Friday, September 23, 2011

Nine Lives: Tom Cat Blues

Jorma Kaukonen: Tom Cat Blues (orig. Jelly Roll Morton)


No, it's not a cover of Tom Scott title cut Tom Cat - it's a cover of a Jelly Roll Morton tune from singer-songwriter Jorma Kaukonen.

Though he once made his name on the electric scream of the sixties, the Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna alum has become a well-deserved staple of the modern contemporary acoustic set in his old age thanks to a mellow, fatherly voice, a campfire wizard's hands on the strings, and a penchant for Piedmont style acoustic blues fingerpicking.

His transformation of Morton's ragtime protojazz, off 2002 roots radio chart-topper Blue Country Heart, features fellow heavyweights Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas on Mando and dobro, respectively; the track, like the rest of the album from which it springs, is effortless and epic, proving that the man's still got the stuff. Kudos, Kaukonen.

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