Long before MTV Unplugged, Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady thought it would be cool to perform a few old blues as a set-breaking contrast to the Airplane's acid-and revolution epiphanies. This "novelty act" of the psychedelic circuit evolved into Hot Tuna. Jesse Block's concert documentary, 25 Years & Runnin', celebrates the simple sustaining powers of blues, bars, and Tuna. Jorma and Jack reflecting on their influences and musical partnership since playing in a high school garage band while their fans explain the Jorma/Jack chemistry that's kept them tuned to Tuna for a quarter century.
The documentary's subtitle, Live at Sweetwater (a Bay area landmark club), is the crux of this video with "live" performances of ragtime blues standards and Tuna originals that exemplify the free spirit that's kept Hot Tuna runnin' all these years. Jorma and Jack are ably assisted by Tuna mates Michael Falzarano (guitar, vocals, mandolin) and Pete Sears (keyboards, accordion). The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and Maria Muldaur guest on a romp across Dylan's Maggie's Farm.
Titles include: San Francisco Bay Blues, Trial by Fire, Let Us Get Together, Pass the Snakes, Hesitation Blues, Embryonic Journey, I Know You Rider, I Was the One, 99 Year Blues, Maggie's Farm and Folsom Prison Blues.
Bonus tracks: Walkin' Blues, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, I See The Light, Ice Age, Genesis, Good Shepherd, Parchman Farm
Running Time: 103 minutes