Marty Balin/Comin’ Back to Me


A beautiful rendition of the Jefferson Airplane folk rock song, “Comin’ Back to Me” from the Surrealistic Pillow album, written by the late Marty Balin.

Marty performing with his band at Jorma’s place in Pomeroy, Ohio 2014.

He goes to prepare a place for us.

Comin’ Back to Me

The summer had inhaled and held its breath too long
The winter looked the same, as if it never had gone
And through an open window where no curtain hung
I saw you
I saw you
Comin’ back to me

One begins to read between the pages of a book
The shape of sleepy music, and suddenly you’re hooked
Through the rain upon the trees, the kisses on the run
I saw you
I saw you
Comin’ back to me

You came to stay and live my way
Scatter my love like leaves in the wind
You always say you won’t go away
But I know what it always has been
It always has been

A transparent dream beneath an occasional sigh
Most of the time I just let it go by
Now I wish it hadn’t begun
I saw you, yes, I saw you
Comin’ back to me

Strolling the hills overlooking the shore
I realized I’ve been there before
The shadow in the mist could have been anyone
I saw you
I saw you
Comin’ back to me

Small things like reasons are put in a jar
Whatever happened to wishes wished upon a star?
Was it just something that I made up for fun?
I saw you, I saw you comin’ back to me

Songwriter: Marty Balin

Comin’ Back to Me Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

 



Been So Long: My Life and Music – Jorma Kaukonen

Jorma Kaukonen is the consummate journeyman. He tours constantly with Hot Tuna and on his own. I am both amazed and thankful for the schedule he keeps at 77.

Somehow between the concerts, guitar teaching, Fur Peace Ranch, and the responsibilities of being husband and father he found time to write his memoirs. No moss grows on him.

Been_So_Long_cover_art_728x11061

His words about achieving this accomplishment strike deep inside this verbal expressive.

“There are those who talk about writing books and those who actually do it”

This is a must-have book for your music book collection. Especially since Grace Slick wrote the foreword and Jack Casady authored the afterword. Fly Jefferson Airplane I always say.

Bravo Jorma! Long may you strum…

Been So Long: My Life and Music is available now for pre-order via Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It will be available on Aug. 28, 2018.

Review Posted on Goodreads on 9/19/2018

Been So Long: My Life and MusicBeen So Long: My Life and Music by Jorma Kaukonen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I liked hearing directly from Jorma Kaukonen. His words were very personal and revealing. I came away from the book with a better appreciation of who Jorma Kaukonen really is as a person and a musician. His challenges were shared in an honest fashion. As they say, the truth will set you free.

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Jorma Kaukonen and Barry Mitterhoff Concert

Acoustic Duet
Jorma Kaukonen and Barry Mitterhoff
Stage One – Fairfield, Connecticut
Saturday, March 14, 2015

We saw Jorma Kaukonen and Barry Mitterhoff perform a warmly inviting acoustic concert at the Fairfield Theater Company last night. It was amazing sitting no more than 15 feet away as Jorma and Barry got into their zone. These accomplished musicians played period Americana music I grew fonder of as the night progressed.

I loved witnessing their interplay. Jorma plays fantastic guitar augmented by  reassuring vocals. His mastery of the guitar helped to gain a deeper appreciation for the guitar workshops he leads at the Fur Peace Ranch in Pomeroy, Ohio.

Barry Mitterhoff complemented Jorma smartly. I marvelled at his command of the mandolin among other instruments he played. It was like watching a hummingbird’s wings evoke crystal integrity. Barry portrayed the patience of Job as he waved his soft, magical touch over twelve strings.

The high part of the evening was “Good Shepherd” which they played extended going off into “Volunteers of America” for a spell as they eased back to “Good Shepherd”.

First Set:
1. Dime For Beer
2. I See The Light
3. Heart Temporary
4. Hesitation Blues
5. Ain’t In No Hurry
6. How Long Blues
7. Where There’s Two There’s Trouble
8. River Of Time
9. Barbeque King
10. I’ll Be All Right Some Day
11. The Other Side Of The Mountain
Second Set:
1. Suffer Little Children to Come Unto Me
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
3. The Terrible Operation
4. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
5. Candy Man
6. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
7. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
8. Come Back Baby
9. Good Shepherd
10. Bar Room Crystal Ball
11. Water Song
12. I Know You Rider
13. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Jorma Kaukonen – Ain’t In No Hurry

Jorma Kaukonen is one heck of a guitar picker. I love his solo albums intently along with the Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane classics he has performed on these many decades.

