Kids…

June 26th, 2018 Jorma 25 comments

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

I have posted this poem before… and I’m sure I will again. We dropped Izze off at cam[ but before we did we stopped by the museum at Bethel, N.Y.

Izze and Vanessa look at the Woodstock signboard

Izze and Vanessa look at the Woodstock signboard

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

‘You might find this interesting,’ I say. In my mind, ‘Perhaps not.’ We walk through the gates and buy tickets.

Wasn't that a time?

Wasn't that a time?

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The Woodstock memory is so interesting to me almost fifty years down the road… in many ways like a dream! The kids don’t seem to see kids, just strange people from another time.

a girl surrounded by another world...

a girl surrounded by another world...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We walk about… surrounded by the past.

Through a glass darkly

Through a glass darkly

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

She marks time, diligently waiting for the Woodstock experience to fade into arrival at camp.

What was it all about anyway?

What was it all about anyway?

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

And then it was time to drop her for… for the next month. All this and she turned 12 today.

And then I was home…

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch...

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch...

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

I miss that girl…

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Life Is A Disappearing Act

June 18th, 2018 Jorma 14 comments


Good things come, good things go
If it lifts you up, it’ll lay you low
People leave and they don’t come back
Life is a disappearing act…

Gretchen Peters, Life Is A Disappearing Act

From Dancing With The Beast

We had another wonderful weekend here at the Fur Peace Ranch With Tom Feldman, David Wolff and myself. All that being said there’s no good time for bad news. Saturday night before the show with Peter Rowan and his Twang And Groove, I found that my friend Steve Story had passed away on Friday. I just texting him a couple of days ago and we were planning on getting together in a week or so. Life is indeed a disappearing act and my friends are starting to disappear at an alarming rate. Indeed, in death all you are, all you might ever be disappears into the ether like dust, and that’s just the way it is. ‘We are all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities.’ I’ll be at your service in Thursday but I’m sure going to miss talking to you Steve. Fair winds and following seas brother… fair winds and following seas!

Because life goes on no matter who dies, back at the Ranch, good things were happening.

David wears the first person view google while I pilot my Mavic.

David wears the first person view google while I pilot my Mavic.

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Peter and his buddies sure helped to cheer us up Saturday night.

The boys holding forth

The boys holding forth

With Paul Knight on bass, Jamie Oldaker, percussion, Dave Easley, steel guitar, and Don Rigsby mandolin it was truly a night to remember.

Two friends

Two friends

Foto by Wally Himmelman

It was a bittersweet weekend on the on hand, but a joyous one on the other and that is good because life is too short to be anything but joyous!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

A Night At Natalie’s

June 14th, 2018 Jorma 24 comments
Best pizza in Cowtown...

Best pizza in Cowtown...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza is a more than delightful venue and a really good restaurant that is technically in Worthington, although it’s all Columbus to country boys like me. This is my second trip to Natalie’s, and I look forward to the next one. Now, not a day goes by that I don’t spend a lot of time maintaining my relationship with my guitars, but it’s not the same thing as gigging. I’ve been home for a while and as much as I love being home with the family, sometimes I feel as if my identity is beginning to suffer when I don’t get to play for an audience. This was just the remedy I needed! Plus, there were two shows on this night… both sold out!

Jorma Kaukonen 22, 2018
Jorma Solo
Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza
Worthington, Ohio
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

First Show:

1. Dime For Beer
2. Serpent Of Dreams
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Search My Heart
5. Been So Long
6. Barbeque King
7. How Long Blues
8. Sleep Song
9. Trial By Fire
10. River Of Time
11. Candy Man
12. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
13. Heart Temporary
14. I Am The Light of This World
15. Trouble In Mind
16. I Know You Rider
17. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Since I’m not eating carbs right now, I feasted on a giant meatball between shows… Beef, pork an lamb… Deeeelicious!!!

Jorma Kaukonen 23, 2018
Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza
Worthington, Ohio
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Second Show:
1. Whining Boy Blues
2. True Religion
3. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
4. I See The Light
5. How Long Blues
6. Prohibition Blues
7. Come Back Baby
8. San Francisco Bay Blues
9. Sea Child
10. Watch The North Wind Rise
11. Good Shepherd
12. That’ll Never Happen No More
13. Things That Might Have Been
14. Re-Enlistment Blues
15. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
16. Encore: Water Song

The weather held until I was driving home… and then it was beyond torrential. Fortunately, in addition to my Daylighter headlights, I have a killer light bar!

What's not to like about a Jeep?

What's not to like about a Jeep?

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Now I know that a light bar like this is not street legal, but it sure saved my bacon coming home on Rt. 33 at 0100 Wednesday morning. You just couldn’t see more that 20 feet in front of you with only the LED headlights.

Good times…

Yesterday I went up to Dan Earlewine’s shop in Athens, Ohio where a new set of engraved Waverly tuners were waiting for me. Susan from Stewart-MacDonald was shooting a video for Dan and Stewmack and we had a blast with it. My new tuners are mighty sexy too… guitar geekery… gotta love it.

