Friday, January 19, 2018

Pearl Friday: Janis Joplin 75

OK, I apologize for not really posting much so far in 2018; there's a lot going on at the micro and macro. I will try -- just a little bit harder -- to catch up to things this week.
Let's start that process with another little piece of my heart, this one concerning the 75th birthday today of someone who needs not awfully much introduction.
She was of course born this very day in 1943, and her meteoric rise and precipitous fall are well-documented.
Surely as beloved and legendarily sincere a vocalist as any who did not see the age of 28, she is certainly one of the most colossal and legit Caucasian interpreters of The Blues in our rapidly shortening lifetimes.
So much of the too-soon-gone music-people stories revolve around the usual What Ifs, especially in this case as our birthday Pearl was only beginning to really find her way on her own musical terms when she so tragically passed, the victim of the requisite, Rock Star heroin demise. The overdoses always happen when they don't have any in their system and go hard on it all of a sudden, but it is what is it I guess. Tim Buckley died the same, sad and silly way.
Anyway she's still as popular as ever and in no danger of ever being forgotten about, so in a way it no longer matters in what tawdry circumstances she departed this terror plane, or what kiss-and-tell tracks other seminal songwriters may have written about her.
No, in the final analysis she wins, because somewhere some young woman -- probably getting mistreated by her classmates and developing catastrophically uninhibited patterns of overt insecurity and not sure what to do about it all -- is at this moment discovering the redemptive qualities of Blues Power through the vast and monumental imprint left by Janis Joplin, in a mercurial four-year comet career at the top of the musical mountain.
Janis Joplin & the Full Tilt Boogie Band
"Festival Express"
CNE Stadium
Toronto, Canada 

01 Tell Mama
02 Half Moon
03 Move Over
04 Maybe
05 Summertime
06 Little Girl Blue
07 That's Rock 'N' Roll
08 Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)
09 Kozmic Blues
10 Piece of My Heart
11 Cry Baby
12 Get It While You Can
13 Ball And Chain

Total time: 1:17:07

Janis Joplin - vocals & percussion
Brad Campbell - bass, vocals
Clark Pierson - drums
John Till - guitar, vocals
Ken Pearson - organ
Richard Bell - piano

sounds like an unissued multitrack recording made with a mobile truck
480 MB FLAC/January 2018 archive link
There isn't a great deal left in the vaults concerning this illustrious vocalist, but there are a few gems and this one is definitely in that category. Dating from the infamously debaucherous Festival Express locomotive sojourn across Canada undertaken by a whole passel of bands that summertime of 1970, this comes from what appears to the ears to be a mobile truck-taped live record, never issued as the artist would be dead just some four short months hence.
Anyway she'd have been the milestone 75 today, so from Port Arthur, Texas to the input port on your laptop please accept this quite incendiary 77+ minutes of gutbusting Blues-n-Soul captured nearly 50 years ago... I'd bet it'll be made more than evident why Janis Joplin is held in the esteem in which she is and will forever be held.--J.
1.19.1943 - 10.4.1970