Catching Up Again…

July 1st, 2019 Jorma 28 comments
Three days at the Egyptian in Park City, Utah

Three days at the Egyptian in Park City, Utah

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Jack and I started out this little run with a three day residency at the Egyptian Theater in lovely Park City, Utah.

Hot Tuna 13, 2019
The Original Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
The Egyptian Theater
Park City, Utah
Day One
Thursday, June 27, 2019

First Set:
1. Dime For Beer
2. Been So Long
3. The Terrible Operation
4. Barbeque King
5. I See The Light
6. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
7. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
8. Sea Child
9. Trial By Fire
10. Watch The North Wind Rise
11. Whining Boy Blues
12. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning

Second Set:
1. Hesitation Blues
2. How Long Blues
3. Serpent Of Dreams
4. Ain’t In No Hurry
5. Wolves & Lambs
6. San Francisco Bay Blues
7. Come Back Baby
8. I Am The Light Of This World
9. Sleep Song
10. Good Shepherd
11. Candy Man
12. I Know You Rider
13. Encore: Trouble In Mind

Onstage before the show...

Onstage before the show...

Foto by Myron Hart

Hot Tuna 14, 2019
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
The Egyptian Theater
Park City, Utah
Day Two
Friday, June 28, 2019

First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Second Chances
4. Too Many Years
5. I Am The Light Of This World
6. Come Back Baby
7. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
8. Sea Child
9. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
10. That’ll Never Happen No More

Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. The Terrible Operation
3. Things That Might Have Been
4. Search My Heart
5. Barbeque King
6. How Long Blues
7. Watch The North Wind Rise
8. Good Shepherd
9. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
10. San Francisco Bay Blues
11. Encore: Water Song

Backs to the riser, we make our stand (Steve Earle)

Backs to the riser, we make our stand (Steve Earle)

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 15, 2019
The Original Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
The Egyptian Theater
Park City, Utah
Day Three
Saturday, June 29, 2019

First Set:

1. Ain’t In No Hurry
2. Second Chances
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Been So Long
5. How Long Blues
6. River Of Time
7. Barbeque King
8. Sleep Song
9. Trial By Fire
10. San Francisco Bay Blues

Second Set:

1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
3. Come Back Baby
4. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
5. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
6. RE-Enlistment Blues
7. Sea Child
8. Watch The North Wind Rise
9. Good Shepherd
10. In My Dreams
11. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
12. I Know You Rider
13. Encore: Genesis

Nightfall at the Egyptian

Nightfall at the Egyptian

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Got to spend some time with some old friends and then an eight hour drive to Crystal Bay Nevada. Checked in yesterday and had a delicious dinner at the Casino Restaurant where we sat at the table where Michael Corleone called Fredo out here in Tahoe.

Never talk business outside the family!~

Never talk business outside the family!~

Not much soulful chit chat in this blog, but more is coming down the road.

Good times…

Categories: Hot Tuna, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

Funky Feat At The Station

June 18th, 2019 Jorma 35 comments
Our Labyrinth from the air

Our Labyrinth from the air

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

While we were waiting for Paul, Fred, Kenny and Gabe to show up there was a break in the endless rain we’ve been having and I took the opportunity to put the bird up.

Bird's eye view of the station

Bird's eye view of the station

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

They were running a wee late, so I just kept on flying.

In control... for once.

In control... for once.

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Then the boys showed up… and so did the sold out crowd!

Yup, the lot was full!

Yup, the lot was full!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We had been trying to get these guys for a decade, and it was worth the wait!

The men rock the Station!

The men rock the Station!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The sleek, stripped down Funky Feat delivered the goods in spades!

Fred's got my Jazzmaster and Paul has one of Myron's Strats

Fred's got my Jazzmaster and Paul has one of Myron's Strats

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Again, so grateful the guys spent two days with us!

