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Janis Joplin Blow All My Blues Away

Given her relatively short time she was given with us, an absolutley staggering amount of recorded material exists from Janis Joplin......this was released a couple of years ago by Columbia, intended as a career retrospective, but, fortunatly, NOT another of those epics where the same material is again released in a different sequence......if you want rare material, you have come to the right source.

This is a 9-CD (!) set, covering her career from 1962-1970.......I don't remember who gave me these, oddly, the tracks are unsplit, (I do not know if that is how it was released or some kind of quirk of the person who copied them for me)......anyway, I have some pretty extensive notes of explanation for what each disc offers, but there will be no "track jumping" on these, sorry.......but this is some incredible rare stuff, as you will see, from one of the great ones and it certainly does summarize the various facets of her short but varied career.

Disc 1 starts off with the earliest possible material, from 1962-3....it is split between a track at John Riley's Austin Texas home ("What Good Can Drinkin Do"), a set from Threadgill's Bar (also Austin) with versions of "CC Rider", "San Francisco Bay Blues", "Winin' Boy Blues", "Careless Love", and "I'll Drown In My Own Tears".......her gritty, bluesey voice was already quite identifiable. the third section of the disc is from a San Jose Coffeeshop with Jefferson Airplane's Jorma Kaukonen (November 1962), taking on "Honkey Tonk Angel" and "Empty Pillow"....(as I said before I am going to lay these out as best I can as there are no "official" track splits on my copies. Next up we have from the same era The Grant Avenue Coffeehouse ("Gospel Ship", "Stealin", "Leaving This Morning", "Daddy Daddy Daddy", "Careless Love", "Bourgeois Blues", and "Black Mountain Blues". We remain in Austin for the remainder of the discs, the studio is not identified on my copy. Songs in these sets are (1962) "Trouble in Mind", "What Good Can Drinkin Do", "Silver Threads and Golden Needles", "Mississippi River", "Stealin", "No Reason For Livin".......and from 1964, "I'll Drown In My Own Tears", "Daddy Daddy Daddy", "Careless Love", "San Francisco Bay Blues", "Winin' Boy Blues", "CC Rider", "Leaving This Morning".......a fine historical document indeed.

Disc 2  covers the years 1964-68, beginning with what is referred to as the "Typewriter Tape", from
1964 San Jose, recorded with Kaukonen in his mother's home.  The songs from this session are "Typewriter Talk", "Trouble In Mind", "Leaving This Morning", "Hesitation Blues", "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out", "Daddy Daddy Daddy", and "Long Black Train Blues". Next we have a short set recorded somewhere in San Francisco (1965) with the Dick Oxtrot Jazz Band, featuring "Black Mountain Blues", "Walk Right In", "River Jordan", and "Mary jane"......the rest of the album is filled out with previously unheard (I think) studio outtakes from 1967-8 sessions with Big Brother & the Holding Company, "Call On Me", "Bye Bye baby", "It's a Deal", "Easy Once You Know How", "Road Block", "Flower In the Sun", "Misery'n", "Catch me Daddy", "Farewell Song" and "Summertime". Quite good if you're a Big Brother fan (I know many really didn't care for that part of her career).

Lotsa this and that on Disc 3. Leading off are some more "Cheap Thrills" studio outtakes ("Misery'n", "Catch me Daddy", "Harry"). Next up a piece of a Big Brother set from the Grande Ballroom in Detroit (March 1 1968), "Magic of Love", "Down On Me" (quite a smoldering version), and "Piece of My Heart".......a few live tracks from 1969 Amsterdam (not with Big Brother but with Kozmic Blues Band, good programming if you wish to compare the two bands at a similar time)...."Maybe", "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder", and "Ball and Chain". Next up, a handful of demos and outtakes from Kozmic Blues, recorded in 1969....."Dear Landlord" (outtake), "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (Demo), "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" (Demo), "Let's Don't Quit" (Demo), "Get It While You Can #1" (Demo), and "Get It While You Can #2" (Demo)....rounding things out are a pair of outtakes of "One Night Stand", from 3/28/70 with the Butterfield Blues band, and a version of "Get It While You Can" from the Dick Cavett Show, aired 6/25/70.

Disc 4 contains a show from Big Brother and the Holding Company, recorded at California Hall, San Francisco, 2/12/67.......set list:  "Call On Me", "Combination of the Two", "Blow My Mind", "Down On Me", "All is Loneliness", "Road Block", "Light Is Faster Than Sound", "Bye Bye Baby""Goin' Down to Brownsville", "Ball and Chain", and "I Know You Rider".......a little sloppy, even a bit more so than the live stuff on "Cheap Thrills", but worth it for good versions of "Down on Me" and "Combination".

The fifth disc reverts to the earlier material, the 1962-65 era, why programmers do things like this I
will never comprehend, but so it is.....we have, from 1965, and unknown studio acetate, Janis is backed by an unknown jazz band performing "Black Mountain Blues" and "Careless Love". An interesting live set from  San Francisco (1962) is next, "Gospel Ship", "Stealin", "Leavin This Morning", "Daddy Daddy Daddy", "Careless Love Intro", "Careless Love", "Bourgeois Blues" and "Black Mountain Blues".....Next up a set from San Jose Folk Theater, 1962, with Steve Talbot, good set, "Honky Tonk Angel", "Empty Pillow", "Red Mountain Burgundy""No Reason For Livin", and "Mary Jane"
From KPFA Studios is San Franciscoin 1963 with Larry hanks and Roger Perkins, a couple of radio broadcast tapes, "Black Mountain Blues" and "Columbus Stockade"....and we return once again to the home of Jorma Kaukonen in San Jose for recordings of "Winin' Boy Blues" and "Trouble In Mind".

Disc six reverts to live sets from Big Brother and the Holding Company, the first from The Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco, June 23 1968, the recording is fairly poor....."Combination of the Two" (cuts in), "I Need a man To Love", "Flower in the Sun", "Light Is Faster Than Sound", "Summertime" and "Mr Natural" (cuts out, a shame, I always kinda liked that goofy song)....the rest of the disc is much better, from the Avalon ballroom in San Francisco 1968, much better sounding (an FM simulcast)....."Bye Bye Baby", "Women Is Losers", "All is Loneliness", "Call On Me", and a show-stopping "Ball and Chain".

Discs 7,8,and 9 all feature live cuts from various periods, I don't have as much info on these as the other discs, as far as dates, locales, backing bands, etc......I will give the info as I have it, IF I have it.....Disc 7: "So Sad To Be Alone" (1962), "San Francisco Bay Blues" (1963), "Apple of My Eye", "219", "Codine", "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out", "Turtle Blues""I AIn't Got a Worry", "Goin' Down to Brownsville" (1965), "Catch Me Daddy", "Piece of My heart", "Down on Me", "Summertime", "I Need a man To Love", "Chat With Don Adams" (1968), "Combination of the Two", "Farewell Song".

Disc 8 "Piece of My heart", "Summertime", "Coo Coo", "Combination of the Two", "Ball and Chain",
"Down on Me", "Piece of My Heart" (Reprise August 1968), "Interview", "Piece of My Heart" (1967), "Summertime", "Me", "Raise Your hand", "Work me Lord" (Swedish TV April 1969), "Stay With Me", "Walk Right" (Winterland, San Francisco 4/21/68

DISC 9 "Dick Cavett Introduction", "To love Somebody", "Interview" (July 1969), "Little Girl Blue", "Raise Your Hand" (with Tom Jones December 1969), "Kozmic Blues", "Ego Blues" (With Johnny Winter), "Help me Baby" (With Johnny Winter)/"One Night Stand" (with Paul Butterfield Band March 1970), "Mercedes Benz", "Try (Just a Little bit harder"), "My baby" (Final Concert Harvard Stadium August 1970), "My Baby (March 1970), "Sunday Morning Coming Down" (07/10/70)

Often with sets such as this that attempt comprehension, I am a bit stunned by the programming, and
this one is no exception........could have been sequenced a LOT better, and if the tracks were deliberately left unsplit (that may be the handywork of whatever knucklehead prepared these for me, can't be sure).....WHY?

Anyway, for all the shortcomings, a LOT of stuff you likely haven't heard before, and some really fine moments from one of our most diverse singers. RIP Ms J, wish they could have done ya a LITTLE better with the programming end of this set, but you sure done your part.

Looking around, I have a good bit of live /rare stuff from Janis as well as from Big Brother and the Holding Company, most of it pretty good.........it's up to you guys want me to unleash it tomorrow or not?

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