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Stars in My Crown
     

Stars in My Crown

4.3 3
by Jorma Kaukonen
 
Putting his electric guitar aside for a spell, Jorma Kaukonen turns to his acoustic instrument for a folk-tinged look at spirituals, old and new. The results, as anyone familiar with Kaukonen’s brilliant playing would expect, are masterful. Not that virtuoso picking is the sole raison d’être of the project. Jorma is also a forthrightly appealing vocalist, a fine

Overview

Putting his electric guitar aside for a spell, Jorma Kaukonen turns to his acoustic instrument for a folk-tinged look at spirituals, old and new. The results, as anyone familiar with Kaukonen’s brilliant playing would expect, are masterful. Not that virtuoso picking is the sole raison d’être of the project. Jorma is also a forthrightly appealing vocalist, a fine songwriter, and a willing collaborator. On this heartfelt album, he‘s assisted by such sympathetic musicians as multi-instrumentalist Barry Mitterhoff, bassist Byron House, and slide guitarist Sally Van Meter (but not his Hot Tuna partner, bassist Jack Casady); some tracks feature discreet use of strings, backing vocals, and other agreeable touches that add finesse and flair. Ranging over material from Johnny Cash, Lightnin' Hopkins, and others, as well as his own highly personal originals, Kaukonen reasserts his position as a major figure in the contemporary acoustic music scene. Now in his mid-60s, this former Jefferson Airplane mainstay has gracefully evolved into a grand old man of roots music; his mentors and models would be proud.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
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.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/13/2007
Label:
Red House
UPC:
0033651020226
catalogNumber:
202
Rank:
53829

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jorma Kaukonen   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Phil Madeira   Organ
Barry Mitterhoff   Bouzouki,Mandolin,Tenor Banjo
David Angell   Violin
John Catchings   Cello
Connie Ellisor   Violin
Jim Grosjean   Viola
Jim Hoke   Clarinet,Soprano Saxophone
Byron House   Bass (Vocal),Upright Bass
Rob Ickes   Guitar (Resonator)
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar
Ann McCrary   Background Vocals
Sally Van Meter   Tenor (Vocal),Guitar (Resonator)
Pamela Sixfin   Violin
Tim Stafford   Acoustic Guitar,Baritone (Vocal)
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale   Violin
Kristin Wilkinson   Viola
Reese Wynans   Piano
Andrea Zonn   Violin
Fats Kaplin   Pedal Steel Guitar
Fred Eltringham   Tambourine,Shaker,cowbell,Guiro
Kirk "Jelly Roll" Johnson   Harmonica
Monisa Angell   Viola
Jason Burleson   5-string Banjo
Shirley Settles   Soprano (Vocal)
Ed Gerhard   Acoustic Guitar,Weissenborn
Calvin Settles   Tenor (Vocal)
Odessa Settles   Alto (Vocal)
Todd Suttles   Bass (Vocal)
Chris Farrell   Viola
Chris Brown   Drums

Technical Credits

Jorma Kaukonen   Composer,Liner Notes
Brenton Dowe   Composer
Phil Madeira   Engineer
Roy Book Binder   Composer
Lightnin' Hopkins   Composer
Byron House   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Gary Paczosa   Engineer
Kristin Wilkinson   String Arrangements
Trevor McNaughton   Composer
Ed Cash   Engineer
Joe Croker   Composer
Eliza E. Hewitt   Composer
Ernie Hawkins   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Stars in My Crown 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is a very good collection of songs by an excellent guitar player and his talented friends
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're not familiar with Jorma (or Hot Tuna) but enjoy great finger-picking guitar playing, you're in for a treat. He is a legend. Jorma's famous for his "Embryonic Journey". The songs on this album aren't quite at that level, but it is definetly worth a listen.