Fred, me, Nessa, Hurl, Kenny and Paul

Fred, me, Nessa, Hurl, Kenny and Paul

Selfie by Vanessa Kaukonen

I got to sit in on Dixie Chicken and Spanish Moon… Thanks guys… for everything!

Back in my little world our Espresso machine was on the fritz. I talked to the folks at Whole Latte Love. ‘It’s the solenoid,’ the tech said, and he emailed me instructions. I ordered the part and it came the other day. There are more tiny little parts in this machine than Carter has Little Liver Pills.

Teeny, tiny parts... and lots of them.

Teeny, tiny parts... and lots of them.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

I took pictures at every step of the disassembly so I could reverse the process. It worked!

Mmmmm.... java, java

Mmmmm.... java, java

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

A fine week indeed…

ps

The ROK Espresso Press in front of my Dad's old radio

The ROK Espresso Press in front of my Dad's old radio

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The ROK unit is awesome! Check the link. This is not a stove top boiler… and it’s all billet!

jk

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Visiting Phil In Portchester

June 15th, 2019 Jorma 7 comments
The good old Capitol Theater

The good old Capitol Theater

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Phil Lesh had asked me some time ago to join him along with Grahame Lesh, Rob Barraco and John Molo for two nights at the good old Capitol Theater in Portchester, New York. Needless to say, I was on board immediately. Now anyone who loves the music of the Grateful Dead knows that this is not a lightly undertaken art form. Jerry and the guys (and gals) managed to transliterate the essence of the great American Songbook into a parallel universe of multi dimensional creativity. I realized that I probably won’t live long enough to be able to fully apprehend all this great music, but the good news was that Phil just wanted me to be me. I could do that… so I did.

Waiting for rehearsal Tuesday afternoon.

Waiting for rehearsal Tuesday afternoon.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The Capitol Theater has a great lineage of memories for me going back to the time of the Jefferson Airplane… and Tuna as well. That it has been restored to its former glory… and much more, is more than cool! It’s just a great gig for me at any time. Having the opportunity to add a little frosting to Phil’s cake was off the charts! To play with Grahame, Rob, John as well as Phil was hanging with the A-Team for sure. I chose my Beano Les Paul through my 1967 50w Marshall Plexi for the most of the gig but I also had my Gibson Chet Atkins SST through a Louis Rosano Twinmaster for the tunes like Dupree’s Diamond Blues, Friend Of The Devil, Light Of This World, Good Shepherd and the like. I thought about the Firebird for the brasher material, but the Beano got the call.

Onstage with the guys.

Onstage with the guys.

Foto by Suzy Perler

I had never really hung with Grahame before but I’ll tell you… he is more than a great guitar player. He’s a great singer, musician and a great guy! To get to have a conversation with him on stage was enlightening to say the least. I’ve known Rob for a long time and the depth of his talent never ceases to amaze me. As for John Molo, aside from being one of the world’s great percussionists, his musical sense of humor just kills me… every time. Phil… well, like I told Grahame at dinner, ‘Your dad is a genius!’

The SST in service!

The SST in service!

Foto by Suzy Perler

Well, Tuesday ran into Wednesday and then my two day run with Phil and his guys was over. It was more than an honor to be a part of this musical expedition. Thanks Phil and thanks to all the guys for making me welcome!

Soaring with angels!

Soaring with angels!

Foto by Suzy Perler

Categories: Diary, Friends, Venues Tags:

My Heart Is Heavy…

June 9th, 2019 Jorma 25 comments

It’s been a tough couple of days. As noted, My friend Dr. John passed, Madeleine M. passed and earlier today I found that my friend of almost thirty some years, Spencer Bohren passed yesterday. Vanessa and I met Spencer in Fort Collins, Colorado in the very early 90’s and we were all kindred spirits in the blink of an eye. Spencer was a complete artist on so many levels that frankly I hardly know where to begin. He was one of the most understated examples of humanity that I hardly know where to begin… and he was my friend. He does not need me to eulogize him, his life speaks for itself and all of us who were honored to know him an call him friend, know exactly what I’m talking about. He was ten years younger than I and although his life was cut far too short, he made the most of it… always!

