324

Jorma Kaukonen: River of Time

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Jorma Kaukonen: River of Time Jorma Kaukonen's revival of his partnership with Jack Casady of Hot Tuna over the last decade has also inspired him as a solo musician. The guitarist/vocalist/composer has produced the Grammy-nominated Blue Country Heart (Columbia, 2002) as well as the splendid Stars in my Crown (Red House, 2007). River of Time is an even more heartfelt and sympathetic collaboration.

The melancholy melody and heartrending lyrics of Hot Tuna's vintage "Been So Long" sets the tone for the CD in its crystal-clear acoustics. Kaukonen and producer/accompanist Larry Campbell expand upon that sound immediately with "There's A Bright Side Somewhere," a resolute statement of optimism couched in bright mandolin and simple drum work.

The blues has always been at the heart of Kaukonen's best music, even when he performed as lead guitarist for Jefferson Airplane, and its tart texture, as well as the storytelling element of the genre, surfaces in the worldly-wise "Cracks in the Finish." Campbell graces that cut with fiddle, while "Another Man Done a Full Go-Round" is an acoustic guitar duet, the jaunty gait of which reaches full flow when Kaukonen and Campbell interact.

The pace of the album becomes a full swagger on "Trouble in Mind," when the two combine with mandolinist Barry Mitterhof, a regular partner of Kaukonen's in recent years, as well as that of former The Band drummer, Levon Helm. Traditional tunes have their own intrinsic warmth, but the cozy confines of Helm's Woodstock barn studio, this recording's site of operations, solidify a truly fraternal feel to the ensemble's work.

Add "Izze's Lullaby" to the list of notable instrumentals in the Kaukonen canon, along with "Embryonic Journey" and "Water Song." A tribute to the artist's young daughter, the gentle dance of the melody and its intertwining rhythm meshes with extra strings to emphasis its tenderness. "A Walk with Friends" radiates a similar tranquility to which the title song and "Simpler Than I Thought" also allude, particularly when reinforced by Campbell's warm steel guitar.

A witty take on "More Than My Old Guitar" features Teresa Williams' sweet-toned voice, appearing even more prominently in harmony with Kaukonen on "Nashville Blues." The simplicity of such arrangements on River of Time belies their intricate musicality because the musicianship is inspired and unaffected by any grandstanding.


Track Listing: Been So Long; There's a Bright Side Somewhere; Cracks in the Finish; Another Man Done a Full Go Round; Trouble in Mind; Izze's Lulaby; More than My Old Guitar; Nashville Blues; A Walk with Friends; Operator; Preachin' on the Old Camp Ground ; River of Time; Simpler than I Thought.

Personnel: Jorma Kaukonen: guitars, vocals; Larry Campbell: guitar, baritone guitar, tenor guitar, Resophonic guitar, fiddle, dobro, mandolin, cittern, percussion; Barry Mitterhoff: mandolin, banjo, tenor guitar; Levon Helm: drums; Justin Gulp: drums; Myron Hart: bass, vocals; Lincoln Schleifer: bass, vocals; Teresa Williams: vocals.

Title: River of Time | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Red House


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Elevation" CD/LP/Track Review Elevation
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Sureste" CD/LP/Track Review Sureste
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Zanshin" CD/LP/Track Review Zanshin
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "Get 'Em" CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Wet Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Wet Paint
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 15, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.