C. J. Walsh
Jorma Kaukonen with John Hurlbut
Ridgefield Playhouse outdoor tent – Ridgefield, Connecticut
July 18, 2021 Second Show
View: 2nd Row
You could look at Jefferson Airplane as an old and noble, yet dysfunctional family. Jorma Kaukonen would be the son who left early on, only returning occasionally and on his own terms. His acoustic set mirrored his influences and lengthy career: Good Shepherd from his Airplane days, on to Blind Willie Johnson’s Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning and Bob Dylan’s Chimes Of Freedom. Tight renditions of New Song and Sleep Song came from his time in Hot Tuna.
Halfway through the set John Hurlbut takes over on second guitar and vocals, allowing Jorma to play lead. Hurlbut’s voice is well-suited for Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin’ and Woody Guthrie’s Oklahoma Hills. All told, two seasoned troubadours barely amplified, knocking out authentic folk and blues in a tent.
Though Jorma’s eighty, his wit is still sharp – Woman in the crowd, “I love you, Jorma!” He shot right back, “Yeah? Wait’ll you get to know me.”
Published in Record Collector Magazine Oct. 2021