Janis Joplin: Trouble in Mind (1965)

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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.

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