The Final Weekend of 2017 Here At The Fur Peace Ranch This Way Comes

November 6th, 2017 Jorma 37 comments
Uncle Charles Pond

Uncle Charles Pond

Drone Shot By Jorma Kaukonen

It’s been almost a decade since Uncle Charles has been gone. He was a wonderful neighbor and an amazing man. It is said that when he was a kid he farmed the land where the Fur Peace Ranch is with mules. He wound up living most of his life in Florida but he always kept the hilltop property next to ours. ‘Jorma, I’ve got a ten thousand dollar house with a million dollar view,’ he used to say. We were always welcome to fish his little pond and here it is today seen from the air.

The forest always welcomes...

The forest always welcomes...

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

This was a mere couple of days ago… Eastern Standard Time is here and the leaves are now mostly gone.

Lone survivor by the Beatrice Love Kitchen

Lone survivor by the Beatrice Love Kitchen

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Time is flying by these days. It seems as if yesterday was Izze’s first day at Middle School and now the Thanksgiving vacation is upon us and she is already looking forward to the Christmas Holidays. I am working on rewrites on my book and rhythm of reading through it over and over again is no longer intimidating. We are looking at mid 2018 for it’s release and the attendant book tour.

One of the last trees by our parking lot.

One of the last trees by our parking lot.

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Jack Casady
will be rolling in this week as will Steve Kimock. Justin Guip will be driving in for the Electric Tuna Show with Kimock this weekend. What a way to wrap up the 20th season at the FPR. What a way to end the 2017 Season down here in Meigs County.

Tomorrow is election day here in Miegs County and there are a number of important issues that must be voted on. I will be at the polls bright and early so that in some small way my voice can be heard. In this time of people running their mouths incessantly I have elected to stay mostly quiet. So many of today’s discussions are like trying to teach a pig to dance. It’s frustrating for you… and it pisses off the pig.

There was a major storm in Southeast Ohio last night and with secondary road flooding Athens Schools are on a two hour delay today. Poor Izze’s heart is broken… a shorter school day. Tomorrow is no school also as teachers prepare grades. We didn’t get days off when I was a kid. Of course, she’s at school at 0730 and done by 1430. We didn’t have hours like that when I was a kid either… but so it goes.

The road out of the Ranch.

The road out of the Ranch.

So it goes indeed… time to walk Maverick through last night’s mud.

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch Tags:

A Dinner At Pho Peace & A Night At The Museum!

October 28th, 2017 Jorma 40 comments
Jorma chats in the Psylodelic gallery...

Jorma chats in the Psylodelic gallery...

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Last night we hosted one of our dinners at the Pho Peace Restaurant right here in the Beatrice Love Kitchen. As always, Justin and the gang in the kitchen knocked it out of the park. I had the beef as I usually do, and as I usually do I saved the meatballs for desert. Having tasted everything here I must say the chicken and the vegetarian pho are also delicious, but I’m just a beef guy I guess. We also had Kimchi and Bánh Mì sandwiches. A true evening of yumminess!

As if that weren’t enough we had fellowship and music too! I’ve been accompanying my dear friend John Hurlbut at sundry Pho Peace events and it is something I always look forward to. John has always had his own artful approach to the music and playing with him totally frees me from the ‘Doing My Show’ syndrome that we professional musicians cannot help but fall into. I get to explore territories that I rarely get to visit when I’m either solo or with Jack and Justin. Good times always! Here’s what John and I played:

1. Get Together
2. Maybe Baby
3. Kansas City Southern
4. House Of The Rising sun
5. Across The Borderline
6. That’s Alright Mama
7. Mystery Train
8. Blow Wind Blow
9. Chimes Of Freedom
10. I Remember You
11. Fishin’ Blues
12. Sitting Here In Limbo
13. Sugaree
14. This Land Is Your Land

What a set Johnny put together and what a delightful evening. After dinner we all adjourned to the Psylodelic Gallery and I hung out and chatted with the folks while they looked at our current show featuring paintings by Andy Tucker whose work reflects moments in time with the faces of inspiring politicians, activists, writers, poets and musicians. We’re also exhibiting a collection of photographs from my personal archives during the early years of Jefferson Airplane. Though the focus last night was on our current exhibit, our permanent collection of original concert posters, jewelry, clothing, instruments and more is always worth a drive to Darwin, Ohio and the Fur Peace Ranch.

