Hot Tuna; Steady As She Goes

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Hot Tuna; Steady As She Goes

Postby redrabid on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:48 pm

Anyone out there who knows if it is good?
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Re: Hot Tuna; Steady As She Goes

Postby redrabid on Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:58 am

All Hot Tuna fans seem to have left this forum, or maybe they haven't made up their mind yet. Just like me.
I bought the CD and I am not quite sure what to think of it.
It is obvious that Hot Tuna cleaned up its act in the twenty years since their last studio album, the disappointingly mediocre (I am being nice, lousy is a better word) "Pair A Dice". No more drugs , no more distorted, furious guitars.
Jorma's guitar sounds much cleaner, his playing is more precise. No longer a trio, Jack's bass is not the second lead guitar any more as in Tuna's rampage days. It has a more traditional supportive role. In doing so Hot Tuna lost a lot of its unique approach and sound. This record is well produced, but it sounds more anonymous, less distinctive than the metal albums or even "Burgers". "Mainstream" Americana.
A return to hard driving rock and roll was promised, but there are only a few mid-tempo songs, that have trouble taking off. But all of this can't come as a surprise for those among us who followed Jorma's solo career. Though I hoped for a furious surprise, I really didn't expect one. We are all a lot older since those hazy days.
Despite all that, I think it is a good album, the playing by all musicians is fabulous and in Skoota Warner Hot Tuna has finally an excellent drummer and I like Teresa Williams' backing vocals too (though somehow she reminds me strongly of all those Starship female vocalists like Darby Gould and Diane Mangano). But my main criticism is the selection of songs:
The contributions by others are so plain, to say the least, that it is imcomprehensible why these particular songs were chosen and it is obvious that the best of Reverend Davis' songs have been recorded already. And among Jorma's songs there is none that has the immediate appeal of "Hit Single", "I See The Light" or "Genesis".
So, I like to listen to it, but I am not sure why.
Last edited by redrabid on Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hot Tuna; Steady As She Goes

Postby Ensign on Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:17 pm

Well, here's my $0.02: I'm defendin' this effort! I love the album. (But then again I love all their albums.) Comparing it to other Tuna albums is futile, because they have never put out two that are alike (except maybe America's Choice and Hoppkorv), so we should have expected to hear something different. And that's what we got. Jack HAS gotten more supportive and less flamboyant. It's called maturity. He is as tasty as ever, in my opinion. Plus he does a little solo on "A Little Faster." That one was written by FPR Ranch Manager John Hurlbut, and to me it sounds like Tuna of yore. Think Jorma doesn't wail anymore? If you've seen them live lately you know different. Listen to "If This Is Love." One of my favorite things on the record is "Easy Now Revisited", a re-make of "Easy Now" (duh). And it really is a worthwhile re-make, with new lyrics, a new drum groove, and a brand-new bridge. Theresa Williams' vocals are a welcome addition. I don't remember ever hearing a female vocal with Tuna, and I like it! The production quality is better than any other Tuna album, and between Barry M. and Larry Campbell there is enough tasty strings work to get you where you need to be. If you don't really, really like this album I suggest that if you listen to it a couple more times; it's gonna grow on you.
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Re: Hot Tuna; Steady As She Goes

Postby redrabid on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:19 pm

"Steady As She Goes" is, if anything the son of "Burgers" by Jorma's solo work. After listening repeatedly to this album, I find my resentment against it is growing. It is so conventional, predictable, so ordinary. As for instance, "If This Is Love": very old fashioned, sub-standard blues rock. It is the song that shows what is wrong with this album. I hate that song.
Maturity? Well, maybe there is something to the saying "after thirty, you're dead".
Yes, I know that time changes everything, but I do miss the contrapuntal playing between Jack and Jorma. And the fury that, as indeed videos of live performances show, is still there. Hey, and they promised. They promised us hard driving rock and roll.
They owe us one. With good songs.

As for Tuna and female vocals: it seems that you have forgotten "It's So Easy" on "Hoppkorv" with vocals by Karen Tobin.
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Re: Hot Tuna; Steady As She Goes

Postby Ensign on Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:06 am

It may or may not be the high water mark in Tuna's recorded legacy, but it's really good to listen to... What more can you ask for? (If one really is dead at thirty, it won't be too long until I'm dead twice! heh heh)
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Re: Hot Tuna; Steady As She Goes

Postby redrabid on Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:02 pm

"Steady As She Goes" is obviously made by a scrubbed down, cleaned up version of Hot Tuna. But robbed of its unique characteristics, it has become undistinguishable from its peers. It is not unpleasant to listen to, respectable in taste and musicianship. Hot Tuna in Starship-shape.
What more do I want? Just a little bit of the craziness that originally attracted me to Jefferson Airplane and that was carried on by Hot Tuna.
Maybe Grace Slick can invite them for a cup of tea.
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Re: Hot Tuna; Steady As She Goes

Postby jimmie ray on Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:17 am

Haven't gotten this one yet. Just having a remake of "Easy Now" on it makes me want to hear it, though! I did get Jorma's recent "River of Time", and thought about half the songs were well done - although very simple in form.
It's good times now - I can see the light!
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Re: Hot Tuna; Steady As She Goes

Postby JoeD80 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:25 pm

I love this album. Very good. It's great roots music. There's a mix of fast and slow. Jack does great work as usual, even has a couple of bass solos - good one in "A Little Faster". "Mourning Interrupted" has classic Jorma lyrics and great Jack playing as well. I like this version of "Easy Now" better than the old one. Jorma's lead lines are better on this album than on Pair a Dice I think. He decided to do what he did in the Airplane and have someone else do the rhythm guitar and his electric guitar work sounds more like his classic stuff. There's a little mandolin ditty that closes out the album. Sure there aren't any 10 minute jams here but the band does sound like themselves. Saw them live last year and they still rock out in concert. Highlights for me on this album are "Children of Zion", "Second Chances", "Goodbye to the Blues", "A Little Faster", "Mourning Interrupted", and "Easy Now."
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Re: Hot Tuna; Steady As She Goes

Postby Ensign on Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:28 pm

This, from Hot Tuna's web site:
"Thanks to everyone at Jamband News, especially Bill Whiting, for selecting Steady As She Goes as one of the Top 10 Albums of 2011. We greatly appreciate all the love and respect. Right Back at You! And Thanks to all our friends, fans and supporters for making 2011 a fantastic year! See you in 2012!"
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