Kaukonen is a founding member of San Francisco psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane. His stinging, blues-based lines formed the basis for many of the band's songs. Kaukonen and Airplane's bassist eventually left the band to form Hot Tuna, which started out as a vehicle for Kaukonen to show off his considerable Acoustic Blues fingerpicking skills. Songs by the Reverend Gary Davis as well as other Delta Blues players were a mainstay of their sound, though the band eventually morphed into an electric band that mixed blues with extended sonic explorations. He now runs a guitar school in rural Ohio.