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Hot Tuna - Live At The New Orleans House - Berkeley, CA - 1969

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Live At The New Orleans House - Berkeley, CA - 1969

Hot Tuna

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For Hot Tuna fans and music scholars, Live at New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA 9/69 might, at first glance, seem simply like a much expanded version of the band's self-titled debut album for RCA. On the contrary, however, this CD, recorded in stellar audio by the label's mobile unit during the same week, is a completely different set, with some of the material making its way into the CD market for the very first time -- other tracks have been available separately as bonus material on various Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna reissues and compilations. That said, it's not just the extra music that makes this such a fascinating recording. While the six titles that appeared on the debut album are here, these are often radically different versions because Hot Tuna was, if nothing else, a unit that valued spontaneity and improvisation as much as its dedication to this traditional American music. Jorma Kaukonen explains that he and Jack Casady had been playing this music informally for a long time in between Jefferson Airplane gigs -- they were still members of the band at this time -- sometimes in smaller venues with Janis Joplin or the Airplane's Marty Balin on vocals. Along with harmonica player Will Scarlett, the duo took Kaukonen's truly amazing technical facility on the acoustic guitar -- he had studied (as had John Hammond) with Ian Buchanan at Antioch College in Ohio, the Rev. Gary Davis, and others -- and married it to Casady's funky electric basslines, coming up with a reverent though utterly contemporary interpretation of blues, rags, and folk songs. Standout tunes on the set include "Come Back Baby" (credited to Lightnin' Hopkins), Kaukonen's "Sea Child," and Blind Blake's "Never Happen No More," which was only released on First Pull Up, Then Pull Down, then In a Can, Classic Hot Tuna Acoustic, and Festivalink Presents Hot Tuna at Merlefest: 4/28/06. The performance flows spontaneously and organically from start to finish, clocking in at a full 68 minutes without a weak moment. The versions of some tracks from the debut, such as "Death Don't Have No Mercy" and "Know You Rider," are actually better here. There's also a fine historical liner essay by Richie Unterberger, containing quotes from Kaukonen.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Live At The New Orleans House - Berkeley, CA - 1969

Hot Tuna

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1
Come Back Baby Live
00:06:48

Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Walter Davis, Composer, Lyricist

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

2
Keep On Truckin' Live
00:04:27

Jorma Kaukonen, Arranger - Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Carleton, Composer, Lyricist

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

3
Death Don't Have No Mercy Live
00:06:38

Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rev. Gary Davis, Composer, Lyricist

(P) Originally recorded 1969. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.

4
Winin' Boy Blues Live
00:05:10

Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jelly Roll Morton, Composer, Lyricist

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

5
Uncle Sam Blues Live
00:04:39

Jorma Kaukonen, Arranger - Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Casady, Arranger - Traditional, Composer, Lyricist

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

6
Know You Rider Live
00:03:42

Jorma Kaukonen, Arranger - Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Casady, Arranger - Traditional, Composer, Lyricist

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

7
Don't You Leave Me Here Live
00:03:22

Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jelly Roll Morton, Composer, Lyricist

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

8
Never Happen No More Live
00:03:42

Jorma Kaukonen, Arranger - Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Casady, Arranger - Blind Blake, Composer, Lyricist

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

9
How Long Blues Live
00:04:56

Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leroy Carr, Composer, Lyricist

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

10
True Religion Live
00:04:55

Jorma Kaukonen, Composer, Lyricist - Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

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

11
Sea Child Live
00:10:27

Jorma Kaukonen, Composer, Lyricist - Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

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

12
Candy Man Live
00:04:48

Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rev. Gary Davis, Composer, Lyricist

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

13
Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning Live
00:04:42

Hot Tuna, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rev. Gary Davis, Composer, Lyricist

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

Album Description

For Hot Tuna fans and music scholars, Live at New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA 9/69 might, at first glance, seem simply like a much expanded version of the band's self-titled debut album for RCA. On the contrary, however, this CD, recorded in stellar audio by the label's mobile unit during the same week, is a completely different set, with some of the material making its way into the CD market for the very first time -- other tracks have been available separately as bonus material on various Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna reissues and compilations. That said, it's not just the extra music that makes this such a fascinating recording. While the six titles that appeared on the debut album are here, these are often radically different versions because Hot Tuna was, if nothing else, a unit that valued spontaneity and improvisation as much as its dedication to this traditional American music. Jorma Kaukonen explains that he and Jack Casady had been playing this music informally for a long time in between Jefferson Airplane gigs -- they were still members of the band at this time -- sometimes in smaller venues with Janis Joplin or the Airplane's Marty Balin on vocals. Along with harmonica player Will Scarlett, the duo took Kaukonen's truly amazing technical facility on the acoustic guitar -- he had studied (as had John Hammond) with Ian Buchanan at Antioch College in Ohio, the Rev. Gary Davis, and others -- and married it to Casady's funky electric basslines, coming up with a reverent though utterly contemporary interpretation of blues, rags, and folk songs. Standout tunes on the set include "Come Back Baby" (credited to Lightnin' Hopkins), Kaukonen's "Sea Child," and Blind Blake's "Never Happen No More," which was only released on First Pull Up, Then Pull Down, then In a Can, Classic Hot Tuna Acoustic, and Festivalink Presents Hot Tuna at Merlefest: 4/28/06. The performance flows spontaneously and organically from start to finish, clocking in at a full 68 minutes without a weak moment. The versions of some tracks from the debut, such as "Death Don't Have No Mercy" and "Know You Rider," are actually better here. There's also a fine historical liner essay by Richie Unterberger, containing quotes from Kaukonen.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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