Stars In My Crown (2007)
|Artist: Jorma Kaukonen|
|Continuing the journey through American roots music he started in the early 1960's, Jorma cooks up a tasty collection of down-home blues, bluegrass, folk, country gospel and reggae. Stars In My Crown was recorded in Nashville and is rooted in classic Americana, flavored with a laid-back bluesy feel.
With fresh takes on soul-searching spirituals and many original compositions, the new record is vastly more personal than previous recordings, as evidenced by the self-penned "Heart Temporary," "A Life Well Lived," and "Living In The Moment." The album reveals Kaukonen's increasingly reflective outlook as the success of his Fur Peace Guitar Ranch and his full and varied life of music and family leads him to ask on the liner notes "Who would have thought that life would be this good?"
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: Jorma Kaukonen (acoustic guitar); Todd Suttles, Byron House (bass voice); Ed Gerhard, Tim Stafford (acoustic guitar); Greg Leisz (electric guitar); Fats Kaplin (pedal steel guitar); Rob Ickes (resonator guitar); Barry Mitterhoff, Jason Burleson (banjo); Shawn Lane (mandolin); Connie Ellisor, Andrea Zonn, Mary Kathryn Van Osdale, Pamela Sixfin, David Angell (violin); James Grosjean, Chris Farrell, Kristin Wilkinson, Monisa Angell (viola); Kirsten Cassel, Kristin Cassel, John Catchings (cello); Kirk "Jelly Roll" Johnson (harmonica); Jim Hoke (soprano saxophone); Reese Wynans (piano); Phil Madeira (Hammond b-3 organ); Chris Brown (drums); Fred Eltringham (cowbells); Henry House, Lily Mitterhoff, Maya Mitterhoff, Tessa Mitterhoff, Truman House, Shirley Settles, Gale West, Ann McCrary, Sally Van Meter, Calvin Settles, Odessa Settles (background vocals).|
|It's interesting the way things go in circles. In the early '60s, Jorma Kaukonen (or Jerry, as he was then) played blues guitar in the coffeehouses of the South Bay Area, sometimes with Janis Joplin. Now, after stints with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, he's back to his first love, mixing blues, gospel, and country, backed by some excellent musicians. It's a blissful self-indulgence, laid-back but still quite heartfelt, although it has to be said that not all his material meets the standards ("Heart Temporary" is a decent opener, but not in the same class as "No Demon" or Johnny Cash's "The Man Comes Around"), although "A Life Well Lived" is a lovely piece of work. There are some excellent covers, a couple from the Rev. Gary Davis, and a delicious version of "By the Rivers of Babylon." As you'd expect, after four and a half decades, Kaukonen can pick a mean guitar, but he's content to let others take the lead role, especially Barry Mitterhoff's mandolin work. All in all, it makes for a great package, one to be savored over and over for its gentle, soulful heart. ~ Chris Nickson|
Producer: Byron House
Engineer: Stephan Sharp; Brandon Bell; Joey Crawford; Kyle Ford
|Love For Levon|
Associated Artists and Works
|Release Date : 03/13/2007|
|Original Release Date : 2007|
|Catalog ID : RHRCD 202|
|Label : Red House Records|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00033651020226|
- 3 stars out of 5 -- "The Hot Tuna mainstay sings charmingly, [and] plays acoustic guitars larded with hushed conviction...."
- "[T]he contentment that Kaukonen has found in his life shines through STARS IN MY CROWN, which is one of the high points of the guitarist's long and accomplished career."
- "Kaukonen can still turn a Lightnin' Hopkins or Rev. Gary Davis cover with great feeling, and he delivers a couple of lightly swinging originals with charm and flair."
- "Throughout this relaxed and honest set Kaukonen gives his band members plenty of room in which to express their own individual personalities."