A look at Janis Joplin’s powerhouse performance from 1970

Read the original article at Far Out Magazine.

Janis Joplin is undoubtedly a musical powerhouse. For many music fans though she remains a distant figurehead of music, one that is so rarely talked about and thrust upon the present day, unlike acts like The Doors or The Grateful Dead. However, if there was one sure fired way to understand why every muso worth their weight in musical notes loves Janis, it is to watch this incredible live performance of ‘Cry Baby’.

The track was originally sung by Garnett Mims and The Enchanters but only truly found notoriety when Joplin picked up the mic and added her own unique lungs to the track’s proceedings. Recorded by Joplin for her solo record Pearl Joplin would sadly pass away before the single was released in 1971, backed by the B-Side ‘Mercedes Benz’. It remains today one of the most powerful ballads you’re likely to hear.

“So what?” We hear you (stupidly) ask. Well, the difference between Janis Joplin and pretty much every other singer since was that above all else, Joplin saw herself as a vocal artist. She was not at the front of the stage for glory or gold, she was under that spotlight so she could use her vocal brush strokes to paint a raw, emotive and impassioned picture. There’s no better canvas for Joplin than a song like ‘Cry Baby’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkPq3UaCLpg

On the Road with Janis Joplin: Photographs by John Byrne Cooke

The Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe will present the upcoming autumn exhibition: On the Road with Janis Joplin: Photographs by her road manager, John Byrne Cooke, opening October 4 from 5-7 pm.  

John Byrne Cooke experienced the 1960s within the music of the counterculture. As a musician and rock road manager during this turbulent decade, Cooke was always taking photographs. His subjects span the transition from folk music to rock, including Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, to traditional musicians such as Doc Watson, Mississippi John Hurt and many more.

As a member of the Charles River Valley Boys bluegrass band in Cambridge, Massachusetts, his musical home was the legendary Club 47, one of the principal wellsprings of the folk music boom. When folk gave way to rock and roll, Cooke moved to San Francisco, home of the Haight-Ashbury and acid rock, to become the road manager for Big Brother and the Holding Company and Janis Joplin.  He wasn’t just another photographer hanging around in rehearsals and backstage, or trying to shoot from the wings during a concert. He wasn’t an outsider in the company of musicians. Cooke was a musician himself. He belonged.

Cooke’s photographs reveal his unique perspective of these luminaries of folk and rock, shown both in performance and in private moments offstage, including a photograph of Joplin two days before Cooke found her dead from a fatal heroin overdose on October 4, 1970.  In recent years, Cooke’s photographs have appeared in books, magazines and television documentaries. His work offers a new archive of affectionate and revealing images from the fabled Sixties. Cooke died in September 2017.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival will screen rarely seen film shorts of Janis Joplin. While traveling as her road manager, Cooke filmed Joplin and her band members on Fuji Single-8 film. This film has color superior to Kodak Super-8 and is undimmed by the passage of 40 years. His footage provides a unique and intimate view of Joplin offstage as well as on.

Watch “A Night With Janis Joplin” Now On BroadwayHD

The Tony-Award nominated musical, A Night With Janis Joplin, is available to watch on-demand now on Broadway HD! After you watch the musical, you can dive right in and stream Janis: Little Girl Blue, the criticially-acclaimed documentary about the life and times of Janis Joplin. Feel the power, the passion, and the emotion of Janis’ music, sing along, and learn about the life of the queen of rock and roll.

www.broadwayhd.com

“A Night With Janis Joplin” hits the road for a 31-city tour

The “wild and joyously raucous” musical celebrating the life and music of the inimitable Janis Joplin is back on the road. Launching September 13 in Boston, MA, A Night With Janis Joplin will circling the United States before landing at a 6-week residency in Austin, TX in early 2020.

The show explores Janis’ music, as well as that of her influences and those she influenced – Odetta, Bessie Smith, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Nina Simone. This outing again stars Tony-nominee Mary Bridget Davies in the role of Janis.

Visit the musical page here to find a date and tickets near you.

Janis Joplin’s complete Woodstock performance included in massive new box-set

Read the whole story at Rolling Stone.

Imagine hurtling yourself back in time to the original Woodstock festival in 1969, finding a good, relatively dry spot to chill, and settling in to hear more than three straight days of music. No, not possible, but the closest anyone may come to that experience will arrive this August. Pegged to the 50th anniversary of the event, Woodstock 50 — Back to the Garden — The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archivea 38-disc box set, will include every note of music played at the festival (save for three songs), some of it released for the first time ever.

