Jorma Kaukonen, who has been dazzling finger-picking guitar fans at least since his founding stints with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, turns in a customary album on his Columbia debut.

Jorma Kaukonen, who has been dazzling finger-picking guitar fans at least since his founding stints with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, turns in a customary album on his Columbia debut. As the title suggests, he's pickin' in the country way, nobly assisted by bluegrass heavies Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas on dobro, and Byron House on upright bass; Bela Fleck guests on key cuts "Bread Line Blues" and "Just Because," the latter chestnut marked by his breathtaking back-and-forth banjo/ dobro duel with Douglas. The rest of the set also delves into the rural music of the 1920s and '30s, with Kaukonen's good-natured vocals riding easy on masterful rendings of vintage fare like Jimmy Davis' "Red River Blues" and Jimmie Rodgers' "Waiting for a Train." Noteworthy, too, is the disc's direct-stream digital Super Audio CD production, which serves to bring the down-home sound even more upfront.—JB