Janis Joplin: Trouble in Mind (1965)

 |   |  <1 min read

Janis Joplin: Trouble in Mind (1965)

The great Janis Joplin has been dead for over four decades now but it would be fair to observe that no woman in rock has ever approached her deep understanding of the blues and earthy, powerful delivery . . . let alone her self-destructive approach to life.

Yet she has been largely forgotten and, as this essay notes, no one seems in any mind to try to honour her legacy by reissues, unlike her dead male companions (Jim and Jimi) from the Sixties.

However before she hit the spotlight and the headlines she was captured on a couple of recordings which showed her nascent power.

Jorma Kaukonen, later of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, had a tape recorder in his San Francisco apartment and one afternoon he and Joplin -- with whom he had been playing at the Coffee Gallery -- recorded the blues standards Trouble in Mind and Hesitation Blues.

These were just two people working out songs and a musical relationship on a summer afternoon, but their intuitive love of the blues is apparent.

But there was a third person present as you can hear.

Kaukonen's wife Margareta provides the odd percussion in the background. She was typing as they played and the microphone picked that up as well, hence the recordings becoming known as "the typewriter tapes".

But not even that detracts from Joplin's singing (or his playing in fact). She was 22 at the time.

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory get the regular posting From the Vaults by using the RSS feed.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Unforgiven: All is Quiet on the Western Front (1986)

The Unforgiven: All is Quiet on the Western Front (1986)

Some time in the early Nineties I met up with two of the guys from Cracker at a bar in New York, and towards the end of our conversation the talk turned to what they had done before their alt.rock... > Read more

The Gun: Race with the Devil (1967)

The Gun: Race with the Devil (1967)

In the age of Cream (mid '66 to late '68), Blue Cheer and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the power trio became an established form and this group from Buckinghamshire -- two brothers and another --... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

House of Shem: Island Vibration (Isaac)

House of Shem: Island Vibration (Isaac)

If it's true, as I am told, this album went to number one on the New Zealand charts it confirms two things: in this part of the Pacific we love them familiar summertime reggae grooves; and also... > Read more

HOWLIN' WOLF IN LONDON, 1970: When worlds collide

HOWLIN' WOLF IN LONDON, 1970: When worlds collide

One of the most beloved blues albums of the early Seventies was a super-session recorded when Howlin' Wolf went to London to work with the Stones' rhythm section of Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman,... > Read more