When he was diagnosed with cancer he and his wife Marilyn faced that harsh reality with a pure grace I’m not sure I could have mustered. I know that I will miss him on so many levels and who knows, his next gig may be the most amazing one of all. You are so missed my brother and I shall never take for granted the blessings of your friendship.

As if this wasn’t enough reality for one day as i was driving to New York for my gig with Phil Lesh Tuesday and Wednesday, I got a call from Vanessa. Our young friend Andrew, the same age as our daughter Izze, passed from cancer. When our Izze was first with us, Andrew was one of her very first friends. We all Trick Or Treated together and well… they were very young together. Andrew had been fighting an aggressive cancer for a couple of years. He was one of the toughest humans I have ever known. His family is one of the strongest families I have ever had the honor to know. I cannot possibly walk in their shoes… I hope I never have to. There is not much more I can say except I love them all and hope they can find whatever peace they need to find. As a parent, it is unthinkable to me that I should outlive my children.

Spencer, play a couple of songs for Andrew… in fact, show him how to play the guitar.

Fair winds and following seas you guys… fair winds and following seas!

You will be missed…

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Pages Turn… And Eras Pass

June 6th, 2019 Jorma 18 comments
Mac and I, Seva Benefit at the Beacon May 27, 2011

Mac and I, Seva Benefit at the Beacon May 27, 2011

Foto by Phil Jacobs

I was having dinner with Vanessa in town tonight. Our Izze had a sleepover so we had a date… sort of. I was just tasting my Thai Iced Coffee when I got a text from my old pal Michael Falzarano. The simple gist was that Dr. John The Night Tripper, aka Mac Rebennack had just passed away. I met Mac through Steve Mann in 1964 before my foray into rock ‘n’ roll. Mac and Steve were session players back then and Steve was trying to teach me to read so I could cut the gig too. It wasn’t for me, but we stayed friends. In 1965 when I got into the Airplane and moved to San Francisco on Divisadero between Turk and Eddy I got a call from Steve from the Swiss American Hotel in North Beach where he was bunking with Mac. There was some sort of confrontation between the guys and the police. I think women and drugs sere involved, but I wasn’t there so I can’t swear to it. Anyway, they came to my place and stayed for a couple of days until things cooled off. San Francisco was a very conservative place back then and any bust could turn out to be a major drag.

In any case, years passed. Mac became Dr. John, Steve would live a damaged life and we would all get older. In the late 90’s, I was part of a Seva benefit. Bonnie Raitt and John Lee Hooker were on that show. I was sharing a dressing room with Maria Muldaur, Dr. John and Bob Weir. Mac took me aside and is his raspy voice said, ‘Jorma, I owe you a solid… but I’m not going to tell you what it is.’ I guess I’ll have to wait to find out… I’m not in a rush. Steve Mann passed away but I would see Mac from time to time. He was indeed, the King Of New Orleans Funk! Indeed! I will miss our occasional intersections.

After dinner Nessa and I were over at her sister’s place sitting in my Jeep when I got a call from my friend Mark in Florida. His mom, Madelaine, passed away this afternoon at one hundred and one. Madelaine had lived in Florida for years, but she was a Meigs County girl… one of our own. Any time I would see her when Nessa wasn’t with me she would say, ‘Where is that pretty girl?’ She was a Steel Magnolia… and here’s to her and those like her… damn few left.

So I lost two more friends today and yes I know, sorrow is so selfish, but when the fury of the moment has passed, what is left but love?

We are all losing people… that’s life and I’m not alone. It is an honor for having known the good ones!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

As she grows away from me, may these life lines grow with her, keep her safe…

May 30th, 2019 Jorma 24 comments

I title this blog with a quote from David Whyte’s poem, My Daughter Asleep… and I shall end with the complete poem.

Yesterday our daughter, Izze, graduated 8th grade and officially became a high school student. This is a right of passage for kids and adults alike. Who would have thought that it would have gone so fast? But go fast it did, and another milestone has been passed.

Izze heads for her seat in the High School Auditorium.

Izze heads for her seat in the High School Auditorium.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We certainly got to know a great group of kids and parents over these last two years. After four years of home schooling, there was lots of adjustment for us all to make… and it was all good!

Izze spots us in the stands!

Izze spots us in the stands!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Penny Purdy, Izze’s music teacher, read the names and Mr. Roach, the Vice Principal handed out the diplomas.

Two years well spent!

Two years well spent!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We’re sure proud of this kid… but she did the work (with an occasional nudge from Mom).

Diploma in hand, she heads for her seat

Diploma in hand, she heads for her seat

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Nessa and a bunch of the other parents were committed to ‘chaperone’ the dance and after party so I hung around too. What else was I going to do?

Foto bombed in the cafeteria

Foto bombed in the cafeteria

Selfie by Vanessa Kaukonen

There were, and still are, so many feelings and emotions running around my brain I almost don’t know where to begin, but it is plain that life is evolving for my children as it did for me and that is how it must be!

This... is the dang deal!

This... is the dang deal!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

And so, another chapter has closed and a new one is waiting to be followed. I am going to post David Whyte’s beautiful poem yet one more time… and while our daughter, Izze, is a long way from sleeping on my shoulder as an infant, I suspect I will always feel this way.

My Daughter Asleep

Carrying a child,
I carry a bundle of sleeping
future appearances.
I carry my daughter
adrift on my shoulder,
dreaming her slender dreams
and I carry her beneath the window,
watching her moon lit palm open and close
like a tiny folded map,
each line a path that leads where I can’t go,
so that I read her palm not knowing what I read
and
walk with her in moon light on the landing,
not knowing with whom I walk,
making invisible prayers to go on with her where
I can’t go,
conversing with so many unknowns that must know her more
intimately than I do.

And so to these unspoken shadows and this broad night
I make a quiet request to the great parental darkness
to hold her when I cannot, to comfort her when I am gone,
to help her learn to love the unknown for itself,
to take it gladly like a lantern for the way before her,
to help her see where ordinary light will not help her,
where happiness has fled, where faith will not reach.

My prayer tonight for the great and hidden symmetries of life
to reward this faith I have and twin her passages of loneliness with friendship,
her exiles with home coming, her first awkward steps with promised onward leaps.

May she find in all this, day or night, the beautiful centrality of pure opposites,
may she discover before she grows old, not to choose so easily between past and present,
may she find in one or the other her gifts acknowledged.

And so as I helped to name her, I help to name these powers,
I bring to life what is needed, I invoke the help she’ll want
following those moonlit lines into a future uncradled by me but parented by all I call.

As she grows away from me, may these life lines grow with her, keep her safe,
so
with my open palm whose lines have run before her to make a safer way,
I hold her smooth cheek and bless her this night into all these other unknown
nights to come.

-David Whyte

…and all these other unknown nights to come!

Categories: Set Lists Tags:

Honor Memorial Day

May 28th, 2019 Jorma 15 comments
Jorma Sr. and Pentti

Jorma Sr. and Pentti

Portraits by my Dad, Jorma Sr.

Tarmo Kaukonen in Italy, WWII

Tarmo Kaukonen in Italy, WWII

Photographer unknown

On Memorial Day as the Kaukonens try their best to honor our fallen I usually default to fotos of my dad and his two brothers. Uncle Tarmo survived North Africa and Italy to die in a VA hospital in 1945 from lung cancer. Pentti never really came back from the Pacific and died quite young in a VA hospital in Northern California. My Dad, Jorma Sr. was fortunate to have lived a decently full life. For the three Kaukonen boys, serving in WWII was of paramount importance to their identity as first generation Americans… that’s just how it was.

