Live in Woodstock August 17, 1969 – WW1-FM (Yellow
A superb recording of a one off performance. Influenced by soul giants such as Otis Redding, she wanted to move in a more R&B direction, deciding to add a horn section to her new newly-formed band. This consisted of some of the best Bay Area session musicians, as well as former Big Brother guitarist Sam Andrew (who would leave the band within a few months, due to his drug use and influence on Janis). Calling themselves The Kozmic Blues Band, they began touring in early 1969. By this time, Janis’ heroin dependency was becoming a serious problem for her, with her minders attempting to keep her clean long enough to record her first solo album, I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, in June 1969. The album would not be released until September, and as a result, Janis took to the stage at Woodstock with a new sound and some new music the audience had never heard. One of the most anticipated acts to play at Woodstock, Janis was completely overwhelmed by the size of the audience. As a result, Janis spent most of the day backstage getting fairly ripped, and consequently was not in the best shape by the time she took the stage at 2:00 am on Sunday morning. Janis and her Kozmic cronies opened with a cover of Eddie Floyd’s “Raise Your Hand,” a suitably up-tempo stomp that showcased the new sound full-bore. Janis worked the groove hard, attempting to establish a rapport with the vast audience. A tune from her forthcoming album followed with Nick Gravenