A hearty Hello from Madison!

A hearty Hello from Madison!

Well… a quick wrap up from what was quite a long, but enjoyable tour… first with Barry Mitterhoff and then with the addition of the wonderful jack Casady. Before I jump into this, I am going to take two seconds to comment on Kenny The Red’s comment with on the ‘What A Night At The Barrymore’ post. Kenny was talking about the lyrics to 99 Year Blues… when i sing the line, ‘Going to shoot everybody i don’t like all,’ there is usually some scatological response from the audience and with my usual good humor, I might way, ‘Behave yourselves,’ or ‘It’s just a song,’ or, ‘This is a song about a man with issues,’ or some such nonsense. I do not think this cuts too close to the bone in any way shape or form, today… or any day. Kenny goes on to comment about the lyric that says, ‘Going to find a connection and take some kind of dope, and get high if you can.’ Kenny, you’re ascribing to many intellectual attributes to the way I phrase this these days. I like to blur the first part of the ‘connection’ line in a guttural old timey blues way and spit out the ‘Get high if you can,’ part. Whether I do or don’t do drugs, whether I do or don’t believe in the Second Amendment has nothing to do with how I perform this song. My politics are my own private business. My songs are for everyone who finds something they can hold onto in them. No artist can script how people are going to respond to their art. It is enough for me that the people who like my work, like my work.

This is not the first time someone has brought this song up in this way. As I’m won’t to say… ‘It’s just a song and a darn good one at that.’

Nuff said… driving on here…

The madcap life of the open road

The madcap life of the open road

The last two shows at the Old Town School were delightful as they always are, even though two full shows tiring by the end of the evening… We loved it anyway! The OTS was the holy grail of folk music when I was at Antioch College in 1959. It still is:

Here are our set lists:

Hot Tuna 12, 2013
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Barry Mitterhoff
The Old Town School Of Folk Music
Chicago, Illinois
Saturday, February 23, 2013

First Show:
1. True Religion
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
3. Children Of Zion
4. Hesitation Blues
5. Heart Temporary
6. Serpent Of Dreams
7. Barbeque King
8. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
9. How Long Blues
10. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
11. Whining Boy Blues
12. 99 Year Blues
13. I’ll Be All Right Some Day
14. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
15. Encore: Uncle Sam Bllues
Second Show:
1. I See The Light
2. Too Many Years
3. Waiting For A Train
4. Full Go Round
5. The Terrible Operation
6. Come Back Baby
7. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
8. Things That Might Have Been
9. Goodbye To The Blues
10. Dime For Beer
11. Vicksburg Stomps
12. Good Shepherd
13. Candy Man
14. Genesis
15. I Am The Light Of This World
16. Nine Pound Hammer
17. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Well home I am.. and it’s darn good to be here. My amazing daughter sold seven hundred boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. SEVEN HUNDRED BOXES…. That’s my enterprising girl.

After the six weeks I was just away from home, I am not quite as excited to be leaving again next week for Jamaica… but you know, it’s a tough job and someone’s got to do it… might as well be me and it sure won’t be snowing down there!

For now… onward!

Goodbye to Moe and the Big Bus!

Goodbye to Moe and the Big Bus!


  1. Comment made on March 6, 2013 by Paul Z

    Not sure what all the flap was about. I was off the grid for a while. You know me–I’m a peaceable guy. Rather be a lover than a fighter any day of the week. That is until someone or something pushes my seventh button. Then, as the youth of today might say, “I’m like all about 99 Year Blues.” Yeah, my favorite line is the one that goes: “Going to shoot everybody I don’t like all.” It rings my bell and makes me feel good all over. Every time.

  2. Comment made on March 4, 2013 by Fred Harris

    Reporting from the Denver show on Feb 17, the one-and-only audience sing-along song (especially first and last verse) was “99 Year Blues”. Up on stage it might not have been heard, but in the third row the audience participation was a distinct and pleasant surprise. Didn’t happen for any other song at that show. Also, the most beer bottles kicked over for any Jorma/Tuna show I have ever heard. Based on the audience participation, we all had a good time. Wish I could have checked out the Wisconsin shows with my in-laws.

  3. Comment made on March 1, 2013 by Bill Fisher

    I’m late to the discussion, but had to chime in. I don’t know Jorma’s politics, but anyone who’s ever met the guy knows he’s a mensch, and I doubt that we can expect to see headlines claiming “Hot Tuna Guitarist Massacres Audience.” Jorma’s killed more than a few audiences in his time, but we all enoyed it. And it’s folk music, for chrissakes. Now, John Lennon, “catch you with another man, that’s the end” is, well….

