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Wednesday July 23, 2014
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Jorma Kaukonen

 

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Kaukonen. In 2002, Kaukonen released a successful album of 1920s and 1930s country songs called Blue Country Heart. He has since signed with the folk label Red House and continues to perform and record.

Jorma Kaukonen was always the folkiest of Jefferson Airplane's members, a tendency he further explored in the band's acoustic blues offshoot, Hot Tuna, and in a series of solo releases in the 1980s and 1990s. In a way, he returned to the San Francisco folk coffeehouse scene, where he had played acoustic blues in the style of Reverend Gary Davis before coming over to the electric side after he attended a rehearsal of an early version of Jefferson Airplane. But his recent music is compelling in its continued development.

Its overall effect might be described as luminous. It's relaxed in a way that creeps up on mystical enlightenment. How did Kaukonen get to this point? He's managed to hone the different kinds of expertise he's developed over his long musical life and to combine them in ways that seem spookily natural. As an acoustic artist, he has played four types of pieces: old acoustic blues and country songs, originals based on those models, meditative guitar instrumentals, and non-blues songs of a philosophical cast. By now he's made them all flow.

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