Previous Woodstock collections, starting with the original 1970 triple LP and continuing through a 2009 multi-disc box, cherry-picked select songs (or didn’t include certain acts altogether). By comparison, Woodstock 50, to be released by Rhino, has it all: every act and 432 songs, 267 of which have never been officially released before, for a total of nearly 36 hours of recordings, along with crowd announcements (“Somebody somewhere is giving out some flat blue acid,” “Please meet Harold at the stand with the blood pills”) and other sonic memorabilia from the festival.

Complete performances of the Who, Joe Cocker, Sly and the Family Stone, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and others, along with acts who weren’t in the movie or the original Woodstock album, like the Band, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Janis Joplin will be available for the first time. The tracks are also arranged chronologically, by day and set times, from Richie Havens’ opening set that August Friday in 1969 to Jimi Hendrix’s festival-closing set on Monday morning. To ease the overwhelming listening experience, each act is accorded its own disc.

“There have been large boxed sets devoted to particular eras or tours — the Grateful Dead do a great job of that sort of thing — but there’s never, to my knowledge, been an attempt to present a large-scale durational experience of this sort,” says Andy Zax, the Los Angeles producer and archivist who co-produced the set with Steve Woolard. “The Woodstock tapes give us a singular opportunity for a kind of sonic time travel, and my intention is to transport people back to 1969. There aren’t many other concerts you could make this argument about.”

The box — which will also include a Blu-ray of Michael Wadleigh’s Woodstock movie, a guitar strap and a replica of the original program, among other items — will cost $799. More condensed versions — a 10-disc set and a 3-disc one — will also be available.  In the mega-box, the 38th disc includes various audio flotsam. The “Groesbeek Reel,” named after festival sound recordist Charles Groesbeek, includes comments from random attendees taped by Grosbeak–like, Zax laughs, “this one guy moaning about what a disappointing experience it was and that it was a sell-out. It’s a great slice of real people in the moment reacting to it, which pleases me immensely.”

For Zax, the experience of hearing the unreleased music was often revelatory. “There was always this perception that Joplin’s set was poor and didn’t represent her at her best,” he says. “It may not have been the greatest night of her life, but listening to it on tape, it really sounds powerful.” The same, he says, goes for the Dead. The band has famously denigrated its Woodstock performance, in part due to electrical problems onstage, but Zax says, “They were a formidable performing unit in 1969, so it’s not an embarrassment.” And Zax calls Creedence’s never-heard full set “one of the best performances at Woodstock — top 3 or top 5, for sure. The fact that it wasn’t out in its entirety until now is flabbergasting.”

In general, Zax admits that some of the acts had less than pleasant recall of playing the festival, which colored their memories of the performances and made some hesitate about signing off. “There was some skepticism, like, ‘You want to issue the whole performance? Are you insane?’” he says. “There’s not one person at Woodstock who was entirely happy with what they did. Ambivalence is about the best you tend to hear from people. And others are like, ‘That was a horror show — every minute was torture.’ But it’s a big part of people’s legacy, and 50 years is the kind of number that makes people think of one’s legacy.” (As for the missing numbers: the Hendrix estate asked that two of his songs not be included, for aesthetic reasons, and one of Sha Na Na’s performances is missing due to a tape gap.)

But according to the producer, one pragmatic argument helped convince the artists or their estates to give the go-ahead for their tracks on Woodstock 50. This January, any unreleased performances or recordings from 1969 will go into the public domain — and will thereby be legal and exploitable in Europe. “Not bootleg, but legit,” he says. “So there’s a pragmatic reason for protecting your copyright on a performance.”

Looking back over the 14-year journey to the most comprehensive Woodstock set, Zax feels the arduous work was worth it. “The movie is one version of Woodstock,” he says. “This is an audio verite documentary about the Sixties.”



Janis: Her Life And Music Set for release October 22 2019

Read the story at Best Classic Bands.

Pre-order your copy here!

Story from Best Classic Bands.com

A new Janis Joplin biography, simply titled Janis: Her Life and Music, is set to be published Oct. 22 by Simon & Schuster. The book is authored by Holly George-Warren, a two-time Grammy nominee whose previous books include bios of Alex Chilton and Gene Autry, as well as The Road to Woodstock (with Michael Lang).

