Well, where to begin? These shows this weekend were just so special to all of us the the Tuna Family. In many respects, New York has always been our musical home… no disrespect to all the other wonderful places that let us play for them… but New York is just, well, New York. To be surrounded by so many musical friends as well as people who have supported us over the years touched me deeply. The years just seemed to cascade over the rocks of my memory. I will truly never forget this one. Here is our set list… reasonably correct, I hope:

Beacon Birthday Bash Day 2
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Set One:
1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Been So Long
3. Ode To Billy Dean
4. I Wish You Would
5. San Francisco Bay Blues with Pete Sears
6. Big Railroad Blues with Pete Sears & Michael Falzarano & Bob Weir
7. How Long Blues with Pete Sears & Michael Falzarano
8. If This Is Love I Want My Money Back
9. Bowlegged Woman with Oteil Burbridge, Bob Weir & Bob Steeler
10. Walking Blues with Bob Weir and Oteil Burbridge & Bob Steeler
Set Two:
1. I See The Light with Pete Sears
2. 3rd Week In The Chelsea with Pete Sears
3. Nothing Brings You Down Like Your Home Town with Steve Earle
4. Brand New Companion with Steve Earle
5. 99 Year Blues with Oteil Burbridge
6. When I Paint My Masterpiece with Bob Weir, Pete Sears on accordion
7. Talkin’ Bout You with Bob Steeler
8. Hesitation Blues with Bob Steeler
9. AK-47 with Michael Falzarano and Bob Steeler
10. Funky # 7 Bob Steeler, Oteil Burbridge & Pete Sears
11. Come Back Baby with Steve Earle, Bob Weir, Oteil Burbridge, Michael Falzarano
12. Encore: Baby What You Want Me To Do? With the same cast of characters.

Jack and I certainly felt all the fire from the old days coming out of our fingers… well I don’t want to gush too much but we sure got to play some great songs with great people. After the show downstairs they broke out the cake they presented me on stage and it tasted just as good as it looked.


Lookin’ good and tastin’ good!


This morning at breakfast in the diner, I ran into lots of folks who were at the show last night… Bob Steeler and his family were there… it was better than old times. We may have to do this again!

I would be totally remiss if I didn’t give another big thanks to Louis Rosano of Louis Electric Amps. He provided all the amps for the show. thanks buddy!


Back in Woodstock to finish up the new Hot Tuna for Red House Records.

I think I’ll go get some dinner. I love this job!


  1. Comment made on May 27, 2011 by Ed W

    I just came across this post today. That night was amazing; the band sounded better than ever. I fully appreciate the built in room for improvisation in your arrangements, it still amazes me. Barry is a great support, Michael was excellent; Bobby was, well, Bobby-he really strives to always be better, gotta love him for that. Celebrating such an occasion reminds me about how blessed the whole community is, to still be able to synthesize into a celebration of life and great music. Many thanks, look forward to ’11.

  2. Comment made on December 15, 2010 by Maurice

    What a great time at the birthday bash, I would like to add my thanks to Jorma and Jack and all the great musicians they have played with for all the very many great songs in the soundtrack of my life. Without guys like these, I might never have discovered my love and affinity for traditional American folk and blues. Long may run, come play at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts the place misses you guys.

  3. Comment made on December 15, 2010 by marcello & paola

    Hey Jorma, happy birthday. We flew from Italy to New York for the two shows, and you and the guys blew us off. Great, great, great. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks

  4. Comment made on December 13, 2010 by MHM

    Been following and seeing Jorma and the gang for a lifetime (including that really odd circle line ferry boat concert!) Saw the Friday show, and thought the second set was inspired. Kudos to Larry Campbell. And another thanks for the poster.
    Happy Bday Jorma!

  5. Comment made on December 12, 2010 by Todd Ellenberg

    In addition to all my raves and thanks for the fabulous shows, forgot to note the show poster handed out to everyone on the way out of the Beacon Saturday night. A very nice touch…nice poster too! Framed it yesterday.

  6. Comment made on December 9, 2010 by Andrew Kelly

    Hey guys, did you find my comments abusive or something? Were not posted. 🙁

  7. Comment made on December 8, 2010 by Bill H

    Only made Saturday, but it was everything I could ask for both in song choice and guests. Oteil and Steeler were the perfect dash of spice to make the stew taste even better. I was most surprised by Steve Earle’s two song set. I’d heard good things about his recent run of shows with the band, but was unprepared for how well he and the guys meshed. To bring outside songs into the mix and have it work so well is further testament to the abilities of all involved.

    Of course it was great to have Falzarano and Sears back. Pete’s piano solos can be a bit samey, but that’s more the nature of the beast/style he plays than imagination or talent. His fills on accordian and funky fender rhodes stylings added positively to the overall sound. AK-47 fit in well and it was cool to hear the interplay bewteen Michael and Jorma once again. My son and I got a kick outta Bob Weir and his multiple meanderings onstage. Sometimes it felt like he was sneaking on when no one was looking. His “Walking Blues” worked for me and “When I Paint My Masterpiece” drew my 27 year old back 15 years to the Dead’s last Pittsburgh show in ’95 when Bobby sang it then.

    This show allowed Jack and Jorma to exhibit all the band’s facets with the proper sympathetic support. The intricacy needed for a band to replicate the piedmont feel was there, so was the America’s Choice raunchy ROCKBAND sound. Then there was the wild card double bass and drum freewheeling funk and fusion grooves that put “Funky #7” and “Bowlegged Woman” over. Sure, the songlist was in my wheelhouse which made diggin’ it all easier, but they coulda played the phonebook that night and killed.

  8. Comment made on December 8, 2010 by Tigertiger

    To all the accolades and appreciation already expressed let me add one more: what a generous couple of performances. It was great to see those young musicians included on the stage each night. (Barefoot Otile has something to say, don’t he!) Happiness, joy, and pride flowed with the music and so the tradition passes on. This seems to be so much a part of what makes Tuna’s hot: from Reverend Gary to There Goes the Neighborhood to every wannabe warm-up act to Fur Peace, in both brand-new and the same ways you are getting us together right down here. It may not have been my birthday but I feel like I got two presents; one each night. The light’s shining.

  9. Comment made on December 8, 2010 by BumpHead

    I flew into NY from Chapel Hill, NC to catch the shows. I had my kid brother (44 years old) meet me and some friends. Thanks for ROCKIN’ the house guys! Enjoyed every minute from Happy Traum right through to the end of the second night. Please do it again soon. Will those shows be available @ Wolfgang’s Vault? I’d love to buy the .flac!

  10. Comment made on December 7, 2010 by Bob K

    Happy Anniversary Jorma and Vanessa.. you guys are catching up to us,, 29 yrs for Eileen and I this year,, Im sure the “album” er CD will be mighty fine.. thanks again for some great music Friday and saturday… be well

  11. Comment made on December 7, 2010 by Matt

    Hey like this past weekend was the best Hot Tuna experience i’ve ever had
    after seeing these guys for many years. These shows were the icing on the cake and how about that icing on that cool cake, wow. Seriously, the music was fantastic and the energy and vibes were the best, great job by the organizers. Like talk about being in a great moment, the great moment lasted was all weekend long. Some real good stuff there Jorma, good stuff indeed and Happy Birthday !

  12. Comment made on December 7, 2010 by Matt

    Hey like this past weekend was the best Hot Tuna experience i’ve ever had
    after seeing these guys for many years. These shows were the icing on the cake ,
    and how about that icing on that cool cake, wow. Seriously, the music was fantastic and the energy and vibes were the best, great job by the organizers.
    Like talk about being in a great moment, the great moment lasted was all weekend long. Some real good stuff there Jorma, good sutff indeed and Happy Birthday !

