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HOT TUNA ‘Live At Sweetwater/Live At Sweetwater Two/Live In Japan’ Eagle Rock (2004)

Hot Tuna. What image do those words conjure up? A culinary delight. Or maybe some distant memory and a feeling they should mean something to you? What about the names Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady? Any the wiser?

If you are, you should probably invest in these cds. If you’re not, they’re probably worth a passing listen. But try one - any one - before shelling out your pocket money.

Hot Tuna have actually been around since the early 70’s and are better known on the other side of the pond as an offshoot of Jefferson Airplane - a project for Rock And Roll Hall of Fame veterans Kaukonen and Casady to indulge in their favourite pastime - rock, blues, folk and country.

As the titles suggest all three albums are live. And all three are remastered re-releases on Eagle Records featuring previously unreleased tracks. And what you get on all three is exemplary rock, blues, folk and country musicianship.

In the main it’s acoustic based material, beautifully recorded and you can almost ‘feel’ the atmosphere in the small venues where the recordings were made. It comes across very much as laid back musicians playing what they want to play for their own enjoyment and without a thought to commercial gain. There's some excellent stuff here.

Perhaps I’m being unkind, but after a while (there’s 47 tracks across the three albums) one track /album begins to blur with another. No doubt a fingerpickin’ bonanza, but I think probably only for those already partial to the genre.


Review by Pete Whalley

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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