Jack (left) and Jorma still chuckle about the mellow good times they had at Altamont back in ’69.
Good news for ’70s-rock fans who might feel like taking a quick musical trip Stateside this winter. Hot Tuna–aka guitarist-vocalist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady–will be performing an acoustic show in Seattle on Feb. 20 at the Triple Door, with guest David Lindley.
Hot Tuna was one of the most underrated rock bands of the ’70s, in my unhumble opinion. Kaukonen and Casady formed it in the late ’60s as an acoustic folk-blues side project while still members of the Jefferson Airplane, and although it evolved in different directions over the years, the blues remained a constant.
I became acquainted with Hot Tuna big-time in 1975, the year they released the rock albums America’s Choice in May and then Yellow Fever in November. Both discs took turns vying for airplay on my trusty Yamaha turntable, and I spent long hours entranced by the radarlike musical connection between Jorma and Jack, who had grown up together in Washington, D.C.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out these three tracks from America’s Choice your own self, and then try telling me that ’75 wasn’t the Year of our Lord for sweet guitar-based tuneage.