Live At Rockaplast 1980

Jorma Kaukoken & Vital Parts

MIG, 2019


REVIEW BY: Mark Kadzielawa


Jorma Kaukonen is known for his involvement in Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. Jefferson Airplane landed for good in the early ‘70s, and Hot Tuna continues to play and record to this day. Every now and then, Kaukonen releases a solo record or does something outside of his bands. This release captures such time when Jorma Kaukonen and Vital Parts toured Germany back in 1980, and Rockpalast of course took notice. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This is a very cool document and captures a definite moment in musical history. For starters, we see Kaukonem wearing a homemade "Impeach Reagan" t-shirt.  It definitely shows what the political feelings were back then. Would he still feel the same way from the perspective of time?

This is a typical Rockpalast release where audio and video are combined in one package. You can view, listen, or simply do both at the same time. It’s great to have these choices. The performance itself is very raw, not polished, and probably not overly rehearsed. At the same time, it has an incredible feel and comes across very solid. There is definitely a good amount of blues and rock here. What’s cool here is that he’s not going for the obvious hits, but just a fine rock presentation that will get you stomping your feet and enjoying the chord progressions.

Kaukonen presents a very diverse material here. There are a number of songs that he’s written, but also some he arranged and one very impressive Robert Johnson cover. Kaukonen makes it all come together while giving it his own twist. He is a true rocker with a heart entangled in the blues. In fact, I don’t think I ever did hear a Kaukonen show without the backing of his usual bands.

This release is definitely an interesting one, and a very rare one, too. It’s great to see an artist out of his comfort zone using his professionalism and charisma to make things happen. He achieves the glory here, and that t-shirt certainly signifies that he’s a rebel for life.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2020 Mark Kadzielawa and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of MIG, and is used for informational purposes only.