Jorma and Red House Records announced today that there will be a new solo album releasing on February 17th, Ain’t In No Hurry.

As you can see Jorma is pictured with motorcycles which he loves to ride. I noticed  that his image is caught in the reflector mirror. What an amazing career Jorma Kaukonen has to reflect and look back upon.

I am eager to hear more from Jorma and fellow musicians when this recording hits market. I noticed his Spring tour is coming close to where I live on March 14, 2015 at Stage One in Fairfield, Ct. I hope we get some tickets to see him play that evening.It’s been awhile since we have heard some live music and who better than Jorma Kaukonen and Barry Mitterhoff in concert.

Good Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want. – Psalm 23:1

A song came to me during the 7:30 a.m. Mass this morning, the Fourth Sunday of Easter. I kept hearing “Good Shepherd” as a hymn. Considering there is no music at this mass that proved even more special. The song was written and sung by Jorma Kaukonen. I welcomed it with a deep resonance inside the music of our heart.

One for Paul
One for Silas
One for to make my heart rejoice
Can’t you hear my lambs a callin’
Oh good shepherd
Feed my sheep

Songwriter: Kaukonen, Jorma L. Jr.
Good Shepherd Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing

 

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Record Store Day 2014 Update

PrintRecord Store Day 2014, Saturday April 19th is 45 days away. Various record companies and their respective artists have begun to publish their Record Store Day exclusives offer collectors. There isn’t a Record Store Day 2014 master list yet but I expect one soon.

I take the opportunity ahead of the master list publication to highlight some special vinyl collectibles of interest. The challenge of participating in this event boil down to product availability that day.

I have yet to determine where I will spend Record Store Day 2014 shopping. My present inclination is to head to Brooklyn NY where I saw the largest display for RSD Black Friday 2013 at Rough Trade NYC, in Williamsburg.

Here are just a few of the specialty releases I am looking to own.

Official Release Series Discs 5-8 Vinyl Box Set

Fans will need to purchase Time Fades Away as part of Young’s Official Release Series Discs 5-8 Vinyl Box Set, which also includes On the BeachTonight’s the Night and Zuma. Only 3,500 of the box sets will be released.

 

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Reverend Gary Davis, Ragtime Guitar

Dave Van Ronk was quite the musicologist. His book, The Mayor of MacDougal Streetinforms and educates us in-depth about the late 50’s and early 6o’s blues and folk music of the Village. He takes great delight in sharing the time he spent influenced by the Reverend Gary Davis.

Rev. Gary Davis was renowned for his ragtime guitar method.  He offered guitar lessons at his New York apartment. Dave Van Ronk was one of his students who carried on the ragtime guitar tradition.

Roy Book Binder was another student of Rev. Gary Davis. Listen to his stories about the impact that Rev. Gary Davis has had on his blues career.

Rev. Gary Davis had a major influence on Hot Tuna and Jorma Kaukonen.  Jorma and Jack have played Rev. Gary Davis’s body of work for decades. He does his blues style incredible justice.

Here is my favorite Rev. Gary Davis song  by his student Jorma Kaukonen, “I Am The Light of This World” from Quah

I hope you will seek to learn more about the life and music of Rev. Gary Davis. I suggest visiting a great fan site dedicated to the blues legend, http://reverendgarydavis.com/index.htm

This YouTube video was filmed for his Folk Alliance International Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY Plans Triumphant 2012 Return, Part II

This blog post is about The Capitol Theater resurgence in Portchester, New York.

The San Francisco Scene on the East Coast

When I look back on the concerts I attended at The Capitol Theater I was thankful to see the psychedelic sounds of San Francisco were well represented.

the cap

Our first concert at The Capitol featured Santana and John Lee Hooker at the late show on Friday June 12, 1970. We bought the tickets late and got seated in the balcony. You had a great seat no matter where you sat as the vantage points were all conducive for the stage. John Lee Hooker opened for Santana. I am embarrassed to say that I wasn’t a patient concert goer like I am today. We were rude to the great bluesmen and kept shouting for Santana. I regret my actions that night and wish I treasured John Lee Hooker’s set more than I did. It turns out that was the only time I got to see him play.

When he came back out for an encore we groaned but let me tell you this, he schooled us that night. He did a rendition of “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer” that included the boogie blues beat that enthralled me. He turned me around with that number and I was cheering for him when he left the stage. Little did I realize how much Carlos Santana respected John Lee Hooker until years later when they recorded The Healer together.