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Always Looking Ahead…

October 19th, 2017 Jorma 10 comments
Jorma, in winter tropical mode!

Jorma, in winter tropical mode!

I know this is Hawaii earlier this year not Sanibel next year, but it’s still warm and delightful!

Sanibel Island Workshop
Feb. 5th through the 9th 2018
Jorma Kaukonen & David Wolff

For the last decade or so we’ve dedicated ourselves to finding warmer and more delightful climes to take our Fur Peace Ranch on the road. We’ve been to Desert Hot Springs in California as well as San Diego and Lahaina in Hawaii. Right around February of each year those of us who live in chillier parts of the world start thinking of ways to get away from snow and its little brother, wintry mix. This year we’re heading to the Sundial Beach Resort on Sanibel Island.

Why did we choose Sundial Resort? For those of us that think Florida is Miami or Orlando (not that there’s anything wrong with those cities) there’s so much more to discovery. Located near Fort Myers on the barrier island of Sanibel off the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Sundial Beach Resort & Spa is a unique tropical island destination with miles of shell-strewn beaches. It’s very quiet with a population of a little over 6,500 people. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge is located on Sanibel and works to protect the mangrove forests and the habitat that depend on them for survival. This 6,300-acre Florida wildlife refuge is home to 238 species of birds, more than 50 types of reptiles and 32 different kinds of mammals, featuring wonderful bird watching spots, bike and walking paths, winding canoe trails, and a four-mile scenic drive.

The resort has the honor of being “ 2017 First Place Best of Southwest Florida ”, “ 2017 Certificate of Excellence for Trip Advisor ” as well as recently recognized as a lodging facility committed to conservation efforts of Florida’s natural resources. The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that designates and recognizes lodging facilities who score high marks in the areas of waste reduction, water conservation, energy efficiency, indoor air quality and education initiatives.

Our rooms are all one bedroom Island Room Suites (upgrades are possible) with private conference rooms for teaching. The pools are beautiful, the beaches are pristine and it is a wonderful play to rest, relax and rejuvenate and reconnect with your guitar and like minded students.

As mentioned, this little gem is on the southwest gulf coast of Florida has all manner of really nifty warm water based activities for us land locked Midwesterners. It has the flavor of Key West without being so far away… and, by the Grace of G_d, this year’s hurricanes passed it by. I can hardly wait to dip my feet in the water.

Speaking of dipping, David Wolff and I are going to be dipping into some rarely, if ever taught gems by yours truly. Yes, it’s a finger style class of course, but bring your flat pick too. We’re going to kick things off with a foray into my iconic guitar intro to Grace’s White Rabbit. That’s only the beginning. We’re also going to delve into these numbers:

1. Roads And Roads &
2. Wolves And Lambs
3. Song For The High Mountain
4. Letter To The North Star aka Lord Have Mercy
5. Bar Room Crystal Ball
6. Sleep Song
7. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
8. Serpent Of Dreams
9. Follow The Drinking Gourd (I didn’t write this one)

What between gleaning some respite from the winter along with these rarely, if ever taught gems, It’s going to be a great week. Come and invite your soul with us. Bring your guitar and a smile and don’t worry about the snorkel and the fins. The resort has plenty!

Here’s our signup link:


http://www.furpeaceranch.com/instructors/jorma_kaukonen.html

Hope to see you there…

Categories: Set Lists Tags:

Highway To The Stars

October 18th, 2017 Jorma 7 comments

We finally were blessed to have St. Clair Rd. paved… really paved!

Vanessa, on the new road

Vanessa, on the new road

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Vanessa and I waited down by Rock Springs Rd. to remind people to drive slowly and watch for he children.

Rock Springs and St. Clair

Rock Springs and St. Clair

Drone Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

It was a beginning of a beautiful evening when Doug MacLeod and Chris Smither would each hold forth in the Fur Peace Station.

Jorma, Doug and Chris backstage...

Jorma, Doug and Chris backstage...

