Pearl and her Kozmik Blues Band got it going around two a.m. Sunday morning. Big Brother and the Holding Company were a little less than a year in her rear-view mirror, a fatal overdose just a little more than a year in her future.
Joplin was loaded at Woodstock, but that’s no surprise. What’s remarkable is that she rocked it so goddamned hard with a cocktail of heroin and Southern Comfort bubbling its way through her. Her voice is a little rough, but that’s no surprise, either.
Janis’s performance is yet another that didn’t make it into the official Woodstock mythology (i.e., the film and soundtrack) because the artist refused to sign off. And like Creedence Clearwater Revival, who played just before her, it’s a real shame. The band sounds great, Joplin sounds better, and her stage rap reveals the kind, insecure little girl hiding behind Pearl’s big sunglasses.
My pick from her set is the cover of “Summertime,” which showcases the Kozmik Blues Band as well as their soulful singer, but you can find their full set on a must-have CD entitled Janis Joplin: The Woodstock Experience. Here’s the set list:
1. Raise Your Hand
2. As Good As You’ve Been To This World
3. To Love Somebody
5. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
6. Kosmic Blues
7. Can’t Turn You Loose
8. Work Me Lord
9. Piece Of My Heart
10. Ball and Chain
Your official Woodstock soundtrack song count to date: 95
Update: On August 2, 2019, Rhino Records released Woodstock – Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive and changed the game forever. With exception to two Hendrix tracks and one Sha Na Na cut, the massive box set contains complete sets from every Woodstock artist—even those long believed lost or never recorded.
Here is Joplin‘s set as it appears on the Back to the Garden archive, including announcements, etc.:
1. Audience & Chip Monck – “Douglas!”
2. RAISE YOUR HAND
3. AS GOOD AS YOU’VE BEEN TO THIS WORLD
4. TO LOVE SOMEBODY
6. TRY (Just A Little Bit Harder)
7. KOZMIC BLUES
8. “This is Snooky Flowers”
9. I CAN’T TURN YOU LOOSE
10. WORK ME, LORD
11. PIECE OF MY HEART
12. “Music’s not for putting yourself through bad changes”
13. BALL AND CHAIN
14. Chip Monck – “If that’s to your liking”