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  • Keep on Truckin: The Very Best of Hot Tuna
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Keep on Truckin: The Very Best of Hot Tuna

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Audio CD, June 6, 2006
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From their days playing together as teenagers to their current acoustic and electric blues, probably no one has more consistently led American music for the last 50 years than Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the founders and continuing core members of the iconic blues-roots band Hot Tuna.

Now members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the pair began playing together while growing up in ... Read more in Amazon's Hot Tuna Store

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for 47 albums, 4 photos, videos, and 3 full streaming songs.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 6, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B003W77TZC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,203 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mike VINE VOICE on May 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
A single-disc Hot Tuna compilation is a tough proposition. England's Edsel Records tried it in 1994 with "Trimmed and Burning," a 16-track cross-section of every H.T. album except the first. "Trimmed" and the newer "Truckin'" both contain "Killing Time In The Crystal City," one of Jorma's finest acoustic blues compositions...quite possibly THE finest...of his entire career. It was inexplicably trimmed from the CD release of Hot Tuna's final "first-phase" album, the live "Double Dose," so that the album would fit on a single disc. You have to shake your head in wonder at how a decision like that could have been reached. "Crystal City" is also absent from the two-disc "Best of Hot Tuna" CD. The reality is that if you slammed the three compilations I've mentioned together and added a few bonus tracks, you'd have one mighty box set. That didn't happen, so let's return our focus to "Keep On Truckin'." You get two tracks each from "Hot Tuna," "First Pull Up," "America's Choice" and "Double Dose," three from "Burgers," and one each from the remaining three original albums. Offering Yellow Fever's "Sunrise Dance With The Devil" instead of "Bar Room Crystal Ball" (which appears on "Trimmed" and the double "Best Of") is questionable. "Crystal Ball" marked the apex of "Electric Hot Tuna" was loud, yet elegant and melodic with trademark Jorma lyrics about friends who want to help him but "they ain't got time to see which way I've fallen." "Hesitation Blues" and "Death Don't Have No Mercy," from the first album, are as essential as essential gets. I see "Keep On Truckin'" as a way to whet the appetite of novice Hot Tuna fans and a means of filling in the blanks (with "Crystal City") for the true believers.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jim Newsom on June 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Jefferson Airplane leadguitarist Kaukonen was one of the best, most distinctive of the post-Beatles guitar players. Whether finger picking acoustically or cutting through the band's increasingly dense textures with razor-toned electric licks, his singular sound defined the Airplane as surely as the loose three-part harmonies of Marty Balin, Paul Kantner and Grace Slick. His take on the traditional "Good Shepherd" on the Volunteers LP gave a clue of his arranging abilities and where his heart lay.

Kaukonen had spent his high school years in Washington, DC, where he and his best friend, Jack Casady, would haunt local blues, folk and jazz clubs. Jorma ended up in Frisco as a charter member of the Airplane and, when the band fired its original bassist, he sent for his old pal to come west.

Though the J&J twosome found immense success with this most adventurous of rock bands, they never lost their love for the rootsy music they had discovered together as teenagers. As Jefferson Airplane took off for higher heights, they began working occasionally on the side as a duo playing the acoustic blues of The Rev. Gary Davis, Jelly Roll Morton and Robert Johnson.

Their first album, recorded live at a club in Berkeley, California, came out in the spring of 1970. That first release was a stripped down affair, spotlighting Kaukonen's virtuosic acoustic finger picking and Casady's inventive contrapuntal electric bass playing. As the Airplane disbanded, Hot Tuna became more than an extracurricular hobby, expanding into a full-bore rock band with a following of its own.

The newly compiled Keep on Truckin' covers the history of Hot Tuna's various incarnations in the `70s.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Boy on March 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD
In 1970, the Jefferson Airplane was clearly suffering some major turbulence. Marty Balin had left the band in 1970, and Spencer Dryden, the group's rock steady drummer, was reportedly fired at the hands of Paul Kantner that year as well (due to him having a hand in firing manager Bill Graham). Only Jorma, Jack, Grace, and Paul remained from the classic lineup into the '70s, and replaced Dryden with Joey Covington on drums. That lineup released 'Bark,' in 1971. The group added veteran fiddler Papa John Creach and former Quicksilver Messenger Service David Freiberg as an additional lead vocalist the year later.

By 1973, the Airplane had crashed. The once ever-soaring Jefferson Airplane was no more. Paul, Grace, and David Freiberg formed Jefferson Starship; but Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen did something *completely* different. Their band, Hot Tuna, was formed in 1969, and prior to now, had simply been a side project. They released a few blues-rock (and one folk/traditional blues album in the masterful debut) albums in addition to what they were doing with the Airplane.

So when the group broke up, Kaukonen and Casady devote all of their time to the band. They added a drummer, Sammy Piazza (and eventually Bob Steeler, who replaced Piazza after he departed in 1975), and devoted their music careers to that band.

From 1969 to 1978, Hot Tuna released many fine albums (some studio, and quite a few live gems), showcasing just how talented these two Airplane veteran "pilots" really were. They knew how to jam, they had a textbook appreciation for the blues, and they knew how to create classic tunes themselves and completely reinvent standards to make them "Tunafied" (I just made that word up on the spot, not bad, right?).
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