. Despite excellent sound systems in this day and age, concert sound has never been worse. The state of the art is awful. I just thought Jorma would insist on better sound. I just thought he would want his artistry to be better conveyed.

A final note on safety. 105db is flat out unsafe for human ears except for very short peaks. A constant level of sound that loud is dangerous to our long-term hearing health. I would think Jorma would have some sense of responsibility about that, too.

$135 down the drain for me. Worse, I can’t imagine risking a repeat of the experience. Too bad, I really like Hot Tuna.’

Jorma here again.

OK… another county heard from.

This individual implied that I don’t care about our live sound. He may have thought our sound sucked, and I guess that is for him to say, but he is way off base when he says that I/we don’t care about our live show. Anyone who has been stuck in the house when we set up to do a show knows how meticulous our sound check is. Our head Tech Guru, Myron spends as much time as it takes to tune the room before a single note gets played. My 1967 50w Marshall Plexi is surrounded by glass as is the Louis Electric TwinMaster. The Firebird or the Les Paul use the Marshall, the Gibson Chet Atkins SST gets the call for the softer finger picking numbers through the Louis. No one in the audience is in the line of fire from those amps. We spend a lot of time making sure the sound is right. We’re an old school band so we don’t depend on subs. Do we use some sub-woofer action? Sure we do, but we don’t depend on it.

Said individual said he left during the third song. Now I will allow that on the third and fourth song that night, I brought out my Fender Jazzmaster which hasn’t seen the light of day for number of years. The songs I used it on were Ode To Billy Dean and Talkin’ Bout You. I had some issues with that guitar that night and I will be the first to admit that I thought it sounded nasty and it did not return to the stage again. Mea culpa. Long life the Firebird! The first two songs were Been So Long and Candy Man. These are by their nature not very loud songs and one of the things I enjoyed about these Boulder shows was that I did not have to rely on the monitors… I could work with the sound I heard back from the house. For me this is an almost perfect on-stage scenario.

To get back to our offended patron. From our vantage point on stage I remember that we had a lot of dynamic range to play with. I had no trouble hearing my own voice coming back from the house, and I’m not a loud singer. Now this offended soul left after three songs and I’m not taking issue with what he heard. When I showed the note to Jack, his immediate response was ‘He has hearing issues.’ I can’t comment on that but I thought it was an interesting observation.

Lastly… again from the dissatisfied customer:

‘A final note on safety. 105db is flat out unsafe for human ears except for very short peaks. A constant level of sound that loud is dangerous to our long-term hearing health. I would think Jorma would have some sense of responsibility about that, too.’

OK, I have some hearing loss due to age and occupational hazards but I’m lucky… it could be much worse. That being said, I’m not out there with a db meter. That’s not my job. My job is to put on a good show, perform to the best of my ability and give the folks not only their money’s worth, but an honest artistic experience! I believe we do that every night. We bring it every night we play! We never phone it in! In my opinion one of the major components of Rock ‘n’ Roll, is volume (on the songs that require volume). I believe that many people today have damaged their hearing more by blasting music with ear pods than by experiencing high volumes at shows. (This is an opinion, and opinions are like assholes, everybody has one) That being said, if I were going to be in the audience for any kind of show and I were concerned about the ambient volume, I would bring ear protection with me. When I ride my motorcycle, I wear a full-face helmet and if I’m going for a long ride, I add under helmet ear protection as well. Just sayin’

OK. I’m truly sorry that the writer of this letter did not get the experience he had hoped for. I really am. Again, I wasn’t sitting in his seat and so my experience was obviously not his. I am saying that our collective experience at the Boulder Theater was, ‘Wow, what great sound tonight!’ I even did Genesis as an encore because I liked the detail of the sound so much.

Nuff said!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Final Three Dates With David And His Pals

March 2nd, 2020 Jorma 13 comments
Great new Rock 'n' Roll room!

Great new Rock 'n' Roll room!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 12, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Justin Guip
The David Bromberg Band
The Commonwealth Room
Salt Lake City, Utah
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

1. I See The Light
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Ode To Billy Dean
4. Talkin’ Bout You
5. Living Just For You
6. Barbeque King
7. Bowlegged Woman
8. Come Back Baby
9. Watch The North Wind Rise
10. Sleep Song
11. Good Shepherd
12. Hit Single # 1
13. Funky # 7
14. Encore: Water Song

Then we all beat feet to Boulder and checked into the Boulderado… one of my favorite hotels of all time.

