Time marches on and the landscape of our lives is ever changing. The Pandemic has changed all us in ways that could not have been imagined two years ago. It has been the same and yet different for all of us. For touring musicians like myself and so many of my friends frankly I don’t think anything will ever ‘be the same’ again… and that has to be OK. Indeed, the only constant is change.

My old friend Michael Falzarano stopped by in a Penske truck on his way to Texas, where he and his family now live. Even in the 70’s when I first met Michael and Claudia they were always New Yorkers just doing time in the Bay Area and now the Tri-State is becoming a distant memory for them. For Michael and Jack and myself, the New York area will always be a musical home but we will probably never live there again and so it goes.

Michael and I spent decades making music and traveling together until the early 2000’s when we each received different marching orders. We talked a couple of weeks ago and decided that with him passing through in a truck with all his possessions we would be remiss if Kaukarano didn’t make an appearance for QC 48. Out came his Gibson J-45 (1953) that I gave him in 1990. Out came the Gibson Star from the early 90’s and of course, out came a gaggle of my instruments that have been living in the Fur Peace Station since the Quarantine Concert Series started and year and a half ago.

We broke bread and started rehearsing. We had gotten together five or six years ago when we played a Cold Cap Benefit in Brooklyn after our friend Marjorie Thompson passed from cancer, but other than that… it had been a long time.

Like riding a bicycle? Perhaps. Over the years we have both learned to forge and re-forge musical friendships and so it went. Michael’s playing is bedrock… it is solid without being rigid and the music flowed once again. Michael’s daughter Mia is my goddaughter and thirty years we played I’ll Be There For You’ at her baptism. We played it again last night. How passing time wraps us in a strange universe. She is grown woman with children of her own… and we can still play the song!

Vanessa joined John Hurlbut and I for No Woman No Cry. To play music with family whether with my daughter, wife or son is more than a blessing.

This morning early Michael had some Fur Peace Ranch Campfire Blend Coffee got in his truck and headed down the driveway, through the Fur Peace Ranch overhead gate, past the wooden gate at St. Clair Rd. Nashville bound… Texas in the distance.

Old friends come by and you share stories that only you know… smiles that only make sense to you. I remember in 1955 being in Finland with my mom and dad and brother, Peter. Grandma Ida came to Hanko…many of the Old Ones were still alive then. She stayed a week or so. Finland was no longer home to her. ‘I’m going back to LA. That’s my home.’ She walked to the plane and never looked back. I would not have that kind of commitment to being in the now. I would have looked back.

As Michael backed the truck around to head down the road, I turned around and looked. Each moment with family and friends is so precious I didn’t want to miss a second. There are no do overs.


Family, old friends, shared stories and songs.

The stuff of life!

OK, here’s the show from last night:

QC 48

Fur Peace Station Concert Hall

Darwin, Ohio

Saturday, May 15, 2021

  1. True Religion
  2. Blue Railroad Train
  3. Flying Clouds
  4. Hamar Promenade
  5. I’m Going To Live Forever with John Hurlbut
  6. No Woman No Cry with John Hurlbut & Vanessa Kaukonen
  7. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
  8. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here With Michael Falzarano
  9. Where There’s Two There’s Trouble with Michael Falzarano
  10. I’ll Be There For You with Michael Falzarano
  11. Nine Pound Hammer with Michael Falzarano
  12. Living In The Moment


  1. Comment made on May 21, 2021 by Mitch Spector

    Happy Friday Jorma !Loved the QC 48 Set .Great to hear you & Michael play together again .
    Looking forward to seeing Jack ! Safe travels .Have a great weekend .Thanks to you Vanessa & the FPR team as always ..Peace

  2. Comment made on May 20, 2021 by Jefferson Campervan

    Dallas is a fine choice, especially if his daughter is there … hope he makes his mark on the Texas music scene! Seven years ago we drove the Jefferson Campervan through Dallas late at night. I remember this strange post-apocalyptic subway car type of vehicle surging right at us up the middle of the elevated Interstate – subsequent googling revealed it to be a ‘road zipper’ moving the concrete lane dividers around. But at the time it seemed right out of a Philip K Dick story or the film “Brazil”. And on another note, I think I have to haul out a guitar and burnish my limited talents enough to return to FPR once this is over. Life’s too short.

