Hot Tuna – Double Dose (1978)

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Double Dose was the eighth album by the American blues rock band Hot Tuna, and their third live album. The album was originally released as a double-LP as Grunt CYL2-2545. After their 1977 tour, Jorma Kaukonen moved on to a solo career and Jack Casady joined the new wave band SVT. Hot Tuna would not perform together again until 1983. The album had its highest peak at #92 on the Billboard charts. (by wikipedia)

Hot Tuna, then a quartet with the official addition of keyboardist Nick Buck, released this two-LP live album, its first concert material in seven years, and having thus summed things up, broke up as the album hit record stores. Double Dose gave a good sense of mature Hot Tuna as a vehicle for the musical interests of Jorma Kaukonen, who used the entire first side as an acoustic solo set, then included the excellent “Genesis” from his solo album Quah on side B. Elsewhere, the electrified group alternated between Kaukonen’s best Hot Tuna compositions and blues and rock standards. It was produced by Felix Pappalardi (Cream, Mountain), who gave Hot Tuna its best recorded sound; even though it’s a “live” record, there seems to have been a lot of studio overdubbing. (by William Ruhlmann)

This is a damn hot blues-rock power album !

Recorded live by Wally Heider Recording at Theatre 1839, San Francisco
Additional recording at Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco

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Personnel:
Jack Casady (bass)
Jorma Kaukonen (vocals, guitar)
Bob Steeler (drums)
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Nick Buck (keyboards, background vocals on 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. Winin’ Boy Blues (Morton) 5.57
02. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning (Davis) 3.08
03. Embryonic Journey (Kaukonen) 1.56
04. Killing Time In The Crystal City (Kaukonen) 6.35
05. I Wish You Would (Arnold) 4.20
06. Genesis (Kaukonen) 4.16
07. Extrication Love Song (Kaukonen) 4.26
08. Talking ‘Bout You (Berry) 5.34
09. Funky #7 (Kaukonen/Casady) 8.49
10. Serpent Of Dreams (Kaukonen) 6.43
11. Bowlegged Woman, Knock Kneed Man (Rush/Carter) 4.51
12. I See The Light (Kaukonen) 5.49
13. Watch The North Wind Rise (Kaukonen) 4.58
14. Sunrise Dance With The Devil (Kaukonen) 5.38
15. I Can’t Be Satisfied (Morganfield) 4.58

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Various Artists – The Relix Sampler (1985)

FrontCover1Les Kippel went to his first Grateful Dead concert in 1971 and was hooked. He obsessed over a way to bring the music home with him, and The First Free Underground Grateful Dead Tape Exchange was born after he took a tape machine to his very next show. Relix Magazine evolved from an effort to unite tapers of Grateful Dead shows on a broader scale.
Toni Brown went to see the Grateful Dead in June, 1969. By 1980, she took on the task of editing Relix Magazine, Kippel’s publication that focused on the Dead Head scene and “intelligent music alternatives.” As owner, Publisher and Editorial Director, Brown effectively helped the improvisational jamband scene flourish. Phish, Blues Traveler, String Cheese Incident, moe., Widespread Panic, Dark Star Orchestra, Joan Osborne, and dozens of other successful artists were initially exposed to an international audience through Relix.

Relix Records was started by Kippel and Brown in 1980, at the urging of Grateful Dead lyricist, Robert Hunter. One of the earliest Independent labels, it was a natural offshoot of the magazine-a way to get non-commercial music to a wider listening audience. Relix Records became the home of such artists as Hot Tuna, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Flying Burrito Brothers, Robert Hunter, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Johnny Winter, Grateful Dead offshoot projects, Max Creek, Merl Saunders and many others.

LesKippel1974Les Kippel in 1974

This rare sampler compilation album includes one Robert Hunter track, one Kingfish track and one track from Matt Helly’s Wing And A Prayer that features both Weir and Garcia and two Savoy Brown songs. Initially released as a limited edition of 5000 copies.

What should I say ? LISTEN !

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Matt Kelly: Dangerous Relations (Kelly/Cutler) 3.30
02. Flying Burrito Brothers: Wheels (Hillman/Parsons) 3.11
03. Savoy Brown: Train To Nowhere (*) (Youlden/Jones) 5.22
04. Kingfish: Mess Around (Ertegan) 2.57
05. Hot Tuna: Been So Long (Kaukonen) 4.13
06. Robert Hunter: Gypsy Parlor Light (Hunter) 7.42
07. Savoy Brown: Tell Mama (Simmonds/Raymond) 6.28
08. Jorma Kaukonen: Radical Sleep (Meje/Kaukonen) 4.04
09. Jorma Kaukonen & Robert Zantey: (Long) Walk In The Desert (*) (Zantey) 9.31

