99 Year Blues
Keep on Truckin'
Ode for Billy Dean
Let's Get Together Right Down Here
Sunny Day Strut
Hot Tuna fry up some tasty folk tunes and salt them with acid-rock accents on Burgers (1972), the group’s third album. With ace violinist Papa John Creach spurring them on, Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady come closer to achieving their vision of fusing old-time string-band music with Bay Area-style psychedelic rock. A spirit of freewheeling fun pervades most of these tracks, along with a certain crunchy-granola hippie vibe. The casual virtuosity of Kaukonen’s acoustic fingerpicking makes such songs as “99 Year Blues,” “Keep On Truckin’,” and the sparkling instrumental “Water Song” a delight to hear. Casady’s deft counter-melodies and fat (yet supple) tone add definition to ensemble showcases like “True Religion” and “Highway Song.” Throughout, Creach unleashes some of the hottest fiddle licks this side of Stephane Grappelli, wailing or murmuring as the track demands. Burgers is worth hearing in its entirety for its nonchalant gusto and sure grasp of American musical traditions.