This was the first of a series of CD’s and videos released from a three night run at the legendary “Sweetwater” club in Mill Valley, California. The club was run by the wonderful Jeannie Pattison.
The night before Hot Tuna began recording the first show I happened to be playing blues piano as a volunteer at a SEVA benefit for Wavy Gravy at the Civic Auditorium in Berkeley, California.
Dr John and Hot Tuna were on the bill that night, and I was playing piano in the cafeteria with my head down when I got a tap on the shoulder…Jorma and Jack were standing there. I hadn’t seen either of them for years and Jorma invited me down to sit in on a song or two at the Sweetwater recording the following day.
I went down to sit in on one or two songs and ended up playing piano all three nights. I wasn’t that familiar with the material and the only space for the piano was back where the drums would usually be…it was an acoustic electric show.
I did some fast scrambling and learning chord sequences during the first half of songs, knowing full well Jorma would be giving me a solo about halfway through.
It all turned out to be tremendous fun, and we all got along so well I stayed with Hot Tuna, and sometimes the Jorma Kaukonen Trio with just Jorma, Michael Falzarano and me, for the next ten years.
Ten very happy years…Jorma’s brand of folk blues is my favorite music to play piano on…and we had some great tours of Italy. More like eating tours really. — with Jorma Kaukonen, Michael Falzarano, Jack Casady, Hot Tuna and Sweetwater.