  13. Comment made on December 7, 2010 by Jeff S

    After what seems like a lifetime of Tuna shows, these were the best of the best. The energy just flowed through the air, to the fingers, to the fretboard. Will never forget it.

  14. Comment made on December 6, 2010 by steve

    One final thought-actually it was a half way thru the show thought Saturday night. A 2 cd set of both nights highlights would be AWESOME!!!!!

  15. Comment made on December 6, 2010 by Tom DeBobes

    Having been at both shows this weekend really inspires me to play my own guitar more and more. I have seen you and Jack well over 100 times, along with quite a few supporting players since 1975. This past weekend really brought me back to shows on Long Island, NYC and the tri-state area. We met a long time ago Jorma, when you would stay at the Island Inn in Westbury NY, where I was a bellman, and you would play Hofstra Playhouse, the Calderone and My Father’s Place. My new favorite song “If This is Love, I Want My Money Back” was terrific both nights. The energy both nights was palpable

  16. Comment made on December 6, 2010 by Michael Baker

    About five minutes into the first set of the first show, I turned to my wife and told her that (even thought I didn’t yet have a ticket) I was surely going to have to attend the second show, as well. And both of them were really fantastic. And beyond.

    Jorma, please allow me to add one comment besides the endless and profound thanks I and all of us have for sharing with us two extraordinary experiences this past Friday and Saturday night: it was absolutely GREAT that the band started both shows right on time. I remember a couple of years back some folks were saddened by the fact that the band left the Beacon’s stage just as the clock was striking midnight and without playing an encore that night, and you commenting on this board that the logistical factors involved in playing past midnight at the Beacon were just too challenging for the band to deal with. I am sure that those of us who have been to the Beacon understood just what you meant in that regard, and very much respected the decision that was made that evening.

    When Tuna took the stage on time on Friday, I absolutely KNEW that you folks were dedicated to the notion of playing for as long as you could that evening, and that you didn’t want to lose a single moment of time in doing so. That said so much to me, and I want you to know how much one attendee appreciated the band’s consideration of that, your desire to share with us every single moment and note you could, and the consummate professionalism which that demonstrated.

    Count me as one of the fans who has followed the band for what is now well over 35 years (I’ve the Palladium late show ticket stubs to prove it!), and who can say without hesitation or reservation that these two shows not only showed a band which remains at the height of it’s musical creativity and prowess, but which is also more dedicated than ever to sharing it’s intensity and creativity with those lucky enough to have the resources to attend lives performances. Especially these two live performances in particular!

    Happy birthday Jorma, and many thanks to you, Jack, Barry, Skooter, and all of the distinguished (and even those not distinguished! ) guests who joined you on stage this past weekend.

    May there be many more.

    Best regards,
    Michael Baker
    New York City

  17. Comment made on December 6, 2010 by Mike

    Happy Birthday Jorma!!! Was at the Saturday show, It was jaw dropping AWESOME!!! Will you be releasing the show for purchase? I must have a copy of this show. See you at the Tillis Center in February, and see you in April at FurPeace for lessons…


  18. Comment made on December 6, 2010 by Mark B

    Drove up from the Maryland burbs for Saturday night’s concert…..I would agree with Max’s above comment one of the best shows I have ever attended. Very nice ambiance there at the Beacon, felt very comfortable awash in a sea of ageing Hippies (like myself). Be well and thanks for continuing to bring musical enjoyment the way you do.

    Digging the Blues as always.

    Big Mark Rockville MD

  19. Comment made on December 6, 2010 by JustCantGetSatisfied

    so I guess I’m the cranky contrarian complainer.
    Friday was the better show. Haynes, Kirchen, Hammond, Larry Campbell and Hornsby fit the flow perfectly.
    Less so some of saturday’s guests.
    When you encourage folks to come twice in a row, playing so many same songs both nights is a let-down (not that one can get too much of See the Light, Come Back Baby or 99 Year blues).
    But there were SO many belowved Tuna songs NOT played this weekend.
    Instead we got a clumsy Big RR Blues, the non-Tuna Walking Blues, and a throw-away Paint My Masterpiece.
    And I swear Pete Sears played the same piano solo in the 2d set that he’d played in the first.
    Jorma’s friend may have written “If this is love I want my money back” but after hearing it twice, I sure hope that’s not the highlight of the new album.

    I was hoping for a return of Larry Campbell’s fiddle for some Papa-ish jams, say on Keep Them Lamps.

    Saturday certainly had special pleasures. But friday delivered more.
    Don’t get me wrong. Can’t wait for February’s Jersey shows

  20. Comment made on December 6, 2010 by Jim F

    Happy birthday … thanks to you, Jack, Barry, Scooter and your guests for two great nights of musics and for sharing your birthday with us. you’ll have to do the same thing on Jack’s 70th …. peace

  21. Comment made on December 6, 2010 by Bob K

    Thanks Jorma,, two nights of magic for sure,,fortunate enough to attend both nights.. and close enough to see the joy coming off the stage,, again on night two Hot Tuna rose to the occasion and than some,, Bobby Weir was in top form.. a great walkin blues,, masterpiece was fantastic,,special note to Pete on accordian, Barry also shined on mandolin oh so sweet..The jams were superb..nice treat having Steve Earle also..it was all so good.. Again Jorma and Jack were giving it that something extra all night.. the only thing more to ask would be a download release or even a video,, so thanks guys.. Hot Tuna!! an american classic for sure.. thanks Jorma for all your music,, words of wisdom and friendship,, stay well..Happy Birthday,,

  22. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Todd Ellenberg

    Just got back to Miami after enjoying the two truly EPIC shows Friday and Saturday nights at the Beacon. It felt like the ’70s again! Jorma and Jack — many thanks for 40+ years of joyous Tuna music. You guys and your friends were burning big time at these memorable and amazing shows. Happy birthday, Jorma, and many more!

  23. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Tommy

    Great shows both nights!While we all can debate what should have been played,it can not be denied that these were special shows that were pure joy,both for Jorma and the boys and audience. Thanks to all responsible and a tip of the hat to John Scher, who’s heartfelt intros on both nights,set the stage and echoed our feelings,a magical and historic weekend!!

  24. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Max Bernheimer

    That was, without question, one of the best rock & roll shows I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot. I especially liked Bob Weir’s contribution – would like to see more Weir/Tuna interaction. Thanks, Jorma. I am still buzzing from this great night. Might you release this as a download?

  25. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Jose Mediavilla

    There was a slide show? I guess I was really sitting too far back!

  26. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by steve

    I thought it was a great night. I wish Jorma/Jack/Bob Steeler had jammed on at least one song by themselves. I would also have liked to see some of the lesser played songs show up but all in all my 11 friends and I had a great time. Bob Weir was simply a treat! Happy Birthday Jorma-lets do it again in 70 more years-or maybe start with next!

  27. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Marc Wander

    Happy Birthday Joma!

    Thank you for all of the happiness you have brought into my life! From live concerts with Tuna and the Airplane! To lisening to your songs as I walk the dog or drive off into the sunset! Many more happy birthdays to you!

  28. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Jon

    Couldn’t see the slide show from the nosebleeds. Wish they had the screen lower.

  29. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Tyler Curtis

    Stellar show! Last time I saw you was in Mt Tabor, NJ in 09, when Railroad Earth opened, and you couldn’t sing (lost your voice). Now I got to see you, dad came along with me, and it was stellar. One of my favorite moments in my 16 year old life to have you and Bobby on the same stage! Here’s my review: http://shakedownblog.com/2010/12/05/jorma-kaukonen-124201/

  30. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Anton A

    The between-set music was the sound track to the the slide show that was on the screen. The music was listed in the credits. Unfortunately I failed to take notes on that!

