Thursday, April 3, 2008

Interview with Jorma Kaukonen

April 3, 2008

Interview by Scott Preston

jorma kaukonenIn a career that has already spanned nearly a half century, Jorma Kaukonen has been the leading practitioner and teacher of fingerstyle guitar, one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and Americana, and at the forefront of popular rock-and-roll.

He was a founding member of two legendary bands, The Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna, a Grammy nominee for his highly acclaimed “Blue Country Heart,” and the most in-demand instructor in the galaxy of stars who teach at the guitar camp that he and his wife operate in picturesque Southeastern Ohio, The Fur Peace Ranch.

Over a span of three and a half decades Hot Tuna has performed thousands of concerts and released more than two dozen records. The musicians who performed with them were many and widely varied, as were their styles: from acoustic to long and loud electric jams, to acoustic once again, but never straying far from their musical roots. (In recent years, an electric set has been reintroduced to some of their tour dates.) What is remarkable is that they have never coasted: Hot Tuna today sounds very much like Hot Tuna of 1970, except that the guys have continued to develop as musicians, so today they are even better. (from bio on

Jorma also has an incredible website, Break Down Way which is a highly interactive website that provides online lessons from masters such as Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, founding members of the legendary Jefferson Airplane & Hot Tuna, Woody Mann, Oteil Burbridge, David Wolff, and Barry Mitterhoff.

Cincy Groove: Are you working on any new projects?

Jorma Kaukonen: We haven't started working on anything yet. But we are talking about doing another cd for Red House Records. I think its going to be a Rev Gary Davis type of concept. I'm hoping to get Larry Campbell to produce the cd for me. This is going to be a Jorma record. Now Hot Tuna has been talking with Warner Bros about doing a Hot Tuna record early next year. We are all talking about it so its a good place to start.

Read the full interview here

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