April 22, 2011

Hot Tuna: Steady As She Goes

It's been 20 years since the last Hot Tuna studio album. Founding members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady kept the band afloat through extensive touring and went to a longish acoustic period. They have been playing together for half a century and were key members of The Jefferson Airplane, a band whose sound stood out thanks to guitarist Kaukonen's use of sustain and Casady fluid bass playing. Those two key elements are found on Steady As She Goes, twelve songs of rocking Americana.

Half to the numbers on the album are originals, most of them co-written by Kaukonen and the album's producer Larry Campbell, who also plays guitar, fiddle and organ. Long time Hot Tuna member Barry Mitterhoff add dabs of color with subdued mandolin fills, but the band's secret weapon is drummer Skoota Warner, a jazz cat with a blues rock heart, who know how to swing the band digs deep playing classic such as Goodbye To The Blues and Vicksburg Stomp. And for those who want a bit of Airplane: Teresa Williams does a fine job channeling Grace Slick.

Recorded at Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock, Hot Tuna laid down an album that is sounding fresh and warm, instantly recognizable and a worthy addition to their discography. Go see them live if you can. With a bit of luck they will send you home with an expanded version of the slow Second Changes or the funky Mourning Interrupted.

Hot Tuna::
Jorma Kaukonen: electric and acoustic guitar, vocals
Jack Casady: bass
Barry Mitterhoff: mandolin, electric and acoustic octave mandolin
Skoota Warner: drums

Hot Tuna: Steady As She Goes

Steady As She Goes is released on Red House Records.

Tracks:
  1. Angel of Darkness
  2. Children of Zion
  3. Second Chances
  4. Goodbye to the Blues
  5. A Little Faster
  6. Mourning Interrupted
  7. Easy Now Revisited
  8. Smokerise Journey
  9. Things That Might Have Been
  10. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
  11. If This is Love
  12. Vicksburg Stomp

Video: Jorma & Jack on Steady As She Goes

Live dates:

» hottuna.com

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