Memorial Day was yesterday and indeed it was plain to me that as we enjoyed a beautiful day in the country that we owed it all to members of our Armed Forces! A debt to all those brave men and women that can never be repaid. fired up my bike and took a ride around the county and when I came to the site of the Buffington Island Skirmish where Union forces won that battle in 1863.

Buffington Island Skirmish today...

Buffington Island Skirmish today...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

For a moment I found myself wrapped in history.

Talking to my friend Chuck out in California yesterday (himself a Vietnam Vet) he pointed out that our fallen lost two lives… the one they had, and the one they never got to live.

Honor Memorial Day!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Milestones And Music

May 23rd, 2019 Jorma 16 comments

So another camp here at the Fur Peace Ranch has come and gone.

The guys from last week.

The guys from last week.

Foto by John Hurlbut

The great Woody Mann was teaching last weekend as well as myself. I gave a songwriting workshop and I have to tell you, I am impressed and humbled by the hard work and honesty these guys all manifested.

Me and the guys...

Me and the guys...

Foto by John Hurlbut

Each one of these guys came away with five songs in various stages of completion. Truly awesome!

Saturday night with had our first guitar free concert… and I say this with a benign smile on my face. It was a jazz shows featuring Eric Alexander on Sax, Peter Dominguez on upright bass, Larry Willis on piano and Victor Jones on drums. So we’re live streaming the show from our Fur Peace Ranch channel and I’m occasionally going backstage so I can weigh in on comments. Most people really dug the transcendence of the show, and I’ll get to that in a moment. One soul simply said, ‘I don’t understand jazz.’ I found this interesting. As someone who likes a great and utterly disparate landscape of music, I never found I really had to ‘understand’ anything. I just liked it or I didn’t. Now there are lots of different kinds of jazz just as there is a great variety of rock etc. Some touches me and some doesn’t. Eric and his A Team of players were playing songs and exploring an ever changing musical universe of changes and sonic delights. Again, I’m not a jazz player and I never will be, but I love good music, and theirs touched my soul. Thanks guys! I appreciated this evening more than you will ever know. It was first rate music played by world class guys!

Live on the Fur Peace Station stage!

Live on the Fur Peace Station stage!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

More of the guys

More of the guys

Foto by jorma Kaukonen

Larry Willis on the 1903 Chickering

Larry Willis on the 1903 Chickering

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Anybody who owns anything knows that constant maintenance is well… constant. Nessa and I as owners of the Ranch are constantly called upon to step up to the plate, metaphorically speaking. We had some water problems again and here’s how we dealt with it.

Nessa... in the mud up to her knees with a leaky pipe

Nessa... in the mud up to her knees with a leaky pipe

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Notice, She’s in the hole… I’m taking the picture.

That’s my girl!

Plumbing problems sort of in the rear view mirror, I took some updated drone shots of the Ranch in between storms.

Looks nicer greened out!

Looks nicer greened out!

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

All this excitement notwithstanding, our daughter, Izze, joined here classmates for their Eighth Grade Class Trip to Washington, D.C. Now Izze has been to D.C. a lot… with Mom and Dad. I know this one was different for here… and different for Nessa and myself as parents. Time is slipping through our fingers like water. Our girl and here pals will be in high school next year. I know this is all good… and as it should be. Still and all, it is a bittersweet moment for us.

Izze and her friends at the Korean War Memorial

Izze and her friends at the Korean War Memorial

Foto by Izze Kaukonen

There have been many wars during my lifetime and the monuments in D.C. are more than powerful. Vietnam of course, is a war that defined my time in many ways, but for some reason, the Korean War Memorial has always had an effect on me.

Well… the kids are growing, the world is still turning and all I can say is… so far so good.

