When Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady assembled Hot Tuna in 1969, it seemed like little more than a busman’s Blues holiday for the respective guitarist and bassist from Jefferson Airplane, a way for the duo to work out their Delta and Piedmont obsession while the Airplane sat on the runway.
Amazingly and against all conceivable odds, Hot Tuna is still a vital musical entity 43 years after its formation. Although the band has gone through periods of inactivity over the course of its long history, Kaukonen and Casady always return to Hot Tuna with a renewed passion, whether in visceral electric form or, as on this touring cycle, in delicate yet powerful acoustic mode.
The past year has been exceptionally busy for Hot Tuna. Last April, the band released its first album of new material in 20 years, Steady As She Goes, which was well received critically (Jamband News placed it in their Top 10 of the year), a reception that sparked a full slate of electric and acoustic shows, including a two night run late last year at the Beacon Theatre in New York (with guests David Bromberg, Charlie Musselwhite and GE Smith), and an early January headlining gig to commemorate what would have been late Rock promoter Bill Graham’s 81st birthday.
Plugged or unplugged, there are few fingerpicking guitarists on the planet better than Jorma Kaukonen, few equals to the bass prowess of Jack Casady and not many better places to be than in a Hot Tuna audience.
ACOUSTIC HOT TUNA plays Thursday, March 15 at the 20th Century Theater featuring Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.