Monday came, and the students and teachers scattered to the four winds. It’s been brisk here in Southeast Ohio and we had our first hard frost the other night. During the day it’s been warm enough for a daily motorcycle ride. Not cold enough for electric gear but certainly an all leather moment. I feel unbelievably grateful that so far I can pilot a 750 pound machine with relative ease… it is truly all good! I have the mandible on my modular helmet up so I can enjoy the cold splash of the afternoon air. As I move through the gears the wind in my face almost takes my breath away. I have been looking forward to this all day. The bike and I are one as we transit country roads that dance through the trees like a ribbon in the wind. This is a sanctified place to be! None of the nonsense that plagues our wired lives is even in the same universe with me in these moments.

I have been able to do this for three days in a row and it certainly helps my perspective on things. Back at the as as the sun was setting, Vanessa roasted fresh vegetables and I cooked local beef burgers on the grill on the back porch.

The sun begins its downward path from my back porch.

The sun begins its downward path from my back porch.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

I don’t know why, but I was reminded today of Andrei Konchalovsky’s great movie Siberiade. Perhaps like Afonya we should all be building a highway to the stars.

Perhaps we are already on the way…

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Serenity Grove Barn Bash

October 13th, 2017 Jorma 28 comments

Tonight I was honored to be a part of the Barn Bash Fundraiser for Serenity Grove, a residential recovery house for women in the Athens, Ohio area. We men have had the John Clem House for the last decade or so… it’s about time the ladies got one too.

There was a dinner, an auction… and I got to play a little set:

Jorma Kaukonen 9, 2017
Serenity Grove Barn Bash
A Benefit For Serenity Grove
A Recovery House For Women
The Dairy Barn
Athens, Ohio
Thursday, October 12, 2017

1. True Religion
2. Barbeque King
3. Ain’t In No Hurry
4. Sleep Song
5. Watch The North Wind Rise
6. Death Don’t have No Mercy
7. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
8. Heart Temporary
9. San Francisco Bay Blues
10. How Long Blues
11. In My Dreams
12. Water Song
After Auction Encore:
1. That’ll Never Happen No More
2. Keep On Truckin Mama
3. Come Back Baby
4. I Know You Rider

The recovery community in the Athens, Ohio area was been such an important part of my life over the past two decades, it was nice in some small way to give back!

Categories: Diary Tags:

Another County Heard From Again

October 12th, 2017 Jorma 23 comments

Everyone who has honored me by reading my little blog knows that I rarely get involved with the crosstalk found therein. People’s opinions are their own and and that’s that. All this being said, the vitriolic banter has really gotten over the top. Because of the way the Wordpress program works every comment appears in my email inbox. Having to cull through these negative entries over my morning coffee is not the way I like to start my day. I have never editorialized about off topic entries. I really don’t care about that. What I do care about is name calling and character assassination. I don’t care whose fault it is or who starts these vitriolic threads. It is true the G_d didn’t put any of us here to be a doormat. That said, This has really gotten totally ridiculous. I first started writing my online journal almost twenty years ago. The term ‘blog’ wasn’t even a word yet. I never allowed comments back then because my writing space was for me, not you. When we moved over to the Cracks In The Finish site I decided to have a comments section to see what would happen. For many years whether or not I agreed with poster’s opinions, it was all entertaining. It is not entertaining any more. I do not want to and will not discuss this. We live in a mannerless society these days. If any of you want to indulge in name calling and general nastiness take it to the media or some political discussion site. Share your opinions, agree or disagree with me and others as you see fit but try to do it with some class. If someone’s presence offends you, you don’t have to respond to them. The kids in my daughter’s middle school would not be allowed to act like this. As I’m sure you know, having a hosted site is not free. I’m paying to sift through these diatribes…

Remember, it’s not whose right… it’s who’s left.

As my Mom used to say, ‘A word to the wise is sufficient.’

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Still Flying Strong!

October 11th, 2017 Jorma 35 comments
There are many Highway 61's.  This is mine!

There are many Highway 61's. This is mine!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

San Francisco and Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass were delightful as they always are. I flew in the day before the show and out after our set on Sunday. That’s just part of the gig and it’s more than OK. Back at the Fur Peace Ranch there is always something to be done. We have a camp this weekend with Chris Smither and Doug MacLeod so there was the usual honey/do list waiting. Speaking of waiting… Bedford Township finally OK’d paving for St. Clair Rd. Our heartfelt thanks to the trustees… and the workers who did the job.

