Monday, August 10, 2009

Hot Tuna: Still Smokin' After All These Years

Hot Tuna
Originally uploaded by raise my voice

Hot Tuna
is one of those bands whose reputation precedes them. A career of performing some of the finest blues-rock music ever made over four decades, to call this San Francisco-formed band legendary seems like a understatement.

According to the CBC's Holger Peterson, who introduced Hot Tuna's Sunday afternoon concert at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival on August 9, this was the band's first-ever appearance in Alberta. Looking around at the audience, I could tell some had waited a long time for this moment to come.

Founding members Jorma Kaukonen (vocals and guitar) and Jack Cassidy (bass) are still the core of the band, adding mandolin player Barry Mitterhoff. Acoustically slipping and sliding their way through traditional and original blues tunes, the trio captivated everyone watching. Particularly spectacular was Kaukonen's finger-picking and strong vocals, which at times reminded me of the late Jerry Garcia.

The numerous instrumental breakdowns and musical back-and-forth between all of the members made a hot afternoon even hotter. ~ Paula E. Kirman

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