Breakfast at the Creole Restaurant

Breakfast at the Creole Restaurant

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Great place for breakfast. Don’t miss the Beignets!

First of two sold out nights!

First of two sold out nights!

Foto by Jack Casady

David has been graciously inviting me to join him on his acoustic Buddy Brown original. Big fun… every night. Thanks David!

Here we are pickin' it Old School...

Here we are pickin' it Old School...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 13, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Justin Guip
With
The David Bromberg Band
The Boulder Theater
Boulder, Colorado
Friday, February 28, 2020

1. Been So Long
2. Candy Man
3. Ode To Billy Dean
4. Talkin’ Bout You
5. Wolves & Lambs
6. Living Just For You
7. Can’t Get Satisfied
8. Bowlegged Woman
9. Sea Child. Chet
10. Watch The North Wind Rise
11. Hit Single # 1
12. Trial By Fire
13. Good Shepherd Chet
14. Funky # 7
15. Encore: Genesis

My buddy Kyle Brunnetti presents me with an Ian Buchanan CD

My buddy Kyle Brunnetti presents me with an Ian Buchanan CD

Foto by Kyle’s Dad

Here Kyle gives me some Ian Buchanan material that he passes on from John Sposato out on Long Island. Kyle’s a great young man… and a lucky one too. He’s got his Dad’s Les Paul!

With Day One at the Boulder Theater under our belt… a good night’s Boulderado sleep, and on to day 2.

Justin... tuning up the tubs!

Justin... tuning up the tubs!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The Bromberg Quintet… A Capella

Standin' In The Need Of Prayer

Standin' In The Need Of Prayer

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Tuna’s Set:

Hot Tuna 14, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Justin Guip
With
The David Bromberg Band
The Boulder Theater
Boulder, Colorado
Saturday, February 29, 2020

1. I See The Light
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
4. Can’t Get Satisfied
5. Baby What You Want Me To Do?
6. Second Chances
7. I Am The Light Of This World
8. Rock Me Baby
9. Bowlegged Woman
10. Roads and Roads &
11. Trial By Fire
12. Walkin’ Blues
13. Hit Single # 1
14. Water Song
15. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Then it was time for our class picture.

Cast and Crew

Cast and Crew

Daggone it… I lost the card of the photographer who took the picture!

Note must be taken of David Bromberg’s wonderful band.

David Bromberg… Vocals, guitar, mandolin, fiddle and outstanding personality!
Mark Cosgrove (guitar, mandolin, backing vocals)
Suavek Zaniesienko (bass, backing vocals)
Josh Kanusky (drums, backing vocals)
Nate Grower, Fiddle, Mandolin
And of course Mike Russo (tour manager)

Tuna here in KC, MO tonight and off to St. Louis. We’re gonna miss David and his pals for sure. Safe trip home guys!

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

Head East Young Man

February 27th, 2020 Jorma 16 comments

We finished our second night at the Fillmore thusly:

Hot Tuna 10, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Justin Guip
The David Bromberg Band
At The Fillmore Auditorium
San Francisco, California
Saturday, February 22, 2020

1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Second Chances
3. Barbeque King
4. Walkin’ Blues
5. That’ll Never Happen No More
6. I Am The Light Of This World
7. Bowlegged Woman
8. Rock Me Baby
9. Sea Child
10. Good Shepherd
11. Hit Single # 1
12. Baby What You Want Me To Do?
13. Encore: Bar Room Crystal Ball
14. Encore 2: Funky # 7

Then we moseyed east toward Chico, California for a gig at the Laxson.

Beautiful theater on campus!

Beautiful theater on campus!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 11, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Justin Guip
Laxson Auditorium
Chico, California
Sunday, February 23, 2020

First Set:
1. Been So Long
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
4. Can’t Get Satisfied
5. Ode To Billy Dean
6. Second Chances
7. Living Just For You
8. Talkin’ Bout You
9. Bowlegged Woman

Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. Candy Man
3. Barbeque King
4. San Francisco Bay Blues
5. Walkin’ Blues
6. Wolves & Lambs
7. I Am The Light Of This World
8. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
9. Hit Single # 1
10. Trial By Fire
11. Good Shepherd
12. Funky # 7
13. Encore: Water Song

Microscopic at the Laxson

Microscopic at the Laxson

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then east on I-80 towards Salt Lake City with a stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Back at the Flats again...

