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Watching him play can stop time.
The term ‘guitar hero’ doesn’t usually conjure up an image of professorial dignity the likes of which Jorma Kaukonen radiated as he took the stage at Higher Ground April 2nd, but if this burly, gray-haired musician proved anything to the rowdy but reverent standing-room-only audience, it’s that he’s redefining the concept: his was a virtuoso performance that never fell prey to mere technique.
In a career that has already spanned a half-century, Jorma Kaukonen has been one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and Americana and at the forefront of popular rock and roll. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy nominee, he is a founding member of two legendary bands, Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna. Kaukonen’s repertoire goes far beyond his involvement in creating psychedelic rock; he is a music legend and one of the finest singer-songwriters in music.
In addition to his work with Hot Tuna, Kaukonen has recorded more than a dozen solo albums on major labels, beginning with 1974’s Quah and continuing with his recent acoustic releases on Red House Records—2007’s Stars in My Crown and River of Time, produced by Larry Campbell and featuring Levon Helm.