Hot Tuna - Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL 3/9/12 (early show)
This was an acoustic performance by Hot Tuna, and what a show it was! The band appeared as a trio, and played flawlessly to a sold out crowd. As good as the electric Hot Tuna is, it's the acoustic shows that truly show what a great instrumentalists they are. They are well seasoned players, but it appears they are still very much into their instruments, and the level of commitment is impressive.
Hot Tuna played their brand of rock, folk, blues, and even blue grass, and the crowd just ate it up. It was a very intimate and relaxed performance with plenty of humor thrown in between. The band was enjoying themselves, and having fun. Not afraid of having a joke at their own expense, but it was all in the good taste. The audience was just as concentrated as the performers, listening attentively, and often applauding certain notes they were impressed with. This was a very respectful crowd, combined mostly of well seasoned Hot Tuna fans, and the fans of great acoustic music.
Hot Tuna sounded very organic, much like the tea they were selling at their merchandise booth. The band sounded crystal clear, did not play overly loud, and the crowd caught every note. In the age, where music is manufactured by computers and studio effects, it was refreshing to hear a stripped-down band playing live from their gut, and meaning every note they play.
Jorma Kaukonen's guitar skills are legendary. This evening was no exception. He delivered some fantastic guitar, and sang the songs in a very laid back manner. Bassist, Jack Casady, provided a solid rhythm, and appeared to have a lot of fun throwing in all sorts of licks. The band was rounded up by, Barry Mitterhoff, on mandolin, and sometimes second acoustic. This trio sounded tasty and powerful, but in the most gentle manner!
Even as the acoustic ensemble, the band promoted Hot Tuna's latest, "Steady As She Goes," album by playing a number of tracks off it. It's an excellent album, and needs to be heard! The new songs jelled great with already established Tuna classic. And it's great to see a band moving forward, even at such advanced stage. The music should never stop, and this evening was very reflective of that statement!
Hot Tuna's set proved how timeless their music is, and how a band can sound just as powerful armed only with acoustic guitars. Legendary performers who live and play for today! As one of the t-shirts stated "if you don't know Jorma, you don't know Jack." Thumbs up all the way!