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

A Foray To Eastern Long Island

May 13th, 2019 Jorma 19 comments
Thirty Years

Thirty Years

Foto by Phil Jacobs

I had a private event in Montauk so it made sense to stop by The Stephen Talkhouse and pick a set. I’ve been working for Peter Honerkamp for thirty years and the good old Talkhouse just never gets old. My good friend G.E. Smith stopped by and we had some big fun!

Brother G. E. and me!

Brother G. E. and me!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Jorma Kaukonen 10, 2019
Stephen Talkhouse
Amagansett, LI
New York
Friday, May 10, 2019

1. Dime For Beer
2. Serpent Of Dreams
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
5. Death Don’t have No Mercy
6. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
7. I See The Light
8. Candy Man
9. Embryonic Journey
10. Sleep Song
11. Watch The North Wind Rise
12. Trial By Fire
13. Good Shepherd with G.E. Smith
14. Worried Man Blues with G.E.Smith
15. How Long Blues with G.E.Smith
16. Denomination Blues with G.E. Smith
17. Trouble In Mind with GE. Smith
18. Long Gone From Kentucky with G.E.Smith
19. Nine Pound Hammer with G.E. Smith
20. Encore: Water Song

A truly great night for us! Thanks to Peter and all my old friends at the Talkhouse and G.E. Smith as well!

Then this great gal Kim through a 60th birthday party for her man Johnny… a long time Hot Tuna friend. With the help of Joynny’s sister, Jennifer, and a host of friends we all conspired to surprise the Birthday boy… and surprise him we did!

Setting up... the calm before the storm.

Setting up... the calm before the storm.

Foto by Phil Jacobs

They had the Jan Hanna Band playing some great music before and after my set. Johnny didn’t know what was coming.

The Jan Hanna Band and me

The Jan Hanna Band and me

Then it was my turn.

Jorma Kaukonen 11, 2019
The Secret Party
In Montauk

First Set:
1. Ain’t In No Hurry
2. Second Chances
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Barbeque King
5. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
6. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
7. Serpent Of Dreams
8. Sleep Song
9. San Francisco Bay Blues

Second Set:
1. New Song For The Morning
2. True Religion
3. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
4. Come Back Baby
5. Waiting For A Train
6. Serpent Of Dreams
7. In My Dreams
8. Watch The North Wnd Rise
9. Sea Child
10. Trial By Fire
11. Good Shepherd
12. I Know You Rider

Nice... very nice

Nice... very nice

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

To see so many old friends come together and include me was… truly awesome!

Time stood still....

Time stood still....

Photographer unknown

A great weekend… and now I’m back at the Ranch getting ready for a songwriting workshop this weekend.

Good times!

Foto by Jennifer

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

A Fortnight At Fur Peace Ranch

May 8th, 2019 Jorma 10 comments
Yes folks... a typical Fur Peace Breakfast!!!!!

Yes folks... a typical Fur Peace Breakfast!!!!!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Well… Friday before last, G.E.Smith joined me for a weekends worth of workshops and on Saturday night he Joined foe Arlen Roth Band for an evening of cool Telecaster riffs.

My class was awesome too!

Pickers and Grinners

Pickers and Grinners

Foto by John Hurlbut

Then last weekend, our own John Hurlbut stepped up to teach The American Songbook class for our dear Spencer Bohren as he dealt with his own visitation from the storms of life.

Brother Spencer and Brother John

Brother Spencer and Brother John

Foto by Marilyn Bohren

The great Tom Feldmann ably assisted me in a weekend of spirituals and a grand time was had by all!

The Light Of This World Class

The Light Of This World Class

Foto by Stephanie Layton

Monday morning Hurl and i warmed up the breakfast crew, and then Tom Feldmann took the ’stage.’

In the shadow of the fresh fruit and bagels

In the shadow of the fresh fruit and bagels

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Monday, our daughter Izze and her friend Tess nailed a Billy Eilish song at the Middle School Talent Show. Double guitar and two part vocal harmony.

Life is good…

Onward

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags: