Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hot Tuna: Bright Side Somewhere

It’s Spiritual Sunday again and I found this little gem this week while looking for some music from the band Hot Tuna. It’s a little country-blues version of Gary Davis’ song, “There’s a Bright Side Somewhere.” Mandolin aficionados will love the licks played by Barry Mitterhoff.

This tune was recorded for Minnesota Public Radio and features the current Hot Tuna lineup. When I mentioned Hot Tuna to several musically knowledgeable friends, they did not know the band. Hot Tuna was one of the many splinter groups to come out of the Jefferson Airplane/Starship. The only two original members are Jorma Kaukonen on guitar and vocals, Jack Cassidy on bass, and as previously mentioned newcomer Barry Mitterhoff on mandolin. Cassidy by the way is playing the “Jack Cassidy Bass” by Epiphone, which is a mirror image of his Gibson EB-2 that he played with the Jefferson Airplane.

I'm just wondering what kind of fiddle licks the late Papa John Creach could have added to this number. Papa John, another one of the founding members of Hot Tuna, died as a result of the Northridge Earthquake in 1994. He suffered a heart attack during the quake and the led him to develop pneumonia from which he succumbed a month later. We miss you Papa John, but "There's a Bright Side Somewhere."

This is just a happy little song that should bring a smile to face and a tear of joy to your eye. I hope you enjoy it.

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