Better than Manhattan

Better than Manhattan

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

It is true that all our vehicles are four wheel drive, but it looks like we won’t need that for a while.

Now… some interesting Jefferson Airplane news. Jampol Artist Management has taken over the reins of protecting and expanding the legacy of the Airplane. For years the management we had did little or nothing creative. In the short time we have been with Jampol much has already happened. Our music has appeared in more movies in the last year or so than in more than a decade and now this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yARn15Ks1DE

Yes folks, it’s a Cover Girl ad featuring one of Marty’s great songs, I Like it. This is a pre-Grace gem and there’s an interesting sidebar. Back in those early days, the guitar heroes were guys like Mike Bloomfield and Buddy Guy and other blues greats. I remember playing the Avalon Ballroom with the Airplane after Takes Off came out. We did ‘I Like It’ and I actually got a round of applause after my little solo. That had never happened before and I still remember that moment fondly.

Having our song featured in a Cover Girl ad with Ayesha Curry, Issa Rae, Katy Perry, and others has given me creds with our eleven year old daughter that money can’t buy. It’s the little things for sure!

Indeed…

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Hardly, Strictly, Bluegrass

October 9th, 2017 Jorma 15 comments

Caught Myron from my drone as we were getting ready to pack up for S.F.

I see you...

I see you...

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Living the Vida Drona

Living the Vida Drona

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

We docked the truck at the John Glenn International Airport Garage and headed in.

Only the strong survive!

Only the strong survive!

Blurry foto by Myron Hart

Sunrise came as sunrise does from the East, but in the West on Saturday morning, the moon was still up.

Looking west towards the beach

Looking west towards the beach

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Whither goest thou?

Whither goest thou?

Foto by Phil Jacobs

I arrived in San Francisco about one in the morning with Myron. Jack, Justin and Phil were already there. Saturday was occupied with trying to catch up on my sleep and store some energy so we could pounce on the folks by the Banjo Stage. The Banjo Stage was where the old Speedway Meadows free shows happened back in the 60’s. It occurred to me that Jack and I had participated in Golden Gate Park gigs longer than anyone else there this weekend.

Jack stakes out his turf.

Jack stakes out his turf.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen.

The folks at Hardly, Strictly, Bluegrass really know how to throw a party. For such an all encompassing event, there were few glitches!

Staging ground...

Staging ground...

I was dumping my stuff off when I noticed that my old pal, Dave Alvin and his gang had the dressing tent next to ours.

Dave Alvin and me...

Dave Alvin and me...

I forgot who took this picture… it wasn’t me, I know that.

I’m definitely going to see if I can get Dave and his pals out to the Fur Peace Ranch for a show. I loved their show… real rock and roll!

The Tuna Boys took the stage about 1215.

Golden Gate Park the way it was meant to be!

Golden Gate Park the way it was meant to be!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 46, 2017
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
The Banjo Stage
Golden Gate Park
Sunday, October 8, 2017

1. Living Just For You
2. Trial By Fire
3. Can’t Get Satisfied
4. Ode To Billy Dean
5. Talkin’ Bout You
6. Bowlegged Woman
7. Watch The North Wind Rise
8. Funky #7

Jack gets it!

Jack gets it!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

We had a great set and after we were done I had the chance to hear the Flatlanders as well as Dave Alvin.

Me and Jimmy Dale Gilmore

Me and Jimmy Dale Gilmore

Selfie by Jorma

It was a grand weekend. I started flying home about ten last night and get in this afternoon at two… Good times. Now this weekend we have a camp at the Ranch…

Good times always…

End Of The Fundraiser & Natalie’s Wood Fired Pizza

October 5th, 2017 Jorma 40 comments

Many thanks to all who answered Izze’s call for the fundraiser… This is a short event and the money has to be turned in on Monday the 9th of October which means that we have to have the gelt in hand on Saturday the 7th so that’s it folks. For all practical purposes we’re done and again… our heartfelt thanks!

Tuesday the 3rd I played to solo shows at Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza in Worthington outside of Columbus, Ohio. This is a great little venue and it was a real treat to play a cool gig so near to home.