  31. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Jose Mediavilla

    by the way, did anyone notice the music playing between sets? It was some type of acoustic/mandolin version of “Mann’s Fate” and (I think) “Follow the Drinking Gourd”

  32. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by penny

    happy birthday jorma
    outstanding show – simply outstanding!
    NY loves hot fuckin tuna!!

  33. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Anton A

    Just to clarify the set list – for the last 2 songs, Bob Steeler & Pete Sears remained on stage, so you really had everyone participating at that point. And it was amazing, as was the whole night.

  34. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Tim P

    Last night was so much fun for us in the audience, as it clearly was for everyone on stage as well. Thanks for a great time, and Happy Birthday Jorma!!!

    “We may have to do this again!”

    Yes, please! 1st weekend in December. At the Beacon. Every year. 🙂

  35. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Jon

    Thank you Jorma for all the years of great music. You showed us why you are so loved on both nights. Happy Birthday!

    Everyone was “on,” and it was especially great to see Bob Steeler after 35 (!) years or so. He looked great. I wish he had played a song or two by himself so we could hear his chops a little more clearly, but that’s a minor quibble.

    BTW, I had upper balcony row M seats both nights – by pure coincidence. It’s a cool vibe way up there, the sound is great and it feels like the old days.

    Till next time…

  36. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Jose Mediavilla

    Oh, and thanks to Mike Falzarano for “choreographing”, and to Jorma for tearing it up on the fretboard both nights!

  37. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by Jose Mediavilla

    Ah, night #2…I’d been humming “Serpent of Dreams” to myself a few hours earlier, and there it was for the opener, flowing perfectly into “Been So Long”. A lot more people in the theater tonight, I thought, and sadly we were ally the way up in the back of the upper balcony, but the sound was still great. Obviously the ‘psychedlic’ guests which we had been hoping for didn’t include any core Airplane alumni, but we were treated to yet another visit to NYC by Bob Weir, who started out a little shaky on “Big Railroad”, but definitely left his mark on the evening with “Walkin’ Blues” (still miss the old Jorma versions) and “Masterpiece”, which was made for accordion and mandolin. All of the guests were great tonight, but I personally liked Friday better. Tonight was a little more laid back, as evidenced by Jack not having both feet off the ground at any point, but that paved the way for some jazzy re-workings, culminating in the seemingly never-ending “Funky #7”. Both nights featured a double-bass team-up, and tonight there were two drums as well. The birthday theme also hit closer to home tonight with several crowd chants of “Happy Birthday to You”, and of course that amazing cake. My only “complaint”, so to speak, is that there were quite a few repeats from the night before, whereas a few other rarely-played songs like “Keep on Truckin” would have gone over really well instead. After Walkin’ Blues I was envisioning a “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” Jorma-Bobby duet. And needless to say, I’m always hoping for a return of that monster of yesteryear, “Killing Time in the Crystal City.” But like I said, I’m not really complaining, and it was a great way to wrap up a great year of Jorma/Tuna shows. Both of my favorite live bands now boast a happy, healthy, musically active septuagenerian, and I can’t wait for the next go round. See you in January, Jorma (and Jack and Barry and Skoota), and happy birthday!

  38. Comment made on December 5, 2010 by ric siler

    I just commented about the Sat. show a few minutes ago on the Dec. 4th string . . . so I won’t repeat the entire thing. A blazing show that’s for sure. Never have seen Tuna better, and I say that it seems every time I see them. Keep it up guys! One thing I will add to my earlier comment: my wife thought the cake was an actual guitar; and we were debating this on the sidewalk walking back to the car; and someone walking by us said: oh? we were just talking about that too. I told everyone that all would be clear after Jorma’s post: thank you Jorma for clearing that up; and happy 70th . . .

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