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