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Hot Tuna|Hot Tuna

Hot Tuna

Hot Tuna

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When Hot Tuna's self-titled debut album was released in May 1970, it seemed like the perfect spin-off project for a major rock group, Jefferson Airplane's lead guitarist and bass player indulging in a genre exercise by playing a set of old folk-blues tunes in a Berkeley coffeehouse. The music seemed as far removed from the Airplane's acid rock roar as it did from commercial prospects, and thus, it allowed these sometimes overlooked bandmembers to blow off some steam musically without threatening their day jobs. In retrospect, however, it's easy to hear that something more was going on. Friends since their teens, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady had developed a musical rapport that anchored the Airplane sound but also existed independently of it, and shorn of the rock band arrangements and much of the electricity (Casady still played an electric bass), their interplay was all the more apparent. Kaukonen remained the accomplished fingerpicking stylist he had been before joining the Airplane, while Casady dispensed with the usual timekeeping duties of the bass in favor of extensive contrapuntal soloing, creating a musical conversation that was unique. It was put at the service of a batch of songs by the likes of the Reverend Gary Davis and Jelly Roll Morton with the occasional Kaukonen original thrown in, making for a distinct style. Kaukonen's wry singing showed an intense identification with the material that kept it from seeming repetitious despite the essential similarities of the tunes. (Harmonica player Will Scarlett also contributed to the mood.) The result was less an indulgence than a new direction.

© William Ruhlmann /TiVo

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Hot Tuna

Hot Tuna

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1
Hesitation Blues (Live)
00:05:06

Jack Casady, Arranger - Al Schmitt, Producer - Traditional, Composer - Traditional, Lyricist - Hot Tuna, Performer - Jorma Kaukonen, Arranger

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
How Long Blues (Live)
00:03:59

Leroy Carr, Composer - Leroy Carr, Lyricist - Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Hot Tuna, Performer

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Uncle Sam Blues (Live)
00:04:57

Jack Casady, Arranger - Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Traditional, Composer - Traditional, Lyricist - Hot Tuna, Performer - Jorma Kaukonen, Arranger

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Don't You Leave Me Here (Live)
00:03:01

Jelly Roll Morton, Composer - Jelly Roll Morton, Lyricist - Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Hot Tuna, Performer

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Death Don't Have No Mercy (Live)
00:06:14

Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Rev. Gary Davis, Composer - Rev. Gary Davis, Lyricist - Hot Tuna, Performer

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Know You Rider (Live)
00:04:08

Jack Casady, Arranger - Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Traditional, Composer - Traditional, Lyricist - Hot Tuna, Performer - Jorma Kaukonen, Arranger

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Oh Lord, Search My Heart (Live)
00:03:53

Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Rev. Gary Davis, Composer - Rev. Gary Davis, Lyricist - Hot Tuna, Performer

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Winin' Boy Blues (Live)
00:05:33

Jelly Roll Morton, Composer - Jelly Roll Morton, Lyricist - Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Hot Tuna, Performer

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
New Song (For the Morning) (Live)
00:05:03

Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Hot Tuna, Performer - Jorma Kaukonen, Composer - Jorma Kaukonen, Lyricist

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Mann's Fate (Live)
00:05:26

Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Hot Tuna, Performer - Jorma Kaukonen, Composer - Jorma Kaukonen, Lyricist

Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning
00:03:48

Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Rev. Gary Davis, Composer - Rev. Gary Davis, Lyricist - Hot Tuna, Performer

(P) Recorded Prior to 1972. All Rights Reserved by BMG Music

12
Candy Man
00:03:36

Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Rev. Gary Davis, Composer - Rev. Gary Davis, Lyricist - Hot Tuna, Performer

(P) Recorded Prior to 1972. All Rights Reserved by BMG Music

13
True Religion
00:05:23

Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Hot Tuna, Performer - Jorma Kaukonen, Composer - Jorma Kaukonen, Lyricist

(P) Recorded Prior to 1972. All Rights Reserved by BMG Music

14
Belly Shadow
00:02:59

Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Hot Tuna, Performer - Jorma Kaukonen, Composer - Jorma Kaukonen, Lyricist

(P) Recorded Prior to 1972. All Rights Reserved by BMG Music

15
Come Back Baby
00:06:07

Lightnin' Hopkins, Composer - Lightnin' Hopkins, Lyricist - Alan Zentz, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Producer - Hot Tuna, Performer

(P) Recorded Prior to 1972. All Rights Reserved by BMG Music

Album review

When Hot Tuna's self-titled debut album was released in May 1970, it seemed like the perfect spin-off project for a major rock group, Jefferson Airplane's lead guitarist and bass player indulging in a genre exercise by playing a set of old folk-blues tunes in a Berkeley coffeehouse. The music seemed as far removed from the Airplane's acid rock roar as it did from commercial prospects, and thus, it allowed these sometimes overlooked bandmembers to blow off some steam musically without threatening their day jobs. In retrospect, however, it's easy to hear that something more was going on. Friends since their teens, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady had developed a musical rapport that anchored the Airplane sound but also existed independently of it, and shorn of the rock band arrangements and much of the electricity (Casady still played an electric bass), their interplay was all the more apparent. Kaukonen remained the accomplished fingerpicking stylist he had been before joining the Airplane, while Casady dispensed with the usual timekeeping duties of the bass in favor of extensive contrapuntal soloing, creating a musical conversation that was unique. It was put at the service of a batch of songs by the likes of the Reverend Gary Davis and Jelly Roll Morton with the occasional Kaukonen original thrown in, making for a distinct style. Kaukonen's wry singing showed an intense identification with the material that kept it from seeming repetitious despite the essential similarities of the tunes. (Harmonica player Will Scarlett also contributed to the mood.) The result was less an indulgence than a new direction.

© William Ruhlmann /TiVo

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