Archive for August, 2010

The Gypsies Come To Pomeroy

August 24th, 2010 3 comments

Well, needless to say I’ve been looking forward to this weekend… Frank Vignola, Vinny Raniolo, The Hot Club Of Detroit as well as Verlon Thompson and myself. There was some rain this weekend, but nothing that could dampen the spirits of our sunflowers behind the Beatrice Love Kitchen at the Fur Peace Ranch.

beatrice love kitchen

When I was a kid, my Dad had quite a collection of Django Reinhart as well as George Van Eps and the like and the music always fascinated me. To get to see it played live by master was just about as good as it gets. Frank and Vinny were truly brilliant and in their part of the show on Saturday night they were joined by Julien Labro on accordion. Yikes…  mce_href=

Yes indeedy, the music was stratospheric… Now on this particular evening it was my turn to play Mr. Mom, so I didn’t get to see the hot club of Detroit do their show… I did get to see them at sound check, however… and without a doubt there was some great stuff going on.Paul Brady and Evan Perri were on guitar, Carl Cafagna played Sax, Julien Labro on accordion and Andrew Kratzat on bass. If you ever get a chance to see any of these guys play, don’t miss the opportunity. This is an art form that I[m not truly familiar with, however like I said, I listened to it as a kid and I surely appreciate it and not just as a guitar player either. hot club of detriot1

Well, I got home and Izze went to bed without a peep which was great and yesterday the music just kept on coming. I euchred Verlon into doing a little show with me Sunday night and Frank and I had spoken about the great Jellyroll Morton song Whinin’ Boy blues so of course I figured what a grand opportunity to play an old jazz song with some really great contemporary jazz cats.  I played some of my stuff including my new song ‘Things That Might Have Been,’ and at the end of my little set I called Frank and Vinny up and we did a killer version of Jelly’s tune. Ian Buchanan would have gotten a kick out of our take on this tune he taught me so very long ago. Thanks Ian… your teachings have certainly taken me a very, very long way. I wish you could have been here to see this. I think back at the way Ian Buchanan was able to transliterate piano pieces into accessible guitar parformances I realize that this only scratches the surface of his inventive genius.

After we played Whinin’ Boy, we called Verlon up and he did a tune he and Guy Clark wrote with one of our songwriting classes about ten years ago. Killer tune. Well, needless to say, the boys shredded this one up pretty well and when we finished this cool song we left the stage for Verlon to work his magic.

Now Verlon Thompson is another of those elegant human beings who just has it all going for him. A great songwriter, great guitarist, great accompanist, great singer… OK, OK, I could go on and on.

whinin boy jorma frank vinny1

Verlon told his story in words and song and I was there until the last note was played and I wasn’t the only one. The next day, Monday, was a half day at the Ranch… another short workshop and then the au revoir’s that end each session at the Fur Peace Ranch.

jorma & verlon goodbye1

A quick shot with my new guitar friends Frank and Vinny and onward for all.

vinny jorma and frank1

Friends, new and old, the same for music and life… I’m off to Parkersburg, West Virginia to pick up my son for some farm time before he has to to back to school. Yikes… onward indeed.

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The Blues Come To Darwin

August 16th, 2010 No comments

Darwin, Ohio is not exactly the center of the universe but sometimes a galaxy of stars align

It’s been a busy summer, and believe me I appreciate being able to work regularly in time like these. That said, it makes coming home all the sweeter. So home I came and right away the Fur Peace Ranch got ready to reopen after the summer break and the first gig was Couples Weekend. This is always a great weekend for everyone simply because of the surrounding love and fellowship but for me there was an added bonus. Bob Margolin and Bob Stroger were the other two teachers. Now, as I was telling Bob Margolin, when I was a kid, the music that really set me on fire was the classic Chicago blues… Muddy, Wolf, Sonny Boy… the whole gang of them.

I never learned how to play that way myself, but both those memories as well as the music are without a doubt the soundtrack of my life. I was so looking forward to the weekend as well as hearing the show and when Bob M. asked me to sit in for the entire second set, it was a teenage dream come true.
Bob lined the band up with George ‘Mojo’ Buford as a singer and harp player and Kenny Smith as the drummer. Of course Bob Stroger and Kenny also sang as well as Bob Margolin himself. Well… it just doesn’t get too much better than that. I got to feel like what it was to play with the real Chicago cats because I was playing with the real cats. What a night!

Sunday evening I was going to do a little solo show at the station for the Ranchers when I ran into Bob Margolin and his wife on the way back to their hotel. ‘Hey man… how would you like to sit in with me tonight?’ He graciously accepted and we played for over an hour together. We just traded songs… at a Canadian Festival, they would call that a ‘workshop.’ Whatever, it was a blast!
j * B1

You know, us working musicians get on the road and do our show because that’s what we love to do. Sometimes, however, we simply get together with friends and with no professional agenda whatsoever, we just enjoy life and play music.

What a way to go.

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Couples At The Fur Peace Ranch

August 13th, 2010 2 comments

Yes indeedy… the Fur Peace Ranch is open again… the break is over and we plunge back into session with our grand Couples Weekend. Now I can’t tell you what the ladies are up to… that’s between them and my wife Vanessa. I’m guessing that the Labrynth will come into play, but what do I know. I’m just a guy. Anyway, a short entry and the serenity gate and the Ranch.

fpr That’s it for now. Orientation time.


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An Evening At The Fair

August 10th, 2010 1 comment

Vanessa, Izze and I went to the Athens County Fair last night to see the Tough Track Competition. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click on tough track. After the Demolition Derby and the Figure Eight Race, it just doesn’t get much better than this if you’re looking for old time Americana. You can’t make this stuff up. Now I’ll admit that my four year old daughter probably didn’t find it as exciting as her old dad, but what else is new?
We made it through the entire first round and then headed for home. The little one had school today and the insects were marshaling their forces. I thought back over the great weekend we had. The weather was perfect so we spent much of the time in the pool. I also had time for two motorcycle rides… one on Saturday with Vanessatough track 2 who rode her scoot for the first time in a long while and then on Sunday a longer one with my buddy Jerry. A perfect summer weekend… just perfect. Well, after an evening of watching other people wreck their cars, I am now sitting at my Jeep dealer getting my four door Wrangler serviced. I know we’re not supposed to ‘love’ inanimate objects, but I have to shamefully admit that I’m fond of my ‘stuff!’ And then there’s this:
tough track 1

Well, after all the work we’ve all been doing all summer, there’s nothing like a little just plain old relaxation. Good stuff, and with the Fur Peace Ranch opening up again this weekend for our couple’s session we’re back in full swing again here. Gotta run!

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The Garden Party

August 6th, 2010 3 comments

Being home means so many things… one of which was to be able to go to the Garden Party at my daughter Izze’s school. Well, there were some prerequisites. I needed a hat… so Vanessa made me one.
Izze's Dad

Hey, I liked it so much I even wore it to the Harley shop after the party. Well, it was a beautiful day for the kids to be outside surrounded by beautiful things they grew themselves and more than enough proud parents to satisfy anyone. Indeed…

Well, this is good stuff indeed. What a grand world these kids live in. Would that it could last forever. I guess today will just have to do.

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The Hall Of Fame Comes To The Fur Peace Ranch

August 4th, 2010 3 comments

Today, Jun Francisco came down from the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland to exchange the Gibson ES-335 (cherry red) that I played at the Waldorf in NYC at the Airplane’s induction into the HOF for the blue Gibson Starburst I played Embryonic Journey on at the same ceremony.

It was nice meeting Jun in person and I got a chance to show him around the Fur Peace Ranch a little on this very hot August day.


Folks… it’s great to be home.

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Meanwhile… back on the farm…

August 3rd, 2010 3 comments

After we finished our show at the House Of Blues in Boston we drove on down to the ferry in New London, Conn. and headed to the North Shore of Long Island where we were scheduled to play at the Peconic Winery which was hosting the NOFO Folk and Blues Festival. We got there early which was great because what could be better than a sunny day in a beautiful location like this. Now, Vanessa and I don’t farm, (except for musicians, of course) but I could certainly appreciate the love and labor (not to mention the coast) of running a beautiful operation like this. Anyhow, we heard a lot of great music and when Barry and I hit the stage about 1730 or so, this is what we played:

Jorma Kaukonen & Barry Mitterhoff 10
NOFO Rock And Folk Festival
Peconic Bay Winery
Cutchogue, NY.
Sunday, August 1, 2010

1. Blue Railroad Train
2. How Long Blues
3. Been So Long
4. Hesitation Blues
5. More Than My Old Guitar
6. Come Back Baby
7. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
8. Parchman Farm
9. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
10. Genesis
11. I Know You Rider
12. Bread Line Blues
13. Just Because
14. Encore: Embryonic Journey

After the show we dropped off Skoota’s drums, took Barry home and skooted west to southeast Ohio and home. When we got in yesterday morning, the not so little Izze ran across the parking lot. ‘Daddy, I missed you so.’ Ditto little girl.

Well, now I’m getting ready to pick her up at school and enjoying the last of the free WiFi at the Catalyst Coffee shop.

More shall be revealed. It’s great to be home!

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Boston And Beyond

August 1st, 2010 6 comments

Last night at the House Of Blues in Boston was our last electric show on this part of the eternal run. A darn good run to say the least. Our buddy Dr. Joe FitzPatrick dropped by and adjusted us before the show… chiropractor you know. Anyway, we’re just getting ready to head for the ferry to Long Island, so here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 21, 2010
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
Barry Mitterhoff, Skoota Warner
& G.E.Smith
House Of Blues
Boston, Massachusetts
Saturday, July 31, 2010

1. True Religion
2. I See The Light
3. Can’t Get Satisfied
4. Ode To Billy Dean
5. Long Gone Blues with G.E.
6. Sea Child
7. I Know You Rider
duel in the sun 4
8. If This Is Love, I Want My Money Back
9. Rock Me Baby
10. Arrowhead with G.E.
11. 99 Year Blues
12. Hit Single # 1
13. Encore: Nothing Brings You Down Like Your Home Town with Steve Earle


Thanks Steve for a great run and a huge thanks from me to Jack, Barry, Skoota and G.E.

Either on the bus or off? I’m on and rolling.

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