Grateful Tuna came on the scene just a year ago, and has been an instant hit with Bay Area music fans. Listening to the classic Hot Tuna albums of the 1970’s, fans got a double dose of guitar and a giant dose of bass. When Grateful Tuna perform Hot Tuna songs, that’s exactly what they deliver – the fingerpicking and the leads along with the incredible melodic bass.
Quicksilver Gold and Melvin Seals’ JGB vet Peter Harris deploys his extensive chops to recreate the leads, while Tuna students Charlie Harris and Jody Salino deliver the goods on bass and finger style guitar. Rounding out the outfit is percussion veteran Neil Hampton.
But Hot Tuna songs are only a portion of a Grateful Tuna performance. Fans are treated to incendiary versions of classics from the repertoires of The Allman Brothers Band, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, Phish and many more, making Grateful Tuna concerts the kind of experience Bay Area music fans are looking for.
And, if that’s not enough, Grateful Tuna complement all of the above with instant classic versions of their own original material.
Peter toured and recorded with Melvin Seals’ JGB back in the 90s. They recorded an incendiary live cd at the Hollywood House of Blues, called “Welcome to our World” for the House of Blues record label.
In 2002 Peter joined other Bay Area greats such as bassist Mario Cipollina, vocalist Joli Valenti, and drummer Greg Anton in the band Quicksilver Gold. Several dynamic live bootlegs of that configuration are in circulation.
Mr. Harris is also a founding member of the Michael Bloomfield retrospective band, House of Bloomfield, which featured a rotating cast of guest artists such as saxophonist Martin Fierro and guitar legend Terry Haggerty.
In the late 90s/early 2000s Pete co-founded a number of different bands, each showcasing his ever expanding songwriting and performing abilities including: Hard Times Band, Mystery Cats and Junior Tucker Band
Pete, along with his brother Charlie on bass, and keyboardist/guitarist Steve Farzan, formed a gypsy jazz jam band called Django Obscura, in 2006. This band morphed into the psychedelic 60s electric band Obscura Jam.
More recently, Harris for several years played in the fiercely blues laced Linda Imperial Band thru out the Bay Area where David Freiberg would frequently join in.
Jody was hooked in his early teens when he first heard Hot Tuna. Where were all those sounds coming from? Influenced to play guitar. Drawn to fingerpicking. He sought out his heroes and studied with them. Ian Buchanan, Dave van Ronk, Stefan Grossman and Jorma Kaukonen all had one thing in common, they played the Piedmont style made famous by Rev. Gary Davis.
By the early 80’s he was part of the seminal New York jam band (before ‘jam band’ was a thing), EarMen. After a move to the west coast in the mid 80’s, Jody co-fronted BluesCasters and recorded Dirt Road. He then engineered and performed on the JC Flyer album Movin’ On. Subsequently he took the guitar chair in Bay Area band, Shakey Zimmerman. Incorporating his piedmont influenced style into all of these bands, Jody performed with many of his heroes over the years.
In addition to his guitar skills, Jody had also worked with Phil Lesh and Friends for an audio editor, earning a Columbia Records credit for his work editing and mastering the bonus disc on Phil’s There and Back Again album.
In Grateful Tuna, Jody brings his experience learning from Jorma Kaukonen, enabling the band to pull off detailed arrangements of Hot Tuna classics to the delight of audiences.
As a lifelong student of the bass guitar, and moste recently student of Jack Casady, Charlie's signature sound immediately transports you to the 60's and 70's.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Charlie is Peter's older brother.
Charlie spent a lot of time in the great plains farming his fields prior to returning to the bay area.
Together, the brothers Harris formed Django Obsucra and then Obscura Jam along with Steve Farzan.
Neil Hampton started playing percussion at age 10. Neil attended the Booker T. Washington School for the Performing Arts in Dallas, Tx. He grew his skills playing in the vibrant Deep Ellum music scene in Dallas during the late 1980s and early 90s.
He was a founding member of W.A.L.S.T.I.B., playing Grateful Dead music on Saturday afternoons at famed Club Dada.
Neil moved to Austin in 1993, drumming for Flounders Without Eyes, a psychedelic band that played originals as well as covers at their long standing gig at the legendary White Rabbit on 6th street in Austin.
While in Austin, Neil played with Carolyn Wonderland, Gene Taylor (The Blasters, The Fabulous Thunderbirds), Bricks In The Wall (Pink Floyd Tribute), LeeAnn Atherton, Ginger Leigh, and others.
Neil hit the San Francisco Bay Area music scene in 2008, playing with local Jam Band luminaries.
Neil says “I love playing music because it is an incredibly fun and life affirming experience for all involved, musicians and audiences alike. Drums in particular are great because of the endless opportunities to learn something new, which is the nature of an instrument that offers so many possibilities.”