Santana ripped the roof off The Capitol that evening. I recall they were bathed in a warm red light most of the night. I owned the first album Santana and played it all the time on my hi-fi system. Their percussive sound formed a rhythmic beat that kept us dancing out of our seats.

I didn’t see Santana in concert again until 2002, 32 years later. I have seen them live 15 times since the first show in Portchester. They are my favorite band and I have every one of the Santana recordings in my music library. 42 years of music and still going strong, Viva Santana.

The next concert by a band from San Francisco was our first concert by The Grateful Dead on November 7, 1970. I was sitting in the balcony the night of the Santana show when the sound system started playing Workingman’s Dead. The announcer stated that The Grateful Dead would be playing a bunch of dates at The Capitol in November. I ran right downstairs to the lobby box office and purchased our tickets for the third row.

Seeing The Grateful Dead and the New Riders of the Purple Sage that close was a pretty awesome deal. NRPS featured Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar. Jerry played right in front of us and he was spectacular on pedal steel guitar. He loved playing that instrument. He smiled throughout the entire NRPS set. I was especially taken with the vocals by John “Marmaduke” Dawson on “Last Lonely Eagle”.

The Grateful Dead played from 9:00 pm until 4 am the next morning, which was an incredible feat. I loved the energy the band gave off and how cosmic it all felt. You could tell they loved playing The Capitol. I loved the people twirling in the lobby and how happy everyone was to be there. I am glad this show was taped and I can play it often to relive the experience.

The following week Jefferson Airplane pulled into town. We attended the late show on November 13, 1970 which featured Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna and E Pluribus Unum. I was excited to catch Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick on vocals, along with Marty Balin. They were a powerful combination with Jorma and Jack playing behind them. The JA set was a classic music choice of their catalogue. Hot Tuna was a surprise that night and they also featured Papa John Creach on fiddle.

We would see Hot Tuna again January 20, 1971 on a cold winters night. They headlined for a bill that featured Big Brother and the Holding Company and John Hammond. The funniest part of that show was that there were so few people in The Capitol due to the snow storm that we were invited to stay for the second show, which we did. The guy behind us tried to get an encore from Hot Tuna but Jack Cassady just told him come to the second show, its free 😉

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Hot Tuna Sets the Course Steady As She Goes

I love how Hot Tuna keeps on trucking. They released last month, Steady As She Goes, their first studio recording in over 20 years.  It is a stellar recording which captures and expands the Electric Hot Tuna sound I’ve come to relish and witness all these years 🙂

I’ve been playing Steady As She Goes through the DELL PC and the Bose Sound Dock . Microsoft Zune supplies the Hot Tuna recording as a Windows Media Audio file, 192kbps which is equal to Audio CD output level. I’ve resisted the urge to buy the digital download for the car as I am waiting on the deluxe edition 2-lp vinyl+ release sometime in May? This edition is mastered at half-speed and pressed on 180 gram HQ. I’m always a sucker for “deluxe editions”. This specialty package includes new artwork, which I love to hold and look at, plus a full CD of the album. It also has a temporary tattoo which I think is very cool 😉 Maybe the Fur Peace Ranch Store will sell them separately so I can wear this tattoo to their next concert (hint, hint).

There ain’t a clunker or uneven track on Steady As She Goes, all twelve tracks cook. I think it was an incredibly smart move of Jorma, Jack and company to head up to Woodstock, NY and record at Levon Helm‘s studio. They achieved a warm, engaging sound there. Larry Campbell‘s production ability continues to amaze and impress me. His co-operation with Hot Tuna is very clear throughout the recording. I hear his fiddle and guitar on various tracks.

What can I say about Jorma and Jack, I have dug their interplay ever since JA. I am gaining a strong appreciation for the contributions that Barry Mitterhoff (mandolin and many more instruments…) and Skoota Warner (drums) make as they enhance and extend Hot Tuna’s electric sound.

Hot Tuna

I especially love the vocals by Teresa Williams (she’s married to Larry Campbell) she asserts herself well. Teresa’s voice is a fresh dimension to Hot Tuna’s sound. She has a gutsy blues sound which counter balances Jorma’s vocals with distinction. Electric Hot Tuna growing into a virtual quintet is a cool prospect. I don’t feel compelled to compare Teresa Williams to Grace Slick at all. To my ears they are each unique vocalists, I love how each of them sings and emotes, personally I don’t think its fair to make such a comparison to either of them.

Congratulations to Hot Tuna and Red House Records you have a solid hit on your hands here. Job well done all!