Here’s a rare treat: despite numerous compilations and “live” records, this is the first new studio album from Hot Tuna since 1990’s “Pair a Dice Found,” and that was the first since 1976’s “Hoppkorv.” So savor this.
For the non-old-timers and non-Americana buffs, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady were in Jefferson Airplane in the 60s. Lots of folks have been in Hot Tuna over the past 40 years, but Jorma and Jack are the constants. Jorma is known for his Garcia-esque command of influences: old-time string bands, folk, blues, etc. all thrown together. RIYL Americana, blues, blues-rock, folk-rock.
No FCC issues. No bad tracks here—play em all. I’ve starred the ones that stand out.
1. * PR blurb says Americana, but the guitar licks, lead singing, and female backing singer all sound to me like the Keith song on a 70s Stones album. Classic bluesy rock. (4:44)
2. ** A Rev. Gary Davis song. Revival meeting under a tent. Clap your hands, give me a Hallelujah. Guitar tone set on Dobro. Good mandolin and slide guitar work. (4:50)
3. Sweet, folky ballad. Slow, gentle, lovely. Jorma’s voice & guitar are touching. (4:21)
4. The most straight ahead blues track. Includes a good blues guitar solo. (4:33)
5. * Groovy on-the-road song. A bit psychedelic. Coulda been on “Surrealistic Pillow.” Female vox sounds like Grace Slick. Best played wearing striped bell-bottoms. (4:57)
6. A Grateful-Dead-like, mid-tempo rock song. A couple good elec guitar solos. (5:07)
7. Up-tempo, 70s rocker. On-the-road, Easy Rider-ish. Propelled by rhythm on organ. (3:44)
8. *** Beautiful folk-rock ballad. Exceptional M-F duet singing. Nice string section. (4:29)
9. * Slow folk ballad. Touching reminiscences of not staying close to family. Pleasing pedal steel & mandolin solos. Very gentle, elegant bass work throughout. (4:18)
10. Another by Gary Davis. The fiddle recalls former member Papa John Creach. (4:49)
11. Homage to red-neck Southern country-rock. Skynyrd-ish guitar. Humorous lyric. (5:03)
12. ** Delightful old-time string-band instrumental. Terrific mandolin & fiddle. (3:44)