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Jorma Kaukonen

Podcast 3

Jorma Kaukonen

steve dawson

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My guest this month is guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jorma Kaukonen. Jorma grew up in Washington, D.C., where he first turned to the guitar. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early '60s, playing backup to Janis Joplin in local clubs. In 1965, he became a founding member of Jefferson Airplane which soared to fame in 1967, and his distinctive guitar-playing was crucial to its sound with signature solos and parts in classics like "White Rabbit" and "Somebody To Love". With bassist Jack Casady, Jorma formed a spinoff duo from the group in 1970 called Hot Tuna, and this became his primary musical vehicle after the Airplane broke up in 1973. Jorma's fingerstyle guitar playing was a big part of my musical education, and introduced me to the music of Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Blake and many more. His acoustic playing in the Airplane was a real eye opener for me too, with pieces like "Embryonic Journey". He has just released a great auto-biography called "Been So Long", but I thought it would be fun to hear some of his stories coming from his own mouth, so here we go! Enjoy my conversation with Jorma Kaukonen, and please subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes!