Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Hot Tuna - Yellow Fever (1975 us, essential hard bluesy rock with noisy guitar, 2012 Audiophile Vinyl replica remaster)

Yellow Fever is about as good as Hot Tuna gets, an LP that lies schematically somewhere between their earlier acoustic work, which was folk-influenced, good-time music, and the live-wired, guitar/bass dialogues of later albums. 

Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me to Do" and a delightful reworking of another folk blues classic, "Hot Jelly Roll Blues", are covers, the rest of the tracks are originals, the best of which ("Song for the Fire Maiden," "Bar Room Crystal Ball") neatly combine Hot Tuna's greatest strengths: Jorma Kakounen's unselfconscious, entertaining vocals and his knife-edged guitar work, and Jack Casady's sensitive, expertly woven bass lines.

As an entity unto itself, Hot Tuna is a relaxing little group. But when I hear the breath-taking finale to "Somebody to Love" or the solo in "Volunteers," I realize that each successive Hot Tuna album simply marks time for two gifted musicians who said it a lot more interestingly the first time around.
by Billy Altman

1. Baby What You Want Me to Do (Jimmy Reed) - 6:42
2. Hot Jelly Roll Blues (George Carter) - 4:21
3. Free Rein (Jorma Kaukonen, Paul Ziegler) - 4:14
4. Sunrise Dance with the Devil (Jorma Kaukonen) - 4:28
5. Song for the Fire Maiden (Jorma Kaukonen, Greg Douglass) - 4:16
6. Bar Room Crystal Ball (Jorma Kaukonen) -6:52
7. Half/Time Saturation (Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Bob Steeler) - 4:45
8. Surphase Tension (Jorma Kaukonen) - 3:58

Hot Tuna 
*Jorma Kaukonen – Vocals, Guitars
*Jack Casady – Bass
*Bob Steeler – Drums

1976  Hot Tuna - Hoppkorv (2012 audiophile Vinyl replica)
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