According to the pre-publication promotional material, “This blazingly intimate biography of Janis Joplin establishes the Queen of Rock & Roll as the rule-breaking musical trailblazer and complicated, gender-bending rebel she was.”

The publicity material continues: “Janis Joplin’s first transgressive act was to be a white girl who gained an early sense of the power of the blues, music you could only find on obscure records and in roadhouses along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast. But even before that, she stood out in her conservative oil town. She was a tomboy who was also intellectually curious and artistic. By the time she reached high school, she had drawn the scorn of her peers for her embrace of the Beats and her racially progressive views. Her parents doted on her in many ways, but were ultimately put off by her repeated acts of defiance.

“Janis Joplin has passed into legend as a brash, impassioned soul doomed by the pain that produced one of the most extraordinary voices in rock history. But in these pages, Holly George-Warren provides a revelatory and deeply satisfying portrait of a woman who wasn’t all about suffering. Janis was a perfectionist: a passionate, erudite musician who was born with talent but also worked exceptionally hard to develop it. She was a woman who pushed the boundaries of gender and sexuality long before it was socially acceptable. She was a sensitive seeker who wanted to marry and settle down—but couldn’t, or wouldn’t. She was a Texan who yearned to flee Texas but could never quite get away—even after becoming a countercultural icon in San Francisco.”

The bio is “based on unprecedented access to Janis Joplin’s family, friends, band mates, archives and long-lost interviews. In a back-cover blurb, Rosanne Cash says, “I’ve been waiting for the right person to write the definitive biography of Janis Joplin! All fans should be grateful it’s finally here. Janis lives and breathes freedom and soul, and Holly George-Warren captures that spirit perfectly.”

Bring home Janis’ unforgettable performance at Woodstock for Record Store Day

Janis delivered her legendary performance at Woodstock mere weeks before the release of her debut record with the Kozmic Blues Band. Incendiary, unforgettable, and another highlight in a career of highlights for the already incandescent star, this live 2-LP set is available on vinyl for the first time ever for Record Store Day. The release is limited to 8000 numbered copies worldwide. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever, so visit (and support!) your local independent record store on April 13! Find one here: www.recordstoreday.com

Pink covers “Me and Bobby McGee” at Nashville Bar

Read the story at Billboard.

Pink is in the midst of her 2019 Beautiful Trauma world tour, with a stop at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Sunday night (Mar. 10). After the show, the songstress stopped by a local bar for some good old fashioned Music City fun.

Fans at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Lower Broadway were surprised when Pink took the stage, and the singer was met with claps and squeals in a video published by news station WKRN. She covered Janis Joplin’s classic, “Me and Bobby McGee.”

Tootsie’s is a common stop for major superstars. Post Malone dropped by last year to perform, and the bar has also been used for Jake Owen and Brad Paisley videos.

Watch Pink’s performance below.  

Review: Big Brother and the Holding Company: Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills Review (Paste Magazine)

It’s hard to imagine another sophomore album that not only made a powerful initial impression but at the same time, marked such a stunning farewell. At the time of its release, some 50 years ago, Cheap Thrills proved to be a bombshell and the breakout record for Big Brother’s dynamo of a lead singer, Janis Joplin. Though only seven songs long, it became Joplin’s ultimate tour de force, the standard by which she would be judged for the remainder of her brief career. It was also inevitable that it would also mark her final effort with the group, given the fact that her talent was simply too overwhelming to be contained within the confines of any single ensemble. Nevertheless, the record not only became one of the biggest selling albums of 1968, entrenched at number one for eight consecutive weeks, but a recording destined for immortality when, in 2013, it was enshrined in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.

Now reissued as Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills—the name the band had originally intended but which was ultimately rejected by Columbia, their record label—this sprawling reissue essentially rewrites history courtesy of a two disc set featuring 30 tracks, all but five of which are previously unreleased. That said, the original set list remain intact. They include the trio of standout songs that became the early essence of Joplin’s repertoire: “Summertime,” “Piece of My Heart” and “Ball and Chain.” It’s worth noting that the latter was the only actual concert recording, although it was assumed at the time that the entire album was live to begin with, thanks to Columbia’s insistence on adding crowd noises to enhance the overall ambiance. Here, that version of “Ball and Chain” is omitted in favor of another live performance, one recorded at the Winterland Ballroom the same month as the other.

Read Lee Zimmerman’s full review on PasteMagazine.com