I’ve been out on this road trip for a week now. A week is not so long but for some reason this one seems like a lifetime. Back home, the vicissitudes of winter have been vicious this year. Normally we’re just about mud and wintry mix. The worst that usually happens is mud in the yard and a dirty vehicle. This year, however, there’s been sub zero temperatures, lots of snow and ice and even more snow days at the Middle School than our daughter would like… and then it started to rain… and rain, and rain and rain. Anywhere one lives in the good old U. S. of A. you are burdened by some sort of local natural disaster. With the ongoing climate change we have had more tornadoes than ever before. One hit the Ranch a year ago February and did what tornadoes do… destroy lots of stuff. Over the year the natural disaster that dwells with us has always been floods. Pomeroy, this little town where our Zip Code resides is right on the Ohio River and is no stranger to floods. Pomeroy has had a love/hate relationship with the Ohio River since 1804. The river has been a commercial thoroughfare since the French and Indian Wars. I’ve heard people who live in safe havens where nothing worse happens than a missed day of trash collection look down on folks who live in disaster areas and won’t move. These are our homes, and anything worth having is work fighting for.

WSAZ Pomeroy News.

The Ranch is on the top of a hill and tornadoes hit us, but the flood does not. The fields below our property are now a sea of muddy waters. It has happened before, and it will happen again. I heard the the Ohio River will crest later today 50 above flood stage. We know when these things will happen as the Army Corps Of Engineers has to open the flood gates in the dams periodically to release some of the pressure. I am thinking of my friends and neighbors at home and pray for their safety and well being.

I was reminded by a friend who lives in Houston that after the hurricane and flooding they experienced there were email posts from mutual acquaintances in California who claimed that Houston residents deserved this because Trump got elected. As my father would say, ‘Why are there so many more horses asses than there are horses?’

Nuff said on that for now.

And so it begins with a nap

And so it begins with a nap

Foto by Myron Hart

On this trip there are only three of us on the bus. Myself, Myron my tech and Phil my tour manager. The bus company was out of band busses so I got what the call a Star Coach which has a stateroom in the back. Never had one before… kind of cool. All that being said, and mind you I’m not complaining about my gig… I’m beyond being blessed… still and all… it’s still work. At my age I am well aware that the day of the superstar is over. I used to take my physical abilities for granted… not any more. Every show requires a level of preparation that would have been unheard of in my youth. That’s just how it is, and because I can still do what I need to do to maintain the level of performance I require… it’s all good. I’m reminded of my Uncle Art, may he rest in peace. After my father passed in 1997, his cousin Art would call me once a year around Christmas because he liked calling someone named Jorma. He would speak to me in Finnish and laugh when I couldn’t understand him. He would switch to English and we would talk and talk. When I would play the Iron Horse in Northampton he would sometimes come with his kids and grand kids and we would share family. I remember one of our last phone calls. ‘Hello Jorma,’ he would say. We would exchange pleasantries and then at the end of the conversation he said, ‘One of these days these call will stop, so I will say hello and goodbye now.’ Indeed, one of those days the calls stopped and he was gone… the last goodbyes said.

So I’m working here and I love my job, of course. I missed my daughter’s first dance in middle school. I did get to see quite a few of her volley ball games, but I will miss most of her track and field. Like they say in the movies, ‘This is the life I have chosen.’ That’s the deal. It ain’t all beer and skittle, but then what is?

Space, the final frontier

Space, the final frontier

Foto by Phil Jacobs

So the first gig was at Space in Evanston, Illinois. I love this place… a sold out show and good food!

Jorma Kaukonen 1, 2018
Jorma Solo
Evanston, Illinois
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

First Set:
1. Ain’t In No Hurry
2. Second Chances
3. Hesitation Blues
4. I See The Light
5. Barbeque King
6. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
7. Hear Temporary
8. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
9. Sea Child
10. Watch The North Wind Rise
11. Death Don’t have No Mercy
12. San Francisco Bay Blues
Second Set:
1. The Terrible Operation
2. How Long Blues
3. Serpent Of Dreams
4. Candy Man
5. Things That Might Have Been
6. Come Back Baby
7. Trouble In Mind
8. Living In The Moment
9. Sleep Song
10. Good Shepherd
11. I Am The Light Of This World
12. Dime For Beer
13. Keep On Trucking Mama
14. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
15. Encore: Water Song

Hanging in Space

Hanging in Space

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Space is really a delightful venue. Great folks, great food… and great sound.

Green room sights...

Green room sights...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Then after show an overnight drive to Minneapolis and the Cedar Cultural Center

Where the Patriots ate bitter rice...

Where the Patriots ate bitter rice...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Our hotel was right by the stadium which was kind of cool since I just watched the game.

Cedar Marquee

Cedar Marquee

Foto by Phil Jacobs

I’ve been coming to the Cedar Cultural Center for a long time… and I’m very fond of it and the folks who run it… Before the show we had some of the tastiest and different Indian food I’d ever had.

Malabari... don't miss it.

Malabari... don't miss it.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Jorma Kaukonen 2, 2018
Jorma Solo
The Cedar Cultural Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota
February 14, 2018

First Set:
1. Dime For Beer
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
3. I See The Light
4. There’s A Bright Side Somewhere
5. Waiting For A Train
6. Barbeque King
7. How Long Blues
8. Sleep Song
9. Watch The North Wind Rise
10. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
11. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
12. San Francisco Bay Blues

Second Set:
1. Ain’t In No Hurry
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Too Many Years
4. Serpent Of Dreams
5. Been So Long
6. Re-Enlistment Blues
7. Come Back Baby
8. Sea Child
9. Trial by Fire
10. Good Shepherd
11. Bar Room Crystal Ball
12. I Know You Rider
13. Encore: Water Song

The next day we drove on down to Stoughton, Wisconsin and the Opera House. This is another of those truly great venues and the folks in Stoughton are so lucky to have it!

Nice Marquee Poster

Nice Marquee Poster

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Another great vintage ceiling

Another great vintage ceiling

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Jorma Kaukonen 3, 2018
Jorma Solo
The Stoughton Opera House
Stoughton, Wisconsin
February 15, 2018

First Set:
1. Ain’t In No Hurry
2. Second Chances
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Been So Long
5. Barbeque King
6. River Of Time
7. I Am The Light Of This World
8. Sea Child
9. Trial By Fire
10. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
11. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
12. Trouble In Mind
Second Set:
1. Candy Man
2. Serpent Of Dreams
3. Things That Might Have Been
4. Nobody Knows You when You’re Down & Out
5. How Long Blues
6. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
7. Whining Boy Blues
8. Come Back Baby
9. Sleep Song
10. Watch The North Wind Rise
11. Good Shepherd
12. The Terrible Operation
13. Bar Room Crystal Ball
14. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
15. Encore: Water Song

Go towards the light

Go towards the light

Foto by Phil Jacobs

It’s nights like this that make it all worthwhile.

One great room!

One great room!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Then is was an early call and off to Kansas City, Missouri to the Folk Alliance International. I had a short showcase on Saturday night, but there was lots of press, hanging and lip flapping.

Taking the shine off the forehead

Taking the shine off the forehead

I ran into some of my favorite people.

Me and Mary Gauthier

Me and Mary Gauthier

Foto by Phil Jacobs

I got to hang with Dar Williams, Gretchen Peters, Barry Walsh, Hans Theessnik and lots more. It was great!

Late night short program

Late night short program

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Jorma Kaukonen 4, 2018
Folk Alliance International
Kansas City, Mo.
February 17, 2018

1. Ain’t In No Hurry
2. That’ll Never Happen No More
3. Barbeque King
4. Sleep Song
5. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
6. San Francisco Bay Blues

After my little gig, I got to hear Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley. Good stuff… very good!

Me, Trey and Rob

Me, Trey and Rob

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then the magic of the International was over and we began our drive to Denver.

The Colonial on I-70 in Oakley, Kansas

The Colonial on I-70 in Oakley, Kansas

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We stopped in Oakley for lunch. Oakley used to be the home of the World’s Largest Prairie Dog and the Rattlesnake Farm with the giant rabbits and the six legged cow. These tidbits of Roadside Americana were gone, sad to say.

The only snakes here are now living free.

The only snakes here are now living free.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

I love Roadside Americana… progress is a two edged sword.

This evening here in Denver I’ll be playing a sold out show at the L-2 church and then on to Santa Fe.

I’ve gone on long enough here… Onward.


  1. Comment made on February 26, 2018 by Leslie

    Interesting reading.
    It’s 126 am, wide awake and the only person in my huge usually filled house and if I could be anywhere right now it would be on a cool breezy beach in Jamaica listening to Jormas magic…..so chill. Sigh

  2. Comment made on February 24, 2018 by Jim Hitchcock

    No diatribe zone!

  3. Comment made on February 24, 2018 by Dead Head

    Good idea; let’s do…

  4. Comment made on February 24, 2018 by Joey Hudoklin

    @Dead Head
    Indeed. Hateful, poisonous paranoid rhetoric is not what this blog, or anyplace, for that matter, needs.
    But most things we are powerless over.
    I’m gonna try to let it go.

  5. Comment made on February 24, 2018 by Dead Head

    Nobody said anything about you, dumbass. We don’t even want to think about you so go somewhere else and spread your hate.

    @Barbara Jacobs

  6. Comment made on February 23, 2018 by Barbara Jacobs

    The usual bully boys, commenting about “stink..”
    Blah, blah, blah. Uneducated bully boy blather.

    Not for them, but because Andy K may be on the receiving end of pushback from people
    in real life, who don’t want to hear his opinion:

    Some years back, I was in the BBC vault in London doing research on a documentary
    project. I came upon a film reel labeled: “Bill Graham”.
    I was delighted to uncover footage of Bill. I took the reel, along with a few others that
    interested me into a screening room. When I realized that the reel had been mislabeled and it was actually one of Billy Graham’s tv appearances, I let the film roll out while
    looking through the other reels deciding what to screen next. So, I wasn’t watching it,
    only hearing the audio.

    I heard something that made me stop and pay attention: it was an anti-sem utterance,
    straight out of the mouth of Billy. It was a “hot mic” situation and he was unaware
    that sound and cameras were rolling tests, before his interview. He sat there with a couple of men who were not production but appeared to be his employees who accompanied him there to the interview. The utterance was not a mistake and it was a doozy.

    I could have reported it to the BBC and exposed it. Instead I decided that it was another anti-sem comment that the world already had enough of. So, I did something to the film that rendered it unusable for the next person who would discover it one day.
    There was no way it would be digitized in that condition. I returned it to where I found it.

    I’m not here to argue with immature people who have no real-life experience in navigating
    real-life experiences and the predicaments that sometimes result. If they had any intelligent response to my comment, they wouldn’t be posting lame statements trying to
    minimize it. They would be able to string together an actual grammatical comment.
    But, that would entail living a real life away from their device screens.

    It’s good that those people who were comforted over the decades were helped by Billy.
    He was what he was. No mistake.

  7. Comment made on February 23, 2018 by Joey Hudoklin

    @Dead Head

  8. Comment made on February 23, 2018 by Dead Head

    Wow…doesn’t take ANYTHING to stink up the joint.

  9. Comment made on February 23, 2018 by carey georgas

    @Susan You sure got that right!

  10. Comment made on February 22, 2018 by Susan

    @carey georgas
    I imagine that you,re having a real good time about now! Enjoy!

  11. Comment made on February 22, 2018 by Barbara Jacobs

    @Andy K
    All looking forward to Jorma’s book release.

    re: your comment about B.Graham:
    I don’t keep track of the commenters who agree with me here on this comments section.
    We just happily continue our chats here. I don’t remember if you were one of them, maybe it was “Andy” but not “K”.
    Several of the abusive commenters who posted comments against me (not just in response
    to my previous comments here; but with the purpose of a pre-ordered attempt to silence me and prevent me from posting comments about anything.) are here on this discussion thread now.

    If I had posted a RIP comment about Billy Graham’s death, (or about him, during his lifetime — as it is not related to Jorma nor the music of Jorma/Hot Tuna;… ) you know that I would have been on the receiving end of yet more abusive replies.

    So, you got away, lucky that you didn’t have to endure any abuse.
    Good for you. History is full of Jew-haters. Current times are ripe for that continuation. Also anti-woman commenters. (You know — the ones who like to use their freedom of speech here to try to drive women out.)

    I’m still here. Jews are still here. A couple of women have recently posted comments on recent threads and were not trolled. Bless ’em. The tide was changing here, as I noted in a comment that I posted just before the events/disclosures of #ME TOO.
    Be that as it may, I still had to endure the “Don’t start…” comments of a weak woman who’s in the bully boy camp, here to post comments defending their behavior.
    “Don’t start…” OMG.

    So, you “started” and got away with it very easily. Your comment wasn’t without a point. Good for you.

  12. Comment made on February 22, 2018 by johno

    @Dead Head
    He was a good man. Helped lots of people – millions.
    He wasn’t perfect. Very few of us are.

  13. Comment made on February 22, 2018 by Mike Andersob

    Just thought I’d let you know I pre-ordered your book. Can’t wait and am trying to get tickets to your show in November at the Ridgefield Playhouse.

  14. Comment made on February 22, 2018 by carey georgas

    Thanks for that link, Andy. Whilst awaiting its release, I’ve been reading “It’s a Long Story”, Willie Nelson’s latest memoir. I guess as we all get longer in the tooth, our stories get longer right along.

  15. Comment made on February 22, 2018 by Brian Doyle

    What we should be worrying about is not God’s Old Testament punishments but real scientific Global Warming symptoms materializing in those same events…

  16. Comment made on February 22, 2018 by Andy K

    Hey Jorma, the cover for your new book looks great!
    Can’t wait for Been So Long – My Life and Music to be released in August!

    And lots of new tour dates!

  17. Comment made on February 22, 2018 by carey georgas

    Looks like a sellout tonight in Tomball! I’m chompin’ at the bit to hop in my little yotie pickup and hotfoot it over there. Gonna try and make it before the doors open. Yippeee!

  18. Comment made on February 22, 2018 by Andy K

    @Dead Head
    Another anti- Semite done gone.
    I won’t lose sleep over that.

  19. Comment made on February 21, 2018 by David Lucas

    No social commentary although as a regular reader of your blog, I find we agree on most topics.

    My son and I braved the snowstorm on Monday night to make the short drive from Boulder to Denver and, as has been the case over the past 35 yrs or so, the modest effort to attend was amply rewarded. I sat beside a woman who had never seen you and it was fun to see and hear her reaction to your performance. She asked if I had ever seen you. I replied, “More times than I can remember and I have never been disappointed !” No hyperbole, just an honest answer. Of course, the show on Monday was no exception. Stellar as usual. Thanks for the Whinin’ Boy (albeit with slightly sanitized lyrics) opener to the second set. One of these days I hope to hear Police Dog Blues again !

    I look forward to seeing you in Nederland in August !

  20. Comment made on February 21, 2018 by carey georgas

    You know, someone from California blaming Harvey’s destruction on Trump support is no different than a fundamentalist Christian preacher blaming California’s floods, fires, droughts and earthquakes on that states “morally bankrupt” society, mainly evidenced by Hollywood. Both lines of thought are ignorant and divisive. No solutions are going to be derived from this kind of close minded thinking. I’m not thinking horses’ asses as much as just straight up dumbasses. Oh well, at least I got tomorrow’s show to look forward to with unbridled hope and enthusiasm. Welcome to Texas, Jorma!

    Prayers to those impacted by the raging Ohio river.

  21. Comment made on February 21, 2018 by rich l

    “every show requires a level of preparation that would have been unheard of in my youth.”

    First off – you are probably more productive than many decades younger than you! What Hot Tuna does, at their stage in life, is a bit miraculous in my estimation.

    On the ol’ gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be…

    When we got hit with that blizzard two weeks ago in Chicago, I went a little overboard removing mine and my neighbors snow from the driveway. By Friday morning, there was about 10″ on the ground. My neighbor on the left of me is 80 and my neighbor on the right is 67, and her husband is out of town during the week. I generally take care of all three 70 to 80 foot driveways and sidewalks.

    My snow blower is on the fritz, and we’ve had so little snow over the last couple of years, I didn’t get it fixed. So armed with a shovel, after a hearty breakfast, I set forth to accomplish the herculean task at hand. After trying to move about four strips in the drive I said to myself, “There is no way I can do one driveway, let alone three!

    I noticed my neighbor trying to get her snow blower going, and shoveled a path to her garage. After some tinkering, we finally got it going – Hallelujah and praise Jesus! It was a smaller snow blower, one where you had to do the pushing, but did a pretty remarkable job.

    I ended up doing 5 driveways, (made some new friends that day!), and limped, and I do mean limped, towards my chair in the living room, armed with about 8 ice packs. (need to get that hip replacement one of these days). I woke up about 3 hours later a new man – and as an added bonus, my neighbor two house away had started re-plowing my driveway that already had an additional 6”! He had one of those 7.5 horse power beasts.

    My next door neighbor wanted to pay me and I said, “The only thing I want is that Pistachio cake she brings over every Christmas Eve. LOL – she made it the next day – now I was not only aching, I was getting fat!

    There is something so peaceful in a heavy snow fall, it sort of forces us to slow down – and perhaps think of our neighbors a bit more. I’m always reminded of Isaiah 1:18 when a blizzard strikes. (And for you political novices, check out Isaiah 1:23 – the more things change….)

    Youth, where for art thou?

    P.S. I did build the best snowman in Homewood! (A lady at work said, “Don’t your neighbors think your a little strange building snowmen at your age?)

  22. Comment made on February 21, 2018 by Dead Head


  23. Comment made on February 21, 2018 by Chappy

    Just got my ticket for The Tin Pan show on my home turf in Richmond. Really looking forward to it. And, looking forward to the 2018 season at FPR! That friendly greeting by Hurl at the front gate is always followed by an excellent show! Appreciate the comments about your uncle. I check in every night by phone with my wonderful 90 year old mother…cherish each day and call. As for the floods, yes indeed SE Ohio sees them in almost Biblical fashion. I went to OU in the early 80’s and remember heavy rains every spring. My folks were in Athens back in the late 40’s and early 50’s and I think my Pop referred to his barracks dorms area as Hog Island due to all the flooding back then. As a result, the ACOE re-routed the Hocking River…I think in the 60’s. The SE area of Ohio is special…hope folks and their property get through the season safe and sound. See you soon Captain.

  24. Comment made on February 21, 2018 by Phillip Zisook

    The show at Space was wonderful. Thanks so much!

  25. Comment made on February 20, 2018 by Brian Doyle

    Ever since you left Florida Jorma it has been above average warm and I ain’t complaining…Upper 70’s to low 80’s and it will hold through the time you get here next week…

    A tropical image not far from the Mexican Cantina you ate at on Captiva…Blind Pass Village:


  26. Comment made on February 20, 2018 by johno

    Praying for Pomeroy. I’m with you on Houston – everyone effected is my brother or sister. I read somewhere recently that Houston is still hurting. Glad to hear you’re high and dry at the ranch. Safe travels and enjoy the big bed – you deserve it!
    I’ll see you near the end of the tour on Long Island.

  27. Comment made on February 20, 2018 by doug mlyn

    Sending a prayer for Pomeroy! We’re dealing with the same thing here in Ventura/Santa Barbara area. Back in December, the largest wildfire in California history, came really close to our doorstep. We were lucky but a lot of our friends were not. Then, last month we had a rainstorm that turned the freeway in Santa Barbara into a big mud field, and the freeway that I take from Ventura to Santa Barbara was closed for two weeks. I think wherever you live, you can be prone to natural disasters. That’s just the way it is. I am looking forward to the show in San Antonio as my wife and I are taking a little mini-vacation and visiting San Antonio and Austin, just to check out another part of the country. Safe travels to you Jorma on this current tour.

  28. Comment made on February 20, 2018 by eaglesteve

    No longer a superstar? Nah! It’s work, yeah, but we dig the product. As Papa John admonished: “Work it Jorma”. And recollecting Mr. Creech, he will have been gone from us 24 years on Thursday, 2/22. Time flies. I miss that man’s work, his smile, the faces he’d make. Well I’m getting sentimental here, so…’nuf said.

  29. Comment made on February 19, 2018 by carlo pagliano

    Rock Them All High Tonight Jorma.

  30. Comment made on February 19, 2018 by Joey Hudoklin

    I certainly appreciate your balanced understanding of life on life’s terms Jorma.
    It really is a balancing act.
    I’m getting excited to see you in Ponte Vedra next week.
    I’m bringing my girlfriend Amy (I moved to Brooksville Fla to be with her 3 months ago). And, two friends who are first timers to the magic that is your music.
    Thank you for all that you do.
    No matter where am, I’ll keep coming back.

  31. Comment made on February 19, 2018 by Anna Stegemoeller

    Prayers for Pomeroy folks and all of the neighbors.

  32. Comment made on February 19, 2018 by John B

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Jorma as I always get a certain amount of enjoyment from it. Rest up and enjoy the stateroom on the tour bus as you certainly deserve whatever extra comfort it may provide to you and
    I am glad that you make those volleyball games . We love your music……it makes me happy…..and the effort and preparation that you put into every performance is evident to us all.

    I have always said that if Jorma is still capable and willing to bring the joy that is his music to us , well then I am going to to make every effort that I can to get out to the show .

    See you soon……
    John B:

  33. Comment made on February 19, 2018 by mark k

    Living now in North East PA by the Susquehanna it was amazing to see our recent ice jam which fortunately only cased moderate damage to my neighbors on both sides of the river. Ice blocks within inches below the bridges and a few days later when it broke, house sized blocks of ice, broken trees and more than a few cars swept down and left behind on both shores. When Mother Nature gets it going best thing to do is just get out of the way as best you can and if feasible help those who were not as fortunate

  34. Comment made on February 19, 2018 by Don Gehre

    Nice post Jorma. I’m sure I’m speaking for many who can hardly wait for the release of your book. Speaking for my self, I’m curious to know what the stakes were when you and Grace raced across the Golden Gate Bridge. At that point in my life I was hanging out in Sausalito a lot and might have just missed the action. The extent of your set lists are an inspiration; keep on trucking’ my friend.

  35. Comment made on February 19, 2018 by Leslie

    Jorma, you are a great writer! I thouroufhly enjoy reading your novellas! You’re just an incredibly talented man and I am honored that I spent a small moment in time with you in Jamaica last month .

    Best regards!
    She who uttered the “S” word

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