Tomorrow is the beginning of another great weekend at the Fur Peace Ranch and Saturday night Peter Rowan and some of his pals will be holding forth at the Station.

Well, it’s a beautiful day today… I think I’ll go for a ride… without rainsuit!

Vroooom….

Categories: Diary, Set Lists Tags:

One Hundred And Eight

June 12th, 2018 Jorma 14 comments
Thirty years ago in Talmont, North Shore Tahoe

Thirty years ago in Talmont, North Shore Tahoe

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen, Sr.

One hundred and eight years ago in East Windsor, Connecticut a little girl was born on a tobacco farm. Her name was Beatrice Love Levine and thirty years later she would become my mother. Indeed, today my brother Peter and I are motherless children, like it says in the song. In the scheme of things, that is as it should be. Sorry you missed your grandchildren mom… you would have loved them and they would have loved you! Perhaps you know that.

I miss you and dad all the time, but we’re alright… and so are you.

Love you…

Jormason

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Yet Another County Heard From

June 10th, 2018 Jorma 47 comments

A note from a Dissatisfied Fan
Sunday, June 10, 2018

You know, you just can’t please everybody and in my line of work, sometimes these feelings of dissatisfaction manifest themselves in the strangest ways. I just got a letter from a woman whose return address simply said, ‘Ms. Ripped Off,’ NYC. See Foto below.

Duly noted

Duly noted

I had to think about this one a little bit.

blog 1

This is what I came up with:

Keep in mind; it’s always nice to get fan letters … good and not so good. It helps to keep everything in perspective. This one came this weekend and was one I just couldn’t pass up sharing.

The first few things that came to mind were that the only VIP packages that came remotely close to costing $250 were at the Beacon Theater almost two years ago and last years City Winery gig in Manhattan. We actually performed 4 nights at the Winery on that run and there was only one night that featured what the Winery folks called a VIP Package. As I recall, this VIP package without any extra’s was about $105. If you bought the whole package it was about $195 and included a lot more than just a meet and greet. The artist would participate in a brief meet and greet with a photo op for up to 50 persons prior to the performance as part of the Mastercard/City Winery promotion. The folks who bought this package were also treated to a visit to the winery room, a four course dinner and wine flight which is basically the tasters getting to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, but sometimes as many as fifty. I have no idea how many glasses were involved. I must note here that this event was in November 2017… 7 months ago.

The Beacon VIP packages are much different. You get VIP seating which is very nice and up front as I recall and a brief meet and greet after the performance with Jorma and Jack, which is always heavily orchestrated by Beacon staff. Another side note: this event was in December of 2016 almost 18 months ago. Now it seems to me that if Ms. Ripped Off really took umbrage at any of these events, she would have made her complaints known a long time ago.
Now as far as autographs are concerned, it is true that Jack Casady actually has a John Hancock style signature. It is truly magnificent and always looks the same. I will be the first to admit that my penmanship was miserable when I was a kid and remains so today. That said, whether or not you like my handwriting, it is mine and that’s the best I can do. Since I have absolutely no recollection of the incident Ms. R.O. describes, I can only say that while I am not normally a Chatty Kathy I would like to think that I am a moderately entertaining conversationalist if I am being made a part of an entertaining conversation. Good dialogue is a team effort. Perhaps Ms. R.O. should look in the mirror and spread the blame out a little.

Well, it is what it is, and VIP packages are what they are. At the Beacon for instance regular ticket prices are divided by price tiers and seat locations. They start at $69 then go up to $89 and $99. When you add a VIP option as pricey as it is, it’s a venue set price and they get a chunk of that fee. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. Jack and I love our fans and try to be there for them as best we can without being untrue to ourselves, but buying a VIP ticket does not entitle one to make unrealistic personal demands. As far as the aforementioned Ms. R.O. not enjoying the show, all can say is I am a story teller and if you didn’t like the story I told that night that’s OK. Art is an ephemeral beast at best. You may not like what I had to say, but it is my right to say it in any way that I want.

Last by not least, since Ms. Ripped Off told me I suck, this is a fine time for me to quote my father, may he rest in peace. ‘Why are there so many more horses asses, than there are horses?’

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Thoughts Tags:

The Language Of The Heart

June 10th, 2018 Jorma 5 comments
On the road to Akron

On the road to Akron

Foto by Mutt

Last Thursday I rode up to Akron for Founders Day… the 83rd anniversary of AA. To be in a crowd where the language of the heart is spoken by all… is rare indeed. I so look forward to this trip every year.

The Four Absolutes

The Four Absolutes

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

My and two of my good buddies at Annie and Dr. Bob's gravesite in Mt. Peace Cemetary

My and two of my good buddies at Annie and Dr. Bob's gravesite in Mt. Peace Cemetary

Photographer Anonyous

The ride up was flawless… the weather perfect!

Guess how many steps to Dr. Bob's House?

Guess how many steps to Dr. Bob's House?

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Then it was time for a trip to Henrietta Seiberling’s Gate House.

