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Hot Tuna: “Hesitation Blues”


It’s ironic that a band that started as an informal side project from two of the pillars of The Jefferson Airplane — Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady — has outlasted the band and its various reincarnations by decades.

The above video of Hesitation Blues, which was written by Rev. Gary Davis, is virtually identical to the version of Hesitation Blues on Hot Tuna’s 1970 debut album, except that the latter version was live. Players have filtered in and out over the years and the style toggles between folk and rock, but Hot Tuna — and the two main players — endures.

Here is Candyman, another Davis tune. The last few seconds features some history from Kaukonen and Casady. A deeper history and information on the current tour is here.

More Hot Tuna on Monday afternoon.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.