  4. Comment made on February 27, 2013 by doug mlyn

    I’ve noticed exactly what you mentioned Jorma. Back in the old days you could hear those lyrics as clear as day. I’ve noticed that the first part of that lyric get’s a little blurry.. maybe on purpose.. sort of gives the song a new meaning. There are other ways to get “High if you can” and it doesn’t involve drugs. Just my 2 cents on the subject.

  5. Comment made on February 27, 2013 by doug mlyn

    Looks like it snowed a little

  6. Comment made on February 27, 2013 by Tom in Cary

    Thought you and the boys might get a chuckle out of the following.

    Caught your first show at the OTS in Chicago as I have every year since ’72 at the Auditorium Theater when Burgers came out. Same outcome -euphoria and peace- at the end of the show!

    Anyway I came with a friend/Tuna fan and his wife (who was vaguely familiar with your work) but they sat in the back and we were down front. After the show at the local pub I asked her what she thought and she said she really enjoyed the music but was a little embarrassed because she had dropped her beer bottle during the performance and you guys actually commented on it between songs!

    After finally regaining my composure, I proceeded to tell her the history behind the dropped beer bottle at the Orleans house album and why you all got a laugh out of it. We then raised our glasses and I proclaimed her an official Hot Tuna fan forever and a good night was had by all.

    One last thing for Kenny the Red and the politically correct folks. “What’s that smell like fish o’baby, I really would like to know?” Keep on truckin Jorma, Jack & Barry!!

  7. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Carter Dunkin

    Glad you made it home all right. Chicago shows were great, as usual.

  8. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Brett

    PS: Nice hat Jorma

  9. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Brett

    Reminds me of the year when my wife was “the cookie mom” for my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop (don’t do it Vanessa..DON’T do it!! Trust me….)

    It was the year the GSA decided to change one of the cookie recipes for some strange reason …I think it was the Peanut Butter Cookies….The uproar from the “customers” was loud and relentless!! ..OUCH….

    The next year, they went back to the old recipe

    Sigh…Some things just shouldn’t be messed with

  10. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Tom in St. Louis

    Thanks for reading our comments, Captain…there’s an occasional pearl to be gleaned, along with the pebbles…have fun in Jamaica!

  11. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Cyndy Consentino

    Dear Jorma,
    Like you say”it’s just a song”! Happens to be one of my
    Tuna faves!
    Anyow, back to cookies- Izze is one amazing saleswoman!
    I hope she saved some boxes for Dad!
    Enjoy them, and your time home


  12. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Scott Meyers

    What Kenny is really missing here is that this is an interpretation of a song written by Julius Daniels who died in 1947. Jorma’s vocal treatment has changed over the years on numerous songs. His cadence and enunciation at times are different. It doesn’t change the lyrical content to me one bit. That is his current interpretation of a cover or his own work. I think you’re getting on Kenny because he actually tried to give JK new lyrics. That was foolish.

  13. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Steve Singer

    Man, people always getting killed in old English folk songs like Pretty Polly & House Carpenter, etc. Guess we can’t play those either.

  14. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Angelo

    Hey Kenny the red…can you say douche bag?

  15. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by John R.

    Well said, Jorma. It’s too bad you even have to address this stuff.

    700 boxes! I think I could eat that in one sitting. Those things are like drugs. . . whoops, sorry.

  16. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Dusty

    I’m going to set mine forward……………ONWARD!!!!!!!

  17. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Dusty

    Clocks must be turned back in a couple of weeks…..CAREFULLY, lest we be late for everything!

  18. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Dusty

    @ Kenny the Red….

    Twas brillig…..WOW. I would think that when the man is beholden to subscribe to a lyric editor AND mojo consultant, you will not be on the list. Maybe you could shovel snow for him but I rather doubt it.

  19. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Joe

    Let’s see – ‘down by the river , I shot my baby ”
    ” hit me with your best shot , fire away ”
    nursery rymes are often about events that are not pleasant

    there are many other tunes that mention violence or worse.

    Here’s a thought for the PC crowd – they are songs..that’s up to the performer to do his or her very best job ……they interpret and make new songs that are very old . Jorma , keep on doing what you do !

  20. Comment made on February 26, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    @Bennett Harris
    “Political correctness” is a subjective construct which has evolved over the years.

    However, songs, whenever and by whomever write them; are written to be sung.
    The way they are sung is up to the singer.
    At any given time of the singing.

  21. Comment made on February 25, 2013 by Bennett Harris

    If you have to worry about being politically correct you may never sing another blues song! People need to lighten up a little…and allow room for a metaphor every now and then.

  22. Comment made on February 25, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    Did somebody say: “Cookies”?!

  23. Comment made on February 25, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    Hey Jorma:
    You and I both must have been typing at the same time:
    You: with your latest blog entry above;
    and me: on the prvious entry comments section, re:

    “finding a connection… smoking…dope…”

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