Members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy recipients Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, were at the forefront of popular rock and roll, founders of the San Francisco sound and progenitors of Psychedelic Rock. For over 50 years they have continued to play dynamic original music as Hot Tuna! The dynamics of their music feels alive in the present and alive on a continuum from the moment the music percolates in their minds to the time it explodes into the theatre.
Hot Tuna brought the final show of their 50th Anniversary Tour to the Parker Playhouse in Ft Lauderdale, Florida for a special New Year’s Eve concert. The power-trio featured founding members Jorma Kaukonen on guitar and vocals, Jack Casady on bass as well as Justin Guip on drums. The veteran rockers delivered a two-set show of blues, traditional and psychedelic music.
The annual late fall Hot Tuna run through the Northeastern US is in full swing when I cross paths with the band’s tour itinerary in Poughkeepsie, NY. This night is different than the previous electric Hot Tuna 50th anniversary show we attended earlier in the year. This show will be an all-acoustic evening with intricate musicianship and a long way from over forty years ago (11/26/76) and the power-trio ear-splitting days of the 1970s at the Palladium on 14th Street in Manhattan.
Hot Tuna is not just a concert but also an event. Folks can categorize their music as Blues, Folk, Psychedelic, Americana, or Blues Rock and they would all be right. I have been fortunate to have been listening to Hot Tuna since I was a youth. I have seen Jorma and Jack play electric, acoustic, and with the Jefferson Airplane reunion. They have been part of the soundtrack of so many friends’ lives as well as mine.
Julia “Girl” Dreyer Brigden has published her memoirs of life as an untethered youth running around the Haight-Ashbury days of the ’60s in San Francisco. Her stories traverse the globe from being born in South Africa to trading for a manufactured ‘around the world’ ticket that got her from Istanbul to Toyko, to Europe and back to the tour bus with her then-husband, David Freiberg ( Quicksilver Messenger Service /Jefferson Airplane/ Jefferson Starship). In this delightful read, she examines her journey through the lens of written tradi
The year was 1969. Richard Nixon was in the White House. Neil Armstrong was on the Moon. And revolution was in the air. In that backdrop, 500,000 young people gathered on a mid-August weekend in upstate New York for the promise of three days of peace and music. What they experienced at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was something far greater.
Seattle-based all female rock band Thunderpussy shares a fiery cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love” today, ahead of a Supreme Court case on April 15 that will determine the fate of trademarking their name. Of the song, the band says, “At a time when it feels like empathy and compassion are lost and the polarization of thoughts and ideas is paramount, maybe it’s time to stop looking for someone to blame and instead find someone to love.“
It has been an amazing 50 years for Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Their band, Hot Tuna, invokes as many different moods and reactions as there are Hot Tuna fans — millions of them. To some Hot Tuna is a reminder of some wild and happy times. To others, that name will forever be linked to their own discovery of the power and depth of American blues and roots music. To newer fans, Hot Tuna is a tight, masterful act who define the cutting edge of great music.