Grunt: The non-Jefferson Airplane releases

Grunt: The non-Jefferson Airplane releases
Authored By John Nicholson

When Jefferson Airplane set up Grunt it was to release their own records. And for a while they did just that. But with so many side projects in the Airplane family there was so much music to be released. Primary among these was Hot Tuna. Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen’s blues rock band were popular and everything from Burgers to Final Vinyl came out on Grunt. The best of these is Double Dose. A double. A live album that is surprisingly heavy and guitar orientated.
That was the stuff that found a mass market. The more obscure releases come from Papa John Creach, Joe E. Covington, Black Kangeroo, Peter Kaukonen (Black Kangeroo were his band) a band called Come, 1,Jack Traylor and Steelwind and Jack Bonus. These can be the trickier records to collect. None were hits and sold little. They were largely Airplane family and sound like Long John Silver era releases.
Airplane and Hot Tuna releases aside, Grunt wasn’t that successful. Band labels were popular in the early 70s, but the bands typically lost interest in them after a couple of years. So it was with Grunt.
After they had released the chaotic, but impressive Manhole by Grace Slick, the label just released Starship and Hot Tuna records. One suspects their passion for it was passing.
The singles, usually drawn from albums, are plentiful and the more obscure releases by the likes of Peter Kaukonen and Jack Bonus are hard to find. Most of them didn’t get a UK release.
But whether it’s the big releases or the obscure, there’s some great music on the label, often very eclectic.

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