The Breadcrumbs Widget will appear here on the live site.
Jorma Kaukonen from the album Live at the Bottom Line available on Omnivore Records (by Lee Zimmerman)
Jorma Kaukonen always remained a purist during his time with Jefferson Airplane. While Paul Kantner and Marty Balin were Folkies at first, they eventually morphed into unrepentant outlaws while piloting the Airplane to higher heights. Kaukonen’s signature song “Good Shepherd” provided a restful respite from the insurgent anthems that populated Volunteers, the Jefferson Airplane’s decidedly strident call to arms.
Once Kaukonen left the band, he made a quick return to his roots with Hot Tuna, reverting to the basics of the Blues and a Folk tradition he revered from day one. Every Hot Tuna album and solo project he’s shared over the past 50 years reaffirmed his commitment to a Rootsy tapestry and template. That foundation is reaffirmed with Live at the Bottom Line, an intimate acoustic performance featuring Kaukonen accompanied by Barry Mitterhoff on tenor guitar, and various banjos and mandolins, with Cindy Cashdollar playing steel guitar. The arrangements are kept simple and subdued, courtesy of the intimacy of Kaukonen’s intricate fingerpicking fretwork and his casual yet comforting vocals. For this particular performance, he mostly stuck to standards — “Blue Railroad Train” by the Delmore Brothers, Jimmie Rodgers’ “Waiting for a Train”, and “Red River Blues”, “Death Have No Mercy” and “I Am the Light of This World” by Reverend Gary Davis, among the many.
Jorma Kaukonen’s own compositions find an easy fit with these traditional tunes, and the material he re-imagines to his own making — “Good Shepherd”, “Uncle Sam Blues”, and “Hesitation Blues” in particular — not only drawing from a seminal stockpile of his own making, but also affirming that fact that he remains a pure Americana auteur at heart. HIs remarkable work-out on the expansive version of “Good Shepherd” proves this point.
As always, Omnivore Records does an admirable job of serving the archivists’ interests, and Live at the Bottom Line captures Kaukonen’s inherent purity and passion. A true exponent of a time-tested technique, he remains a most unassuming icon, an artist who proves that even a hallowed reputation need not deter devotion to honesty and integrity. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Jorma Kaukonen from AMAZON
For more information and purchase options, please visit the Jorma Kaukonen website
The Blog Tags widget will appear here on the published site.
The Recommended Posts widget will appear here on the published site.