Back at the Flats again...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

It was a beautiful day so out came the Mavic Pro Drone.

Prepping the little beast

Prepping the little beast

Foto by Myron Hart

Best day possible for this!

Up, up and away!

Up, up and away!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then… the flats…

You can't make this up!

You can't make this up!

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Come home little guy

Come home little guy

Foto by Myron Hart

Enough fun. On to Salt Lake City!

Old School Marquee

Old School Marquee

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 12, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Justin Guip
The David Bromberg Band
The Commonwealth Room
Salt Lake City, Utah
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

1. I See The Light
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Ode To Billy Dean
4. Talkin’ Bout You
5. Living Just For You
6. Barbeque King
7. Bowlegged Woman
8. Come Back Baby
9. Watch The North Wind Rise
10. Sleep Song
11. Good Shepherd
12. Hit Single # 1
13. Funky # 7
14. Encore: Water Song

And now… Boulder, Colorado bound!

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

From The Chase Arena To The Fillmore

February 22nd, 2020 Jorma 43 comments
View at the top!

View at the top!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Thursday the Tuna Gang was invited to play the National Anthem at the Warriors game against Houston… and yes, It was 60’s night. Here’s a shot of the rehearsal.

On the hardwood

On the hardwood

Foto by Phil Jacobs

And here’s a link to the performance:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m0ibrp0ue74hbg4/GSW_BSR_20200220_National%20Anthem.mov?dl=0

Exalted life back stage

Exalted life back stage

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Then Friday was our first night at the Fillmore with David and the guys.

Hot Tuna 9, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
With
The David Bromberg Band
At The Fillmore Auditorium
San Francisco, California
Friday, February 21, 2020

1. Been So Long
2. Living Just For You
3. Can’t Get Satisfied
4. Talkin’ Bout You
5. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
6. Roads and Roads &
7. Hesitation Blues
8. Ode To Billy Dean
9. Bowlegged Woman
10. Trial By Fire
11. Sleep Song
12. Walkin’ Blues
13. Good Shepherd
14. Funky #7
15. Encore: Water Song

A rockin’ good time had by all… finished at 1215. Whoah…

Playing the Star Spangled Banner was an honor indeed…

More will be revealed…

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

The Golden State

February 20th, 2020 Jorma 16 comments

It’s been a while since we’ve been to the Belly Up in Solano Beach and it was good to be back. It’s a great gig! The folks that run it are awesome, the food is great and the audience tops! I look forward to the next time.

Hot Tuna 6, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
The Belly Up
Solano Beach, California
First Set:
1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
3. Letter To The North Star
4. Ode To Billy Dean
5. Talkin’ Bout You
6. Candy Man
7. Roads and Roads &
8. Bowlegged Woman
9. Hit Single # 1

Second Set:
1. Living Just For You
2. Can’t Get Satisfied
3. Come Back Baby
4. Sea Child
5. Trial By Fire
6. Walkin’ Blues
7. Watch The North Wind Rise
8. Good Shepherd
9. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
10. Funky #7
11. Encore: Baby What You Want Me To Do?

En route...

En route...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

L.A. Hundreds of neighborhoods looking for a city. This is a neat one!

Nifty eartery in Korean Town

Nifty eartery in Korean Town

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

In another neighborhood… the El Rey!

Rockin' with David Bromberg!

Rockin' with David Bromberg!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 7, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
At the El Rey With The
David Bromberg Band
Los Angeles, California
Tuesday, February 18, 2020

1. Been So Long
2. Living Just For You
3. Talkin Bout You
4. Ode To Billy Dean
5. Hesitation Blues
6. Roads and Roads &
7. Can’t Get Satisfied
8. Bowlegged Woman
9. Trial By Fire
10. Sea Child
11. Walkin’ Blues
12. Good Shepherd
13. Funky #7
14. Encore: Hit Single # 1

Then we drove after show to Santa Barbara and the Lobero, another classic hall with incredible provenance.

If these walls could talk...

If these walls could talk...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 8, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
At The Lobero Theater
With
The David Bromberg Band
Santa Barbara, California
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

1. I See The Light
2. Second Chances
3. Day To Day out The Window Blues
4. Can’t Get Satisfied
5. Rock Me Baby
6. Letter To The North Star
7. That’ll Never Happen No More
8. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
9. Bowlegged Woman
10. Come Back Baby
11. Living Just For You
12. Watch The North Wind Rise
13. Good Shepherd
14. Funky # 7
15. Encore: Water Song

Putting our best side forward

Putting our best side forward

Foto by Phil Jacobs

After show a dash to S.F. where Jack and Justin and I will play the National Anthem at the Warriors game tonight.

