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Those who listened amidst the acid-fueled battle cries of the Jefferson Airplane could detect lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen’s love for quieter, more traditional sounds. Quah, his 1974 solo debut, allowed him to fully express his talents as a folk, blues and gospel interpreter. By any measure, his playing here is impeccable — whether he’s launching into a delicate fingerpicking passage, bearing down on a meaty blues riff or spicing things up with some slide work, Jorma’s touch is sure and distinctively his own. Highlights here include the chiming, mystically inclined “Genesis,” the tragedy-tinged “Another Man Done Gone” and the jaunty ragtime piece “I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave.” His warm-toned vocals catch the joyful mood of tunes like the Rev. Gary Davis’ “I Am the Light of This World.” Jorma lets guest singer Tom Hobson take lead on the sultry romantic lament “Blue Prelude” and the lighthearted “Sweet Hawaiian Sunshine.” Quah invokes memories of campfire serenades and coffeehouse jams — but don’t let the laid-back ambiance mislead you: these tracks certify Kaukonen as a six-string virtuoso.


Born: 23 December 1940 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jorma Kaukonen was born and grew up in Washington, D.C., where he first turned to the guitar. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early '60s, playing backup to singer Janis Joplin in local clubs. In 1965, Kaukonen became a founding member of Jefferson Airplane, which soared to fame in 1967. Though Kaukonen's songs and vocals were not prominently featured in the band, his distinctive guitar-playing was crucial to its sound. With bassist Jack Casady, Kaukonen...
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Quah, Jorma Kaukonen
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