Turn On and Tuna In

Written by Cara Buchanan Category: Arts Issue: July 2012


Fans of Hot Tuna may wrangle grandchildren and hit the driving range in the here-and-now, but in the 1960s, it was all about hippies and free love, baby. Times have changed for Hot Tuna, too, but not their passion for guitar-based folkery. As members of Jefferson Airplane in the ’60s, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady sandwiched Hot Tuna performances between Airplane gigs and spun-off on their own in the ’70s. Over the years, the duo tweaked their sound to include blues, bluegrass and spacey folk jams, but lost none of their brio.

The current tour features guest Barry Mitterhof performing on the banjo, ukulele, and mandolins. They’ll be playing classics and songs from their new album, Steady As She Goes.

“Rock and roll volume is important, but acoustic shows evoke the audience into a physical interaction,” Kaukonen says.

Hot Tuna hits the stage July 25 at 7:30 pm. at Mesa Arts Center. Tickets start at $41.50. For more information, visit mesaartscenter.com.