A Searing Hot Tuna in Brooklyn!

May 3, 2017 by
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Jack Casady & Jorma Kaukonen / photo by Arnie Goodman

The Long Good Friday is the title of a gritty, cultish mob noir film that could easily have doubled as the banner for a searing Hot Tuna concert held at the Grand Prospect Hall on that reflective night. At this particular show, the power trio showed off their brazen blues-rock muscle to benefit the Guild for Exceptional Children.

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Racoon Lodgers With Jack Casady’ and His Birthday Cake/ photo by Al Pereira

Presented by The Raccoon Lodge, the concert already had the band showing a lot of heart, as it was a benefit for the Guild for Exceptional Children, whom Kaukonen has played for on a number of occasions. Opening with “Been So Long” and touching on some unusual fare like “Watch The North Wind Rise” and “Ain’t In No Hurry”, the first half of the show was comprised of a cave-like dark stage and liltingly bright minor notes. The second half of the show featured favorites like “Serpent of Dreams” and “Rock Me Baby”.

To start the set, though, the wily Raccoons had a little surprise in store: they wheeled out a giant cake in the shape of a bass guitar and had the assembled audience sing for Casady’s 73rd birthday. “Happy Birthday To You” reaching the far corners of the venerable hall – just the Birthday boy and 1,000 of his closest friends. It was a fun, touching moment and Casady himself broke out into a giant smile, rarely seen on stage and one befitting a Hall Of Famer. You could say that three hours and 18 songs-worth of earsplitting Tuna made for a long Good Friday indeed.