As I get ready for our second weekend here at the Fur Peace Ranch, with Marjorie Thompson and David Wolff, I got to thinking about my class May 9, 2014.

When Ian Buchanan finally opened to door to finger picking for me back in 1960 the key was spirituals… My parents exposed me to Mahalia Jackson when I was young. Ours was not a Christian Family, nor as Jews, were we observant at that time. That said, I found Mahalia’s music to be unbelievably moving. When I got bitten by the finger style guitar bug, the first songs that grabbed me were gospel and spirituals. The depth of this music is inescapable. The techniques involved set the course for the development of my music by means of the guitar. The rest is not just history, the evolution continues.

I am anticipating a grand turnout for this weekend. This is something near and dear to my heart as you’ve probably figured out by this time. To get y’all in the spirit for the weekend, everyone who signs up for this class will get a Rev. Gary Davis, ‘Harlem Street Singer’ CD as well as a Jorma Kaukonen, ‘Stars In my Crown’ CD. Just to get you in the mood!

Yep… there’s nothing like a good spiritual guitar song, and we’re going to be teaching a bunch of them.

Sign up and come on down to the Ranch. We’re all going to be sitting in the Amen Corner together!


  1. Comment made on April 9, 2014 by cyndy consentino

    Dear Jorma,

    I also would like to hear you play Hamar Promenade. Always loved this song!

    Be well,


  2. Comment made on April 9, 2014 by PJK

    Sleep Song? Now that is a good idea! Been trying to work up a version of that one myself. 🙂

  3. Comment made on April 7, 2014 by John B

    Jorma a while back you said you were going to dust off Hamar Promenade so you could teach it there at the Ranch. Has there been a change in plans and if so might we be hearing it sometime in the near future? If not how about Sleep Song?

  4. Comment made on April 6, 2014 by chuck newman

    Amen. Since we’re talking about spiritual toe-tappers I thought I would throw in Al Kooper doing “Bury My Body” with Shuggie Otis. I sure would like to hear Jorma adapt that to acoustic guitar. It would be outstanding.

  5. Comment made on April 6, 2014 by PJK

    The version I play of “Sally Where’d You Get Your Liquor From” (AKA: Dancin) was taught to me by Ian Buchannan before the Fur Peace Ranch was even a twinkle in Jorma and Vanessa’s eye. 😉

    Harlem Street Singer is not just the best Rev Album; (Yes, I still call them Albums!) it is one of the finest and most inspiring albums ever. It captures the Rev at the height of his powers.

  6. Comment made on April 5, 2014 by johno

    I think Jack’s 70th birthday is this month. Does anyone know of any plans or does Jack want to stay low key.

  7. Comment made on April 4, 2014 by johno

    Wow! That is so cool.

  8. Comment made on April 4, 2014 by Joe in Dc

    Hey jorma. Amennnnnnnn. Have a good class out there in ohio. I do not play, but consider myself a very good listener. I can hear the tunes coming from the west to Virginia. Enjoy.

  9. Comment made on April 4, 2014 by Barbara Jacobs

    While doing research several years ago in the BBC archives in London;
    I found some Mahalia Jackson footage featuring a young Billy Preston.

    I’m leaving on Sunday to return to London, to try to see if I can uncover some Peter Rowan footage in the BBC archives.
    If you want, I can be on the look-out for Rev. Gary Davis footage.

    Give me a call or send me an e-mail if you’re interested.
    (There’s so much of everything, going back decades, in the BBC archives. Many
    early-to-mid century footage isn’t even cataloged. I have to go in there like a detective and try to find film/radio footage.)

  10. Comment made on April 4, 2014 by johno

    Just love those ole spirituals especially my favorite the Reverend Gary Davis – Amen and Amen…

  11. Comment made on April 4, 2014 by HOGAN

    AMEN !!!!!!!


  12. Comment made on April 4, 2014 by Brett

    teach it TO me….can’t type too well either apparently…..

  13. Comment made on April 4, 2014 by Brett

    Got both those CD’s at Da Ranch.. GREAT tunes…Learned Stars in My Crown
    from you last time I was there (err..I should really say…you tried to teach it me me)

    The Rev’s pickin’ on Samson and Delila always makes me say to myself how DID he do that?? !!

    Have fun with the campers this weekend Jorma


  14. Comment made on April 4, 2014 by Ham eggs

    Did you ever take lessons or visit the Rev. Gary Davis in the Bronx?
    Dion DiMucci mentioned getting lessons
    Love All Ways

    • Comment made on April 4, 2014 by Jorma

      I never studied with Rev. Davis. I got mine through Ian Buchanan. I was fortunate enough to see the Reverend play on a number of occasions from Gerde’s Folk City to California.


  15. Comment made on April 4, 2014 by doug mlyn

    I love the Stars in my Crown CD. I was listening to a show from back east in my car on my way home, I think it was the ridgefield, and heard of a live version of “Stars in My Crown”.. great song! I think even better live. Right after that you introduced David and the crowd went wild! ONe of those goose bump moments.

  16. Comment made on April 4, 2014 by carlo pagliano


    Steady As She Goes

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *