Archive for April, 2011

Launched… And Steady As She Goes

April 29th, 2011 4 comments

Last night we snagged Larry Campbell and Theresa Williams from Woodstock, Jack Casady from LA, Barry Mitterhoff and Skoota Warner from New Jersey and me from Ohio and launched ourselves at the Avalon Theater in Easton, Maryland. We played eleven of the twelve songs off the new CD and indeed, it was… ‘Steady As She Goes.’ Here is our set list:

Electric Hot Tuna 1, 2011
Steady As She Goes One
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
Barry Mitterhoff, Skoota Warner
& Featuring
Larry Campbell and Theresa Williams
The Avalon Theater
Easton, Maryland
Thursday, April 28, 2011

First Set:
1. I See The Light
2. Ode To Billy Dean
3. Angel Of Darkness with Larry and Theres
4. Children Of Zion with Larry and Theresa
5. Bowlegged Woman with Larry
6. Second Chances with Larry
7. Goodbye To The Blues with Larry and Theres
8. Rock Me Baby with Larry
9. A Little Faster with Larry and Theresa
10. Mourning Interrupted with Larry
11. Hit Single #1 with Larry

Second Set:
1. Been So Long
2. Hesitation Blues with Larry
3. Easy Now Revisited with Larry
4. Good Shepherd with Larry and Theresa
5. Smokerise Journey with Larry and Theresa
6. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning with Larry featuring Theresa
7. Things That Might Have Been with Larry
8. Mama Let Me Lay It On You with Larry
9. If This Is Love with Larry
10. Funky # 7 with Larry
11. Encore: Preaching On The Old Campground with Larry and Theresa

Theresa killed on Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning! We had a great time, no question about it. Now we gotta run. A Sirius/XM interview in D.C. and then off to the Birchmere.


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Steady As She Goes Opens In Easton, Maryland

April 28th, 2011 16 comments

The gang and I are in Easton, Maryland to debut Steady As She Goes, our new CD. We’re doing four electric gigs behind this and tonight is the first of those. Jack and I are both from the Chesapeake Bay area, so in a way, it seems only fitting that since our music started here… the first live performance of many of these songs will start here as well.

We have Larry Campbell and Theresa Williams on board for this launch as well as the core members, Jack Casady, Barry Mitterhoff, Skoota Warner… and of course, myself.

This is going to be a dandy. I’ll be there, and you should be too!

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NYC, And Then, Home, Home, Home…

April 25th, 2011 20 comments

new york 1
Indeed, there is nothing like New York no matter what part of town your are in.

Last week we went to good old New York City and did a three day workshop at the Greenwich House. Yes, the Fur Peace Ranch goes on the road again. This was a little different kind of workshop. Jack Casady and I each had our own classes, but our thrust was to work on getting guitar players and bass players to learn to play well together. What a concept!

new york 3 photo by Israel Love Kaukonen

In addition to the great facility the Greenwich House offered us, the streets of Manhattan are fraught with historical facades and great places to eat.

new york 2

The classes went well and on Saturday night Jack and I made a rare duo appearance at the Hiro Ballroom up in the Meat Packing District. Something new for us… and a great little concert venue. Here is our set list:

Acoustic Hot Tuna 3, 2011
The Duo
Jack Casady & Jorma Kaukonen
The Hiro Ballroom
New York City, New York
Saturday, April 23, 2011

1. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today
2. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
3. Second Chances
4. I See The Light
5. Hesitation Blues
6. BBQ King
7. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
8. I Know You Rider
9. Things That Might Have Been
10. 99 Year Blues
11. Come Back Baby
12. That’ll Never Happen No More
13. Been So Long
14. Candy Man
15. How Long Blues
16. Keep On Truckin’ Mama
17. Uncle Sam Blues
18. I Am The Light Of This World
19. Nine Pound Hammer
20. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Sunday, my son Zach and I drove to Northern Virginia where I dropped him off at his house and then I drove home to Hillside Farm in Ohio where the girls had already returned home. A long day of travel, but any day with family is a good day. Well, I’m home now and there’s Spring stuff to do.


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FPR Message From New Jersey

April 20th, 2011 6 comments

My son Zach, and I have just finished breakfast at the Rise And Shine Diner in Scotch Plains. We’re on our way to NYC for our Fur Peace On The Road Session. I picked Zach up in Columbus after the weekend at the Ranch with Happy Traum, Larry Campbell and Theresa Williams. The weekend was fantastic and the concert Sunday night was… well, celestial. I went on first and here is my little set list:

Jorma Alone At The Fur Peace Station
Larry Campbell & Theresa Williams
Happy Traum
Darwin, Ohio
Sunday, April 17, 2011

1. Baby Let Me Lay It On You with Larry
2. Second Chances with Larry
3. Children Of Zion with Larry and Theresa
4. Things That Might Have Been
5. Come Back Baby
6. Step It Up And Go with Happy and Larry

Happy came out and played, and towards the end of his set he was joined by Larry and Theresa. After the break, Larry and Theresa did their set and et the end they were joined by Happy and me. I seem to recall, Let Us Get Together Right Down Here… a couple of other tunes I can’t remember and oh yes, We Shall Be Released. A grand night in every respect. You can catch some of Larry and Theresa’s set on Youtube. Well Barry said you could anyway… Ok, that’s all I can remember right now. Zach and I have to head into Manhattan to meet Jack and set up some gear.

More anon…

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A Trip To Hamilton, Ohio

April 16th, 2011 5 comments

So, after the morning class, Barry and Myron and Phil and I got on the bus and headed west to Hamilton, Ohio and Miami University where we played at the Parrish Auditorium. The opening act was Lisa Biales guitar and vocals, Doug Hamilton, and Michael Gilbert Ronstadt, cello, guitar and voice. I loved their music… check it out. We’ll have to get them over to the Fur Peace Ranch sometime.

After a great dinner and some good music by Lisa and her friends, Barry Mitterhoff and I took the stage and here is our set list:

Jorma Kaukonen And Barry Mitterhoff 1, 2011
Parrish Auditorium, Miami University
Hamilton, Ohio
Saturday, April 16, 2011

1. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
3. Children Of Zion
4. Come Back Baby
5. Second Chances
6. More Than My Old Guitar
7. Bread Line Blues
8. Hesitation Blues
9. How Long Blues
10. Babe I Want You To Know
11. Been So Long
12. I Am The Light Of This World
13. Things That Might Have Been
14. Vicksburg Stomp
15. River Of Time
16. Uncle Sam Blues
17. 9 Pound Hammer
18. Encore: Keep On Truckin’ Mama

A great night right here in my home state… and now I’m heading back to the Ranch. Good stuff. Tomorrow I’ll be doing a show with Larry Campbell, Theresa Williams, and Happy Traum. It’s going to be another great day.

Homeward bound!

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Northward Bound

April 15th, 2011 5 comments

In the spirit of my wacky professional life… we drove to Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday… had some mechanical trouble… didn’t get to the hotel until 0230 Thursday morning… went to Live Oak and the Wanee Festival at 1430… wandered around at the site for a while and got ready for our set at 1900.

wanee 1

Ah… the Spanish moss in the trees. Could gators and snakes be far away? The weather was beautiful. At this time of year you never know and well, it’s still chilly and wet up home.

wanee 2

Thanks to our little home away from home, the internal temperature is always the same. I remember spending most of my professional life driving myself around in a van. This sure beats that… let me tell you.

In any case, this festival is one of the good ones and it certainly has a flavor all its own.

wanee 3

Refreshed after a nap in the bus, our buddy Jack Casady who just celebrated his 67th birthday on the 13th, wanders about backstage. And speaking of the stage, here is our set list:

Acoustic Hot Tuna 2, 2011
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
Wanee Festival
Live Oak, Florida
Thursday, April 14, 2011

1. I See The Light
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
4. Bread Line Blues
5. Red River Blues
6. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
7. Vicksburg Stomp
8. Come Back Baby
9. Good Shepherd
10. Keep On Truckin’ Mama
11. Uncle Sam Blues
12. Children Of Zion
13. 99 Year Blues
14. More Than My Old Guitar
15. How Long Blues
16. River Of Time
17. I Know You Rider
18. Encore: Candy Man

Yes, that’s a two hour set folks and a good one if we do say so ourselves. After our show we headed over to the Hittin’ The Note booth and hung out for a while chatting with our friends and signing some stuff. Of course we had our new Steady As She Goes CD and well, we’re pretty proud of it. After our signing at the booth, to the strains of Widespread Panic we got back on the bus, dropped Jack in Jacksonville and right now we’re passing Mt. Airy on our way back to the Fur Peace Ranch.

wanee 4

We’ll be home and teaching before you know it.

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The Dash To Wanee

April 14th, 2011 2 comments

At 1100 yesterday morning, Myron and Wynn and I climbed aboard the bus and started out of the parking lot at the Fur Peace Ranch. The greening of the trees seems to be coming slowly this Spring but as we pulled out of the parking lot, this splash of gold caught my eye. When we get back tomorrow, I’ll bet there will be leaves on all the trees and I’ll have to mow. If it isn’t one thing, it’s two.
Wanee Bound
Now this is a wacky weekend for me. Yes, I’m in Jacksonville on my way to Live Oak and Wanee and when we finish our two hour set this evening, I will beat it back on up the road in time for orientation at the Ranch tomorrow. Happy Traum, Larry Campbell, Theresa Williams and I will be teaching and holding for there over the weekend… yes and a concert Sunday night the 17th of April.

Last night on our trip down we blew a tire on the bogey axle of the bus which made the last hundred and sixty miles slow going indeed… but we made it. Some one was asking me the other day about the ‘fullness’ of my life and all I could think of to say was, ‘This is what I’ve always done. It’s just the way it is.’ Indeed, one misses so much as the children grow, but we’re there for them as much as we can be. My Dad was in the service and he was gone even more than I am. Hey, at least I’m working at something I love.

That’s about it for now. Time to work on tonight’s set list… string a guitar and, as always, invite my soul.

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If You Build It, They Will Come…

April 11th, 2011 5 comments

if you build it

Indeed, Saturday night after sound check we came out of the Fur Peace Station and as we wandered down to the Beatrice Love Kitchen for a little dinner, as we looked up the road… this is what we saw. We hadn’t done an Acoustic Evening With Hot Tuna for some months, the CAMI tour notwithstanding, and at moments like this one always tends to think, ‘Will I remember all of this stuff?’ Well, remember it we did, and here is our set list:

Acoustic Hot Tuna 1, 2011
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Fur Peace Station
Darwin, Ohio
Saturday, April 9, 2011

First Set:
1. New Song For The Morning
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Bread Line Blues
4. Second Chances
5. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
6. Come Back Baby
7. More Than My Old Guitar
8. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
9. Parchman Farm
10. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. I Know You Rider
3. Things That Might Have Been
4. River Of Time
5. Children Of Zion
6. Vicksburg Stomp
7. Good Shepherd
8. 99 Year Blues
9. Genesis
10. Nine Pound Hammer
11. Encore: How Long Blues

Now I don’t know if it’s just like riding a bicycle… that you never forget, but lots of cool musical stuff evolved in the course of the evening. In short… we had a blast.

The classes at the ranch were no less exciting… Jack Casady, Myself, Barry Mitterhoff and David Wolff… the brains behind Breakdown Way… all of us had full classes with great students. Good stuff indeed!

All in all, a very fulfilling weekend.

I’m getting ready to go down to Florida for Wanee but more on that later. It’s time to catch up on a little sleep.

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On The Eve Of The Second Weekend At The Fur Peace Ranch

April 7th, 2011 26 comments

Well, my old pal Mr. Casady came in last night and at noon today we are going to do an interview for Weekend Edition on NPR. It’s amazing how many people are coming out of the woodwork to talk about Steady As She Goes, our new CD.

Normally I don’t respond to people’s opinions about my work… I mean after all, an opinion is an opinion and I sure have plenty of the myself. In any case I got to thinking about the gentleman who took issue with our rendition of Children Of Zion. First of all… the guitar I’m playing is not a Les Paul. It’s a Chet Atkins SST which is sort of an electric/acoustic guitar with the same strings on it that I use on the good old Jorma Kaukonen Martin M-30. The sound one hears on this cut from my guitar is amplified through a Oahu Steel Guitar amp from the 30’s. I certainly did not record this version of the Reverend’s tune in a light hearted way. There really are no light hearted songs on this project… not even Mama Let Me Lay It On You or Vicksboro Stomp. Now of course, art is in the eye and ear of the beholder so I would never argue any of these points with anyone. There are plenty of players out there who can play Rev. Davis’ music more authentically than I. That has always been the case and the good news for me is that at this point in my life I only have to sound like me. All this said, I love our version of Zion because it is so different. If you think about my version of Death Don’t Have No Mercy, my arrangement does not even really follow the Rev.’s chord changes.

In the spirit of this conversation, I read a review of my song ‘Things That Might Have Been,’ and the reviewer didn’t like my use of phrases like, ‘In the garden of life, nothing blooms on it’s own.’ Well… You just can’t please everyone that’s for sure… but you can be honest, and that’s what I am. I know some stellar song writers… Guy Clark, Verlon Thompson, Jim Lauderdale… These guys and those like them write song after great song many of which are recorded by other artists resulting in ‘Mailbox Money,’ which we all love. I would love if some big star recorded one of my songs (I smell college fund) but that’s not why I write songs. My songs are almost always in some way a chronicle of my life and that’s all I can do.

Hey listen… it really is all good. I can’t believe that at this point in my life, people are still inviting dialogue about my work. How much better than that does it get? Maybe I’ll write a song about it.

OK, moving on. Jack and Barry and I as acoustic Hot Tuna will be holding forth at the Fur Peace Station this weekend and then it’s off to Florida and then back to the Ranch and then off to New York City. I must have lost my mind to say yes to all this, but what the heck? This is what I love to do.

OK, opinions about art, mine or others, never rubs me the wrong way. There are other opinions that make me crazy but these aren’t they. How much better that that…. wait a minute. It does get better than that. Yesterday my almost five year old daughter Izze and I went to fly a kite after school. We were on the soccer field at OU and it was very windy. We got that Star Wars Kite up the minute I let go of it. I was the handler and Izze was the pilot. We had all the string on the reel up in the air. After about a half an hour of flying she reeled all the twine in, picked up her kite and put it in the back of my Jeep with a smile of satisfaction on her face. We went home, cooked hamburgers together and watched half of American Idol together.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

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In The Winter Of Life…

April 3rd, 2011 14 comments

winter of life

One of my neighbors over at the Fur Peace Ranch passed away a couple of days ago. We didn’t hang out together but in the sense of neighbors being friends… we were friends. We both liked to ride motorcycles and I would stop by from time to time when I would see him in the yard and we would share our two wheeled life together. Last year when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he told Vanessa and me with a wry smile, ‘I’ve survived two wars. I’ve had a good life…’

Jack Peavley fought in Vietnam 1966 to ’67 as a young man and went back into the service in Desert Storm in 1990 to’91 as a Marine. Back in Meigs County his country home near the Fur Peace Ranch never showed a sign of these tumultuous times.

Winter comes to all of us, regardless of station. Spring also comes, unbidden, and new life surrounds us. Indeed, the land of the free, because of the brave!

‘The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.’ G. K. Chesterton

Jack’s pain is over but I feel that somewhere he rides through that door into summer where the sun always shines, his motorcycle always runs and there is no gravel on the road.

Fair winds and following seas brother Jack!

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