The above headline above may seem to belong in the late 1960s or early ’70s, but on Sunday night (5 March) at the famed San Francisco venue, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady rolled back the years with an electric performance by the time-honoured Jefferson Airplane “spinoff” Hot Tuna. (Main photo: Barry Berenson).
Joined by drummer Justin Guip, the show was the only “plugged in” date on the blues-rock band’s west coast tour, but they will return to the electric format for two New York performances in April. Kaukonen and Casady, who have been playing together since the late 1950s and were members of Airplane from 1966 onwards, first worked together under the Hot Tuna name during a break in the activity of the psychedelic rock figurheads in 1969. They recorded no fewer than eight studio albums during the ’70s and several more thereafter, the most recent being 2011’s Steady As She Goes.
“Needless to say,” Kaukonen told a packed Fillmore audience, “it’s a pleasure and an honour for us to be back here in San Francisco playing for you guys in this hallowed ground here at the Fillmore.” The band’s set included favourites from many of their albums as well as the title track from Airplane’s vintage 1969 album Volunteers.
After their New York shows, Hot Tuna will join the Tedeschi Trucks Band throughout July on the third instalment of the TTB’s Wheels Of Soul tour, which also features the Wood Brothers. “Tedeschi Trucks is arguably one of the greatest bands in the world today,” says Kaukonen. “It is an honour for me and my Hot Tuna brothers to be part of this great tour.”