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Hot Tuna at the Sherman Theatre - by Monica Weiss-Nolen
After 60 years of playing together, Jorma and Jack know each other so well that they anticipate each other like an old married couple. In my opinion they are 2 of the top guitarists and bass players of all time. They alternated between acoustic and electric with a nice mix of old and new. Jack's still spry enough to jump up on the drum set and let the bass rip. His timeless bass lines and percussive playing grounded the whole set. They have a lot more energy than their contemporaries and are still writing new songs and breathing new life into old ones.

I first saw Jorma at a dive on 2nd St. in Philly called the Khyber Pass in 1980. I was hooked, even though he was too drunk to finish the show. Even after all these years, it's obvious they're still having fun, and in fine form for the fourth show of the 2013 tour.

They started with I See the Light, which led into Hesitation blues, featuring an awesome mandolin solo! Also included in the first set were Ode to Billy Dean, Can't Get Satisfied. Funky mandolin and bass solos accentuated The 99 Years Blues.

The last song in first set was "I Wish You Would" by Billy Thornton, which Jorma Learned from John Hammond, accentuated by Barry jamming on the electric mandolin. After introducing the band, Jorma gave a nod to his brother in the audience.

The second set started off mellow with several songs from the new CD, recorded in Leon helms studio. Mama Let me Lay It on You led it off. After Goodbye to the Blues, they switched back to electric with Mourning Interrupted.

Jack opened the next piece with a down and dirty bass solo on a smokin Bowlegged woman. Then back to acoustic with True religion and Good shepherd. Barry added some sweet bluegrass twists on his mandolin. Then they went all out on an electric version of Rock Me Baby and Funky #7 with a wailing electric mandolin and some mesmerizing jams. Jack was jumping all over like a 20 yr old rock star, forgetting he was in his 70's. They closed with "Hit Single #1" as the encore. All in all, Hot Tuna still put on a humdinger of a show, one of the best I've ever seen.


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