This is a first for us and it’s an honor.

More anon

Then it was time to meet Bromberg and his pals in L.A. at the El Rey!

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

Phoenix And The MIM

February 16th, 2020 Jorma 9 comments

We flew out a day early to Phoenix to meet Jack and Phil and had a chance go to Ramen Hood in Scottsdale.

This place was more than excellent!

This place was more than excellent!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We’ve been relentlessly seeking great places for authentic Ramen… and this on filled the bill!

Really spicy... the way I like it!

Really spicy... the way I like it!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Then Friday and the first of to days at the Musical instrument Museum. This place is truly awesome. You all owe it to yourself to visit if you’re in the area. Our good friend, Dick Boak, was on the bill to… well, be himself, play some music and shed light on the world.

Hear no evil...

Hear no evil...

Dick is just the best, and it is always good to hang out with him.

Night One:

Hot Tuna 4, 2020
The Original Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady
Valentine Day Special
The Musical Instrument Museum
Phoenix, Arizona
Friday, February 14, 2020

1. New Song For The Morning
2. Been So Long
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Barbeque King
5. I See The Light
6. How Long Blues
7. Whining Boy Blues
8. River Of Time
9. I Am The Light Of This World
10. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
11. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
12. Sleep Song
13. Trial By Fire
14. Watch The North Wind Rise
15. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
16. Encore: Water Song

Pristine gig...

Pristine gig...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 5, 2020
The Original Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady
The Musical Instrument Museum
Phoenix, Arizona
Saturday, February 15, 2020

1. Dime For Beer
2. Serpent Of Dreams
3. San Francisco Bay Blues
4. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
5. Second Chances
6. That’ll Never Happen No More
7. Come Back Baby
8. Too Many Years
9. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
10. Full Go Round
11. Sea Child
12. Trial By Fire
13. The Terrible Operation
14. Candy Man
15. Sleep Song
16. Good Shepherd
17. I Know You Rider
18. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Phoenix morning...

Phoenix morning...

Foto by Jack Casady

Up this morning and a moderately quick eight hour drive to the San Diego area… tomorrow, the Belly Up in Solano Beach.

Foto by Jack Casady

The Belly Up is our first Electric Trio show of this run.

Looking forward to it.

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

FPR Down South, Wintry MIx At Home, Tuna Heads West

February 10th, 2020 Jorma 11 comments

John Hurlbut and I were down on Sanibel Island for two weeks for our yearly offsite road trip. In that time while avoiding the wintry mix at home, we had two classes and a boat ride.

The songwriting class...

The songwriting class...

Foto by John Hurlbut

The guys in the song writing class knocked it out of the park… again. I am humbled by not only their talent but also their relentless work ethic. Thanks fellas!

We had a Saturday and a Sunday off and on Saturday our friend Billy from the Cherry Street Pub in Lancaster, Ohio took us for ride on his boat. If you’re gonna hang in Florida… I can see a boat is a must! After the Superbowl (Good on KC!) Another class… this one a blues adventure.

My and my blues buddies!

My and my blues buddies!

Foto by John Hurlbut

Back at home… winter was in full swing.

A winter wonderland at the Ranch

A winter wonderland at the Ranch

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Not only winter… but a Snow Moon!

Good to be home

Good to be home

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Then it was time to load up the bus and head for the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. We’ll be holding forth with our pal Dick Boak.

Our roving domicile!

Our roving domicile!

Selfie by Myron Hart

Yup… that’s it for now.

This... is Florida living!

This... is Florida living!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna Tags:

Goodbye Buddy

February 5th, 2020 Jorma 20 comments
Yeah man... I'll miss ya brother

Yeah man... I'll miss ya brother

So I’m down here teaching on Sanibel Island. It’s a good time… no complaints. I just heard from my friend Michael Falzarano that our old pal Buddy Cage passed today. I really got to know Buddy in the mid eighties. I had met him before, but we never hung. When I moved to New York in ‘84 he was playing with Bad Dog and we did some gigs together. We became friends and our orbits circled each each other over the years. He was a lovable eccentric… always.

I know you had some hard times old friend and if there is a better place, you are there now.

Fair winds and following seas….

Our Buddy...

Our Buddy...

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

The Week That Was With Warren Haynes & The Boys

January 25th, 2020 Jorma 20 comments
Myron and Me on the plane...

Myron and Me on the plane...

Selfie by Myron Hart

Monday last Myron and I saddled up and headed down to Runaway Bay to join the rest of the Hot Tuna gang, Warren Haynes (who was ramrodding the show) the North Mississippi Allstars and more.

A little bit of sun

A little bit of sun

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The weather came and went, but what the heck… it wasn’t snowing.

The trio... in aspect and attribute

The trio... in aspect and attribute

Foto by Phil Jacobs

(Think Jack Vance, ‘To Live Forever.’)

Hot Tuna 1, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Justin Guip
With Govt. Mule
Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

1. Letter To The North Star
2. Been So Long
3. Walkin’ Blues
4. Talkin’ Bout You
5. I See The Light
6. Living Just For You
7. Bowlegged Woman
8. Can’t Get Satisfied
9. Sea Child
10. Watch The North Wind Rise
11. Hit Single #1
12. Good Shepherd with Luther Dickenson
13. Encore: Baby What You Want Me To Do? With Luther Dickenson

Luyther sits in on Good Shepherd and more...

Luther sits in on Good Shepherd and more...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then Warren graciously dealt the Tuna gang in.

Big jam...

Big jam...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then Jack and I did a duo…

Good times...

Good times...

Foto by Suzy Perler

Hot Tuna 1, 2020
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
With Govt. Mule
Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

1. That’ll Never Happen No More
2. Vampire Women
3. Come Back Baby
4. I Am The Light of This World
5. River Of Time
6. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
7. San Francisco Bay Blues
8. How Long Blues
9. I See The Light
10. Keep On Truckin’ Mama
11. Sleep Song
12. Good Shepherd
13. Encore: Trial By Fire

The loveliest night

The loveliest night

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen…

Then Tuna was scheduled to play an electric set… but we beat the rain by going indoors and playing an ‘acoustic’ set in the dining room… with drums.

Hot Tuna 3, 2020
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
With Govt. Mule
Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

1. True Religion
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Serpent Of Dreams
4. Barbeque King
5. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
6. Trouble In Mind
7. I’ll Be All Right Some Day
8. Too Many Years
9. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
10. I Know You Rider

Yep… rain notwithstanding, it was a really good time.

Tomorrow Hurl and I are heading to Sanibel Island for two weeks of Fur Peace Ranch Winter Workshops On The Road.

More will be revealed…

My New Flammang J-35

January 14th, 2020 Jorma 53 comments
Like a walk back in time

Like a walk back in time

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

So last year early in the FPR season one of our students came down from Toronto and he had this J-35 looking thing built by a guy out in Iowa named David Flammang. I picked this guitar up and started to play and in a bizarre way it was like being twenty years old again. It had the same feel my ‘58 J-50 had when I got it in 1960. The way it played, the way it responded to my right hand and the way it felt perfect with .013’s. Tom Feldmann was on board for that class and he knew David… of course. He had used one of David’s L-00’s for a Robert Johnson instructional. He put me in touch with David and I ordered one immediately. He made two which he brought to a Tuna gig in St. Paul and I chose the one with the torrified top.

Now, I’ve already been asked, ‘Is it better than your M-30,’ and the liked. These are ridiculous questions. It’s apples and oranges. Martins sound like Martins, Gibsons and Gibson-like guitars have characteristics all their own. For that bass string sound so evident on the first Hot Tuna LP and Quah, you need a J-50 or something like it. That’s the deal. The M-30 is a long scale guitar and as such there is a certain sonorous quality short scales don’t have. But they have something else. Now, on the final FPR workshop of last year I had my old J-50 in the room, and it is still a really great guitar. She’s an old girl though and I would never take her on the road.

Is the Flammang better?

The Flammang is different… and in an interesting way hearkens back to another time. My Martins are magnificent and I’m not getting rid of any of them. I’m a lucky guy. I’ve got it all.

And speaking of having it all, the LSU/Clemson game last night was more that awesome. Joe Burrow, the QB that Ohio State overlooked, went to the high school where my daughter goes. Athens High School. Go Bulldogs!

Joe is awesome. All of us Southeast Ohio folk are so proud of him.

Life is darned OK!

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