On Saturday, October 14, a loving and celebratory, 200-guest Station Hall audience at Jorma Kaukonen’s famous eastern Ohio guitar camp, Fur Peace Ranch, cheered on the guitar legend and his Hot Tuna bandmates Jack Casady and Justin Guip through a passionate, late-afternoon concert of electric blues, ballads and tougher stuff.
For the lovers of classic San Fran rock, echoes of history, and the spirit of giving, December 2nd, 2023 is a date to mark on your calendars. In a stirring tribute to a moment that shaped music history, Jack and Jorma will return to the Fillmore in San Francisco, the very stage where, 58 years prior, they ignited the audience as members of the Jefferson Airplane during Bill Graham's inaugural show.
When you hear the name Jorma your mind completely overloads with memories of a distant time and place. You cannot help but relive the sounds of the '60s and '70s. This was an era of movement through music that has left an undeniable and unforgettable impression on humanity, social awareness, and musical culture that spans this big round spinning sphere. I really have no idea where to begin other than to convey my deepest respect to Jorma Kaukonen. He is a pioneering father figure of the San Francisco psychedelic musical awakening.
Even by his usually busy standards, 2023 looks to be a pretty chunky year for the pioneering West Coast rock guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. Usually, he and his stellar faculty of musical masters are holding a full schedule of workshops by now at the music camp, Fur Peace Ranch, which he runs with his wife Vanessa out of Pomeroy, Ohio.
Mercury Studios will release on July 7 a special three-CD boxed set of Hot Tuna, in-concert from the ‘90’s. Complete with full acoustic band—no drums—at The Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, California two nights in a row, and at Stove’s in Yokohama, Japan. Originally released by Relix in the ‘90s, then reissued/remastered with bonus tracks by Eagle Records in 2004, the box will house for the first time all three shows in one sterling package complete with poster.
Mercury Records will release A Night At The Family Dog (1970), Go Ride The Music and West Pole (1969), three psychedelic trips down memory lane, on May 12 as a 2 DVD package, complete with new artwork and ‘60s-styled poster. All three films were originally produced and created as groundbreaking television documentaries by Ralph J. Gleason [1917-1975] who did more than any other journalist to hip the world to what was shakin’ in San Francisco in the late ‘60s.
In a career that has already spanned a half-century, Jorma Kaukonen has been one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and rock. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy recipient, Jorma was at the forefront of popular rock and roll, one of the founders of the San Francisco sound and a progenitor of Psychedelic Rock. He is a founding member of two legendary bands, Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna.
It’s always a pleasure to see a Jorma Kaukonen play live. Seeing him play solo in the small 450 seat acoustically perfect theatre, it’s a memorable evening, rich with reflections of the past 45+ years seeing Jorma and living in the present. The Egg Center for the Performing Arts in Albany, NY is one of those buildings that you can drive by hundreds of times and it always draws your attention. The building is the most prominent feature of the Albany skyline.
Symphonic finesse and elegance was the theme on December 30 when Acoustic Hot Tuna, aka Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, concluded a three-night residency at the intimate Freight & Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley, California. The enduring duo entertained the crowd with two sets of acoustic blues, roots, and spiritual music – much of it dating to pre-World War II – that was both complex and easy on the ears.
All the world’s a vibration, yet music remains in the abstract, lurking in the formless world of potential, eagerly awaiting the inspiration of someone to bring it to form. The musician, in answer to this calling, illuminates what was once invisible, carrying us into the mind and heart of a moment, an emotion, or to the edges of the universe itself. Like an astronaut, these bards reveal a dimension of being, one central within all of existence—Feeling, the explorations of which seems to know no bounds.