Jorma Kaukonen 7, 2017

Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza

Worthington, Ohio

October 3, 2017

  1. True Religion
  2. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
  3. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
  4. Barbeque King
  5. That’ll Never Happen No More
  6. River Of Time
  7. Sleep Song
  8. Watch The North Wind Rise
  9. How Long Blues
  10. San Francisco Bay Blues
  11. I See The Light
  12. Genesis
  13. Hesitation Blues
  14. Bar Room Crystal Ball
  15. Re-Enlistment Blues
  16. Keep On Trucking Mama
  17. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
  18. Encore: What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?

Jorma Kaukonen 8, 2017

Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza

Worthington, Ohio

October 3, 2017

  1. Candy Man
  2. Ain’t In No Hurry
  3. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
  4. The Terrible Operation
  5. In My Dreams
  6. Come Back Baby
  7. Been So Long
  8. Things That Might Have Been
  9. Trial By Fire
  10. Sea Child
  11. Good Shepherd
  12. Whining Boy Blues
  13. Living In The Moment
  14. Search My Heart
  15. I Know You Rider
  16. Encore: Water Song

Notice… not one song repetition…

Last night I was part of a function at Shadowbox Live in Columbus in conjunction with the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame… I got to play White Rabbit and Come Back Baby with the house band… Cool beans and a special thanks to Stacie Boord for smoothing the bumps in the road!

Tomorrow it’s off to S.F. for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this weekend.

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Set Lists Tags:

Every Thought And Every Deed…

September 30th, 2017 Jorma 18 comments

With the High Holidays coming to a close, for me I tend to look back and try to see if I have made a positive impact on the world and the people around me. I’d be lying if I tried to say I have never fallen short. We all pray in our own way, we all repent in our own way, and we all try to leave our mark in our own way. That being said, my daughter Izze is involved in a middle school fundraiser and I have involved myself to help as best I can. In the past when she was involved in scouting she sold over one thousand boxes of cookies and several cases went to Afghanistan (thanks to David Crosby and so many of my friends who answered her call) to a soldier that we knew who shared them with his brothers.

At the beginning of the school year she sold some “bake your own” cookies for her volleyball team fundraiser and she asked people to consider donating their purchases so that the local homeless shelter could benefit. When she was five, she had her first real birthday party with a ton of friends out to the family farm, a lasso throwing cowboy (thanks Rob McNurlin) and more. On her invitation she asked her friends that if they were going to bring a gift, she had made a decision to donate any toys to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for the kids that were there long term…and she did just that. It was the most beautiful thing to witness. OK, to get to the point of this blog… there’s another fundraiser. Just last week her school had an assembly and talked about the annual 8th grade trip to DC and that they needed everyone’s help. So here we are. Several sheets came home with options to buy candy and “bake your own” pizza and bread. The average price of the candy is $16 a box and the pizza and bread are about 29 bucks. She has decided once again ask folks to consider making a purchase to donate. Her plan is to send as many of the candy boxes and pizza and pretzel kits to Kittery Estates Assisted & Independent Living Facility in southern Maine and shelters throughout Florida. Small acts of kindness will hopefully brighten someone’s day!

There are a lot of products but we’re just going to pick a couple to make it easy.

Cheese Pizza’s $25 (makes 3 – 13”x18” pizzas)
Pepperoni Pizza $29 (makes 3 – 13”x18” pizzas)
Soft Pretzels w/salt $18.50 (makes 10 pretzels)
Peanut Brittle $12 (8oz in a gift tin)
Mint Meltaways $13.50 (12 pieces, 5oz )

Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle

Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza

Pretzels

Pretzels

Mint Meltaways

Mint Meltaways

Cheese Pizza

Cheese Pizza

If this is something you want to help with this, let me know. You can email me at liffetimepicker@gmail.com. Checks can be made out AMS (Athens Middle School) and mail it to Izze K, c/o Fur Peace Ranch, 39495 St Clair Rd. Pomeroy, Ohio 45769. This is a quick fundraiser. Izze has to turn the order forms and the money in to the school on October 9th. If you want to order some items for yourself, include your address and phone number and many thanks for letting me use my blog to help Izze help her fellow students.

PS We realize that with all the disasters plaguing our hemisphere right now that this fundraiser is low on the totem pole but if it matters we have donated to all of the areas affected by the recent storms and earthquakes. Just sayin’

Thanks!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags: