Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna founding member Jorma Kaukonen is planning to record an album of classic country material. “What we’re talking about is an album of me doing period material from the late 1920s, 1930s and 1940s written by people like Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmy Davis and Gene Autry,” he said in a statement. The as-yet-untitled set will be his first under a new multi-album solo deal with Sony’s Columbia Records and is targeted for a mid-June release, according to a label spokesperson.
The distinctive guitarist won’t be going it alone with this ambitious project, as he’s assembling a list of well-known, pedigreed bluegrass musicians to fulfill his vision. “Besides me, the band will include Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas playing dobro, and Byron House playing bass,” he added. “Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about recording with these guys.”
Kaukonen also plans to record the album live in the studio, without overdubs or electronic and digital tricks. “I’m thrilled about doing it that way as opposed to the brick-by-brick approach that is usually followed in the studio,” he noted. “It allows us a lot of spontaneity and with a lineup of musicians of this caliber, it should be a lot of fun.”
In the midst of recording, Acoustic Hot Tuna (the duo of Kaukonen and fellow Airplane and Hot Tuna co-founder, bassist Jack Casady) has a Feb. 23 show planned at Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch, the guitar camp Jorma and his wife Vanessa founded in Pomeroy, Ohio, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Kaukonen is also scheduled to perform at the camp on several other dates this year, with and without Casady, as well as with guest such as Chris Smither, Michael Falzarano, G.E. Smith, and Merl Saunders. A summer tour is planned in support of the new album.
For more information on the camp, as well as all of the planned concerts, visit its official Web site.