  3. Comment made on May 20, 2021 by Jefferson Campervan

    I hope Michael’s going to Austin! I remember the first time we saw him live -Kaukarano at the Passage du Nord-Ouest in Paris, March 1993. We think that’s where we first met Vanessa as well (although it might have been 1992 at a Tuna show, also at the Passage du Nord-Ouest). AaAround the same time we caught Kaukarano in Athens (Ohio, not Greece) at the Casa Cantina. I always found him kind and generous on all the taping tours in the 90s.Good memories. Wishing him well from the Great White North.

  4. Comment made on May 17, 2021 by John B

    “…From the northwest corner of a brand new crescent moon crickets and cicadas sing a rare and different tune……” has anyone heard from Brood X yet ?

  5. Comment made on May 17, 2021 by John Rubino

    Jorma…….your reflections today hit straight to the heart bringing forth memories of my own. Baxters opened my eyes…..Volunteers opened my soul. Throughout the years that journey of song still continues even till today. For me it brings forth fond memories of a heartfelt friend I shared all those times with many decades ago. And shes still listening. I am most appreciative and thankful that you & Jack continue onward and “Laissez les bon temps roullez”.

  6. Comment made on May 17, 2021 by John B

    Best of luck to Michael and his family and I am sure that Texans will welcome him with open hearts.

  7. Comment made on May 17, 2021 by Brad

    First of all, the Kaukarano “flat meat sandwiches” and the great meatloaf tasting tour are great stories! Working on Cape Cod for a couple of summers I did the same taste testing with fried and broiled scallops, then in New Orleans for 10 days for Jazz Fest one year I think I had 8 different creme brûlée’s. Ya have to investigate these these things.

    While it’s a bit of an odd phrase “choked up,” today I am grateful for the ability to get choked up. For many years all the substances either dulled and numbed or amped up and exaggerated the full healthy range of thoughts and feelings. That was internal hell resulting in external chaos.

    I don’t say it lightly, Saturday night was some musical Church confirmed by your Sunday reflections.
    Thank You. It chokes a body up.

    May days of cool mornings, fading lilac, mown grass, fussing sparrows and catbirds, Enjoy! Hoping your bikes might roar this week!

  8. Comment made on May 16, 2021 by Chappy

    Amen! Great show last night and great to see Michael back on the FPR stage. Fortunate to catch the Hot Tuna line-up with Michael several times back in the day. And, quite a great show when NRPS graced the FPR stage just a few short years ago. Family and friends is what it’s all about.

  9. Comment made on May 16, 2021 by Ed

    Thank you, Jorma, for once again giving us (as in FREE) such great music. And for taking the time to share your reflections, which resonate even with a youngster of 67.

    I had dinner the other night with two guys I first met in nursery school. And my best friend from high school is still my best friend. The stuff of life indeed. Connections that nourish the soul.

  10. Comment made on May 16, 2021 by Joey Hudoklin

    There are no do overs.
    I would look back too.

  11. Comment made on May 16, 2021 by chinaski

    Last night’s Quarantine concert, like all those prior was as entertaining as ever. Great to see Michael Falzarano again, just like when they paired up in the old days. It’ll be fun when Jack takes that stage too, adding that je ne sais quois, that extra spirit lift to Jorma. Every performance brings me memories of a late girlfriend who attended so many Hot Tuna and Jorma solo concerts with me back in the day. Barbara adored Jorma like other women did Elvis Presley or their favorite Beatle. Of all the many and varied memories of times “back in the day” I will always recall Barbara and Hot Tuna with the same magnitude.
    Thank you to the entire Hot Tuna family.

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