Anywhere USA

Photo by Jorma Kaukonen

Jorma in Cortland, NY

Thursday, May 6, 2021

So here I am on my first roadtrip for more than a couple of gigs in a year. I’m driving my RV so the whole deal is more than exciting on many levels. It seems that I, like so many others, am starting to get my life back… in a way. My colleagues Myron and Phil are ensconced in the hotel and I am boondocking in the parking lot. Since I’ve got pretty much everything I need here in the rig, I decided to take a walk to pick up the two things I neglected to bring… salt and pepper. We’re at a Hampton Inn here and even though I have yet to even set foot in the lobby, it looks like all Hampton Inns.

I remember living in Upstate New York more than thirty years ago. It wasn’t exactly the Rust Belt, but I could always detect a certain feeling of gentle, or maybe not so gentle decay. The countryside is so beautiful but these older urban areas just seem like they have seen better days… a long time ago. Now, my observations are simply based on where I’m parked right now so I don’t mean to generalize. There was a boarded-up Ramada Inn next door and a mile or so away at the shopping plaza most of the shops were empty.

Now back home at the Market On State St. Shopping Plaza many of the stores are empty too, but it just seems lighter somehow. There is not real point to this entry so far… just morning observations from a traveling voyeur. I have loved the face of America for many years.

It is good to be a part of the visage again!

Now, coming up on the 9th of May, a gig at the Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, new Hampshire. In addition to two great great shows by yours truly (1 PM and 4 PM) There are also streaming possibilities. The one PM Show: and/ or the four PM show:

OK… old routine setting in. A quick lunch, fresh strings and tonight’s set list.



  1. Comment made on May 18, 2021 by Chris Rollins

    Cortland was the first place I spent a night in jail- got busted for hitch hiking in the interstate on my way back to PA from Watkins Glen Summer Jam. Called my pal Dave with my one phone call and asked him to wire me $25 to pay my fine- he didn’t try very hard to come up with it and called my dad ( I’d told Dave “Whatever you do, don’t call my dad!” ) anyhow Dad and I had a very quiet 3 or 4 hour ride back to Bucks County. My second time hearing the Dead, second time hearing The Band and fourth or fifth time hearing the Allman Bros- plus naked young women dancing in mud puddles! An educational weekend for an 18 year old

  2. Comment made on May 13, 2021 by Tim Hynes

    I remember your concert at Carnegie Hall in the early 70’s. I saw you & Jack years later at the Belly Up in Solana Beach, CA. He told me JA was the very 1st “rock” band to play Carnegie. It was a great night, the band sounded fantastic and the plush red velvet seats ware a real trip! You guys made growing up fun!

  3. Comment made on May 8, 2021 by Ray Kinney

    Was at the 5/6 show. It was awesome. Can’t think of a better first concert after Covid than you. This was my eight time seeing you and/or Hot Tuna. Always a good time.

  4. Comment made on May 8, 2021 by Lori

    I meant Song to The North Star. Hope that doesn’t
    Change things. Thank you !

  5. Comment made on May 7, 2021 by Lori

    Driving Upstate on the NYS Thruway through the Northway 87 and west Rte 90
    Is my work. Cortland is lush with million dollar views. The economy
    needs our help. Thank you for being you up close & present .
    I only wish we could hear Letter to the North Star which was
    Only heard once in the Quarantine Concerts. .No pressure , just sayin
    Thank you Jorma and gang !

  6. Comment made on May 7, 2021 by TSW

    See you Sunday afternoon brother…..thank you for coming back!!!

  7. Comment made on May 7, 2021 by Nancy Cusumano

    Hi Jorma,

    I was at the show in Preble last night, so wonderful even though cool. We could see your breath on those last few songs! Anyway, you signed my album after the show, and I should have asked your merch guy who took it in to you to pass along a message for me. I know I am not the first to say it, but I wanted to let you know how much the quarantine concerts have meant to me over the last year. You and Vanessa and the crew have been a very bright part of this whole grayish year. So thank you all again, and soo good to see you live and in person!
    Come back to Ithaca Next time, we love you here. <3

  8. Comment made on May 7, 2021 by John B

    Pretty Good , not bad , I can’t complain but actually everything is just about the same.”@Chris Chester

  9. Comment made on May 7, 2021 by johno

    The Catskills are really beautiful this time of the year.
    The streams and rivers are running high and the tree buds and birds are returning.
    Don’t you remember Big Indian and Woodstock?

  10. Comment made on May 6, 2021 by Greg Martelli

    Born in Brooklyn ,moved across Tappan Zee (“Upstate “), and than landed on the beach in act.
    After the beach we’ve enjoyed the gentle oak lined Savannah’s of central Ky.
    We had a few conversations with the illustrious and we’ll mannered colleague Myron at
    Feat Fests in Negril .
    Great T -Shirt
    Rock on Myron -take it all in .
    We never get the backseat ride

    Must have been a hell of a drive ,keep the sails full and tally ho

  11. Comment made on May 6, 2021 by mike

    thanks for your comments i will be at the concert tonight upstate ny is not in anyway in decay we have lots of farms that supply the food and drinks that you enjoy also we have many mid sized industries and places like the fur peace ranch.if the idea of non decay is a 4 million square foot amazon warehouse well we have one now in syracuse this is a great place to live and work Thanks for the quarantine concerts ive seen all of them.

    • Comment made on May 6, 2021 by Jorma

      I stand more than corrected! The drive over to the gig was stunning… Just the neighborhood the hotel was in I guess. Great parking by the river for the RV thjough. Yeah… very nice indeed! My apologies to the locale!


  12. Comment made on May 6, 2021 by Chris Chester

    “Upstate New York!” I grew up on Long Island, and as I recall from that time, NY State had three components – “the Island,” “the City,” and “Upstate.” The later being everything north and west of the Tappan Zee (which of course as since been replaced and renamed for a former governor). “Upstate,” is where I live now, and it’s really a very diverse place. One word can’t describe it all. Homer, which is near SUNY Cortland, is considered to be within the edges of what is considered Appalachia. So, in a sense, you haven’t yet left home.
    Yeah, much of “Upstate,” is in gentle decay. It’s what makes many locations within it affordable, and beautiful, places to live.
    At any rate, I was listening to John Prine’s eponymous first album yesterday, and it jumped out at me that the song “Pretty Good,” might be one that John Hurlbut and Jorma could pull off. Jorma may even be able to use that fancy new red ‘lectric guitar of his on it. Any seconds on that notion?

  13. Comment made on May 6, 2021 by John R.

    You are an inspiration, Jorma. At eighty years of age, you could very well sit back and rest on your laurels, and no one would blame you. But you are out there doing your thing and finding new adventures. We should all be so lucky.

  14. Comment made on May 6, 2021 by Hogan

    Welcome back to Upstate….it’s been a minute..
    Looking forward to the show.


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