(*) previously unreleased

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ToniBrownToni Brown

Hot Tuna – Steady As She Goes (2011)

FrontCover1Steady as She Goes is the first Hot Tuna studio album since 1990. After Jorma Kaukonen recorded his solo album in 2009 at Levon Helm’s studio in NY, he asked his new record company Red House if they would be interested in a Tuna album. The band started recording new tracks in November 2010 with the same producer and studio that Kaukonen used for River of Time and features the latest lineup of the band that formed in 2009 when Skoota Warner joined on drums. On March 11, 2011 Red House released Angel of Darkness as a free single. The album was released on CD and on iTunes April 5, 2011 and was released on vinyl in May. The album first charted on the Tastemaker and Independent album lists compiled by Billboard for the week of April 23.

After years of releasing live albums, Kaukonen felt it was time to record a new electric studio album with the band when his current label for his solo work, Red House Records, was interested. Kaukonen started by writing one song, but with deadlines set and being locked in to studio time with the band, he collaborated and ended up writing six songs for the album. The band used Levon Helm’s studio which Kaukonen had recorded his previous solo album at, River of Time. For the new album, Kaukonen decided to take the approach he used with Jefferson Airplane, letting others work out the charts for the rhythm section and concentrating on the lead guitar lines. Also to reflect back to Jefferson Airplane’s style, Teresa Williams recorded harmony vocals similar to Grace Slick’s on several tracks.

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Only the second Hot Tuna studio set in 30 years, and the band’s first in two decades, the outfit circa 2011 is a decidedly older, wiser, and more laid-back unit than the amped-up boogie-ers responsible for a series of successful albums in the ’70s. That’s a mixed blessing, though, because the Tuna seem to have lost some of their fire during their long layoff from the studio. Where once Jack Casady’s thunderous bass played tag with Jorma Kaukonen’s blustery, psychedelic blues guitar lines, the duo — now fleshed out with mandolin player Barry Mitterhoff and drummer Skoota Warner — is now content to be a pretty decent but far less distinctive folk, blues, and singer/songwriter act. Casady’s forcefully idiosyncratic, almost lead basslines of old are barely audible here, and even though there are flashes where the old intensity is evident, particularly on Kaukonen’s “Mourning Interrupted,” this is a well-intentioned, totally professional album that lacks bite. A pair of Rev. Gary Davis covers are also reminiscent of days gone by, especially “Mama Let Me Lay It on You” with guest fiddle from producer Larry Campbell (filling in for the deceased Papa John Creach) that rolls through the “Keep on Truckin'” riff and melody. There are some quality songs, such as the melancholy musings of “Second Chances,” but this is more like a Kaukonen solo album than a long-awaited return from a once powerful band that mixed acoustic and electric blues into a blistering, often explosive concoction. Recording in Levon Helm’s Woodstock studio provides an open, rootsy sound and Campbell keeps the proceedings clean and classy, if somewhat antiseptic compared to the shambling attack Hot Tuna fans remember. Kaukonen’s patented electric solos evident on the opening “Angel of Darkness” are dramatic and typically blistering, but there aren’t enough of those moments. Making matters more frustrating is the choice of material, in particular the humorous yet repetitious by-the-numbers rocking of “If This Is Love.” The closing instrumental, “Vicksburg Stomp,” returns to the sharp pickin’ approach of Hot Tuna’s 1970 acoustic debut, perhaps a fitting reminder of the group’s early times trying to make their name as something other than a Jefferson Airplane offshoot. There is plenty to enjoy about this unexpected return, and it’s encouraging that the Casady/Kaukonen relationship — both musical and personal — has persevered for over 50 years. (by Hal Horowitz)

Inside02APersonnel:
Jack Casady (bass)
Jorma Kaukonen (vocals, guitar)
Barry Mitterhoff (mandolin)
Skoota Warner (drums)
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Larry Campbell (pedal steel.guitar, guitar, violin, organ, vocals)
Teresa Williams (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Angel Of Darkness (Campbell/Kaukonen) 4.43
02. Children Of Zion (Davis) 4.50
03. Second Chances (Kaukonen) 4.21
04. Goodbye To The Blues (Wilborn) 4,32
05. A Little Faster (Hurlbut) 4.55
06. Mourning Interrupted (Kaukonen) 5.06
07. Easy Now Revisited (Kaukonen/Campbell) 3.41
08. Smokerise Journey (Kaukonen/Casady/Campbell) 4.28
09. Things That Might Have Been (Kaukonen) 4.15
10. Mama Let Me Lay It On You (Davis) 4.46
11. If This Is Love (Markham) 5.01
12. Vicksburg Stomp (Instrumental) (McCoy) 3.44

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