Steady as She Goes
Continuing a relationship forged some 50 years ago when they joined forces in the SF rock band Jefferson Airplane, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady have gone back into the studio for Hot Tuna’s first studio album in 20 years. Originally an acoustic spin-off focused on blues and ragtime, the band has gone electric for the first time here. Kaukonen responded to the “Why now?” question by saying, “It just worked out that way; [we] never quit playing. The moment just wasn’t right before; now it is and we have a great project to show for it.” Indeed. Joined by Barry Mitterhoff (mandolin), Skoota Warner (drums), producer Larry Campbell (guitars, fiddle, organ, vocals) and singer Teresa Williams, they work out on a dozen numbers that include two Rev. Gary Davis blues, one of them the cajoling “Mama Let Me Lay It On You”; Papa Charlie McCoy’s peppy “Vicksburg Stomp”; and five of Kaukonen’s, one the bluesy lament “Mourning Interrupted” (“You’re born in the spring and die in the fall, that’s all”). Much livelier are “A Little Faster” and the splitting-up number, “If This Is Love” (“I want my money back.”). A deluxe limited-edition double-LP is available at furpeaceranch.com/store.