I can't walk through these doors without getting emotional

I can't walk through these doors without getting emotional

Foto by Mutt

The weather turned Saturday night and lightning storms cut the Big Meeting short… rain started pouring and didn’t let up until I was almost 60 miles south of Akron. It’s only water right… and the spend a weekend where the language of the heart is spoken by all… is worth any storm I have to go through.

Back to the my world here at the Fur Peace Ranch and a gig on Tuesday in Columbus at Natalie’s. Well, Worthington actually.

Life is good!

The Nelsonville Music Festival

June 4th, 2018 Jorma 11 comments

Since I wasn’t working this past weekend, Vanessa and I got to got to the Nelsonville Music Festival, hear some great music and catch up with some friends. We also had to retrieve our daughter who had been camping with her friends for the weekend. Ah… summer vacation… if you’re a kid!

The Kaukonens... showing the flag!

The Kaukonens... showing the flag!

Photographer lost in antiquity

This is an amazing regional festival, well supported by the community and filled with great artists! I was fortunate enough to do a solo set here a couple of years ago. One of the first people we ran into yesterday when we parked was my old friend ScareKrow who brought us over to say ‘hi’ to Ani DiFranco.

ScareKrow, Ani and me

ScareKrow, Ani and me

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

We wandered around and I ran into the Henna Faerie.

Here I am with the Henna Faerie

Here I am with the Henna Faerie

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

the HF turned us onto Bridget Punsalang who tattoos out of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. from the Neeledwurks parlor. Check out Bridget’s work. I’ve got a little… Nessa’s got a lot from her. Good stuff.

We headed up to the main stage where the Blind Boys Of Alabama were just starting their set. I noticed that the bass player… whose name I didn’t get, was playing a Jack Casady Bass.

The JC Bass on the main stage...

The JC Bass on the main stage...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The Blind Boys were awesome… as they always are!

A line of greatness!

A line of greatness!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Paul Thorn sat in with the Blind Boys and it was like a revival right there in our own Nelsonville!

After that great performance, Nessa and I collected Izze and headed back the the Fur Peace Ranch.

Stage right at the Bind Boys Of Alabama set!

Stage right at the Bind Boys Of Alabama set!

Selfie by Vanessa Kaukonen

What a great weekend!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Maybe April Comes To The Fur Peace Station

June 3rd, 2018 Jorma 1 comment

Last night the Fur Peace Ranch hosted the up and coming band from Nashville, Maybe April. Since I wasn’t playing or teaching this weekend I took over my pal Jerry’s spot behind the wheel of the mule to ferry folks in from the parking lot.

Service with a smile from the Ole Picker.

Service with a smile from the Ole Picker.

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Hurl, our Ranch Manager, discover Maybe April before they were even signed and recorded. They were awesome on YouTube and even more awesome in person.

Alana, Katy and Kristin onstage at the Station

Alaina, Katy and Kristin onstage at the Station

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

What a great show the girls put on for the sold out house here at the Ranch. I predict great things for these gals.

Nessa, Kristin, Katy, Alana and me after the show

Nessa, Kristin, Katy, Alaina and me after the show

Foto by Wally Himmelman

The gals spent the night here at the Ranch and this morning Nessa sent them on their way to Asheville with coffee, fresh fruit and sundry goodies.

It’s good to know the future of music is more than safe!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Just A Little Slide Show

June 2nd, 2018 Jorma 4 comments
One our porch...

One our porch...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Porch left

Porch left

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Dont' get lost at the FPR

Dont' get lost at the FPR

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Smiles finishing the railng on the new Green Room Cabin

Smiles finishing the railng on the new Green Room Cabin

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Psylodelic Museum & New Company Store

Psylodelic Museum & New Company Store

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Turn right

Turn right

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

John H. Yoda of Merchandise

John H. Yoda of Merchandise

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Rev. Davis and Grace Slick... two of my favorite people

Rev. Davis and Grace Slick... two of my favorite people

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Painting by Malles Meje and Jorma sculpture by Lisa Reinertson

Painting by Malles Meje and Jorma sculpture by Lisa Reinertson

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The Buckeye Rural swath through the woods

The Buckeye Rural swath through the woods

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Day is almost done...

Day is almost done...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Just a photographic cross section of my afternoon yesterday. Today we have Maybe April with their concert here at the Fur Peace Ranch. More tomorrow…

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Family & Memorial Day

May 29th, 2018 Jorma 17 comments
Old Glory at Los Angeles National Cemetary

Old Glory at Los Angeles National Cemetary

Foto by Paul Wilder

I was hanging with my family all day yesterday and chose not to mess with the computer. I phoned my friends who are surviving vets and we all honored Memorial Day… and the fallen.

Uncle Tarmo

Uncle Tarmo

Foto by Paul Wilder

Uncle Tarmo survived North Africa, Sicily and from the boot on up. He died in a Memphis VA hospital from lung cancer. My Father and Uncle Pen were also WWII Vets. I never met Tarmo… but I still miss Pen and Dad.

Honor Memorial Day!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags: