Jorma Kaukonen's new SACD, BLUE COUNTRY HEART, is recorded in DSD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rachael B, Jul 25, 2002.

  1. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Alot of you may, or may not, remember Jorma from the Jefferson Flying Object (Airplane or Starship) as the lead guitarist. Others may remember him as the main cog in Hot Tuna. He's back with an album of old fashioned country songs, BLUE COUNTRY HEART. The album sounds really authentic right down to the Gibson 1936 Advanced Jumbo Acoustic Guitar that Jorma uses for this outing. There are no drums, I said authenic.

    Jorma and some session men I'm not familar with pick up a storm. Bela Fleck brings his banjo for two cuts JUST BECAUSE and BREAD LINE BLUES. Most of the songs are obscure and old as the hills but nearly everybody will recognize a few of the cuts like WAITING FOR A TRAIN, JUST BECAUSE, and RED RIVER BLUES.

    I hardly buy any Sony SACD's because I much prefer the hybrid discs that other labels are issuing. I nearly passed on this one but I'm glad I didn't. I thought back to how entertained I was by Hot Tuna and decided I needed a new dose of Jorma. The album has both stero and multi-channel mixes and sounds good either way. The 5.1 mix has no gimmickry, just ambient sides. The session was recorded in DSD and I would suggest that this is a refernce quality recording. It sounds flawless to me.

    If you'ins likes doughbro, bandjoe, mandolynn, and getitar pickin', it don't get much better than this. If you like's old timey country music this is the album to get.
     
  2. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    As a big Jorma fan, and Hot Tuna (who are still a working unit as just Jack and Jorma solo acoustic lately), I have both the CD and SACD.

    I love this album, but that is a bias. I also just caught Jorma opening up for Phil and Friends at the PNC Bank Arts Center in NJ. So you would think that I would also state that the new Jorma SACD is reference quality. It is good, but it has it's flaws.

    First - and maybe this is a function of other parts of my system, but the vocals sound a little "hot" and a bit harsh for a straight DSD recording. On the other hand, the instrumentation is clean and clear - and the bass astounds.

    Yet, and not that I think this is that big a deal (as some over on Audio Asylum), the album was recorded live without overdubs, but everything is very close mic'ed - so you lose alot of the "live" in the studio feel.

    I love Jorma's music and other than the Grateful Dead and it's offshoots, I have seen Jorma, Hot Tuna, etc. alot.

    Now only if Jorma would take Jack into the studio and record a new Hot Tuna album on DSD - that would be something.
     
  3. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    This is great news, Rachael, thanks!
    I have read some mixed reviews about the disc sound quality, but I would find that hard to believe unless the mike placement was poor. I will likely try it anyway, but value your opinion of it a reference quality effort.
    Thanks again...[​IMG]
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Lee, Michael thinks the vocals are lesser. I don't worry about Jorma's voice much it has it's limitations. The instruments just sound grand to me. I can't find anything to dislike about this album other than it's not a hybrid, of course! Best wishes!
     
  5. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the heads up on this. I'm spoiled by hybrids now too, but I don't mind picking up good sounding musicians on SACD.
     
  6. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    They actually played a cut from the album at the NYC show at the end of May. It sounded excellent at the Sony demo in a 777ES player with identical Eggleston speakers each driven by Manley's 25OW monoblocks with top of the line Transparent Cable.
     
  7. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  8. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I've met Jorma before.

    And I first saw Jefferson Airplane (no "the" preceding the band's name) in 1968. Jorma is a terrific guitarist.
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I saw Derek Trucks play when he was 15 in a club here in Knoxville. He was quite good then. He gets a couple of turns on the very underated, or atleast very underheard SACD by Junior Wells, COME ON IN THIS HOUSE. I wish I could see Jorma play in person. He and Grace Slick were MIA's when I saw the Almost Jefferson Starship revival tour a few years back.
     
  11. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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  12. Joe Cole

    Joe Cole Second Unit

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    I once saw the airplane in DC('70) without Slick and Kanter. They were giving birth to god at the time. It is true, their son's name was god at birth. They did dry out long enough to come to their senses and change his name. god was on the cover of one of their albumns, naked and new born.

    The band without them was called Hot Tuna. They did not really miss the duo much. I did see the true Hot Tuna the next year.

    I find this disk to be very good sounding. The 5.1 mix is very good, one of the best I own. No gimmicks, just a good sense of the recording studio and placement of the instruments. Jorma's voice sounds fine to me(relatively speaking).

    And Jerry Douglas sure does pick a mean dobro. And he gets around. From Krause to Jorma to the Flecktones.
     
  13. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Joe, was that baby God on the cover of the SUNFIGHTER album? Is my memory good, is that the one? When I saw the Flying Object a few years back, Grace had just gotten into trouble, drunken with a shotgun. Remember that skeetin' incident? [​IMG] Kantner and Balin were good at my concert but it was sort'a incomplete....
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    From the moment I first spun Jorma's instrumental solo from Jefferson Airplane's 1967 classic Surrealistic Pillow, "Embryonic Journey," I knew this guy was exceptional on the frets. Amazing, natural guitarist. And, damn, I bought Surrealistic Pillow when it first came out. (Hell, I purchased Jefferson Airplane Takes Off when it first came out--when singer Signe Tolle Anderson was in the band, along with Skip Spence on drums. The band was a "folk rock" act during the time of its first album, morphing into "acid rock" by the second LP.)

    I really loved the band. And Kaukonen and Cassidy are amazing together.

    Joe, I believe Paul Kantner and Gracie renamed their daughter "China." I think the name "god" was a joke at the time.
     
  15. Joe Cole

    Joe Cole Second Unit

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    Rachael,

    Yes that was the album with the baby flying. It was a boy so maybe it was not 'god' but some other child. Even though it was 32 years ago I pretty sure the story was that it was their child.

    I'd kinda like to hear Surrealistic Pillow on SACD. For some unknown reason I am looking forward to December's Children and Between the Buttons by the Stones on SACD. Simple music, played clearly with interesting vocals......

    Jorma certainly can play guitar but don't you think Douglas plays a mean dobro? They go well together.
     
  16. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Joe, Douglas' dobro playing is very good, indeed! I like Bela Fleck's banjo on JUST BECAUSE too. It's hard to get me to listen to alot of country or bluegrass music because you can overdose on it real quick livin' around here....in Tanasee. This album has made my exception list! I like exceptional music in any genre except heavy metal.
    My favorite Flying Object albums are the original STARSHIP album and Kantner's BARON VON TOLLBOOTH AND THE BALLAD OF THE CHROME NUN. I'd love to have the original Hot Tuna album with the bonus cuts on SACD too.
    I'm gonna buy one or two of the ancient Stones albums myself. I'm not sure which ones...? I want a Creedence album or two also. I hope the one with I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE is in the lot. I love their version! I'm more intrested in jazz these dayz but I can backtrack some.
    Jack, you're lucky to have seen the Flying Object in it's prime. They hardly ventured into the south.[​IMG] I had to make due with the Allman Brothers and Wet Willie. I used to go to New York fairly regularly. I never got lucky about finding the Flying Object there either. I did get lucky and catch some other Kalafornie bands up there though, Love, Dead, Quicksilver...come to mind.
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Not to make you jealous, but I caught 'em all. Right place, right time. (Caught the reinvented thing back in 1989 here at the Greek Theatre--best to leave some things to memory! But it was a pleasant night, under the stars, and so on.)
     
  18. Tom McDonald

    Tom McDonald Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Guy's just saw Jorma and Blue Country on Saturday night here in Rochester and the show was terrific. They started at about ten played 2 sets and finished at about 1:30, Peter Rowen was one of the other players and I'm sorry to say I cant remember who the girl was Cindy something. They did a 20 minute version of Good Sheppard that was worth the price of admission, go see them if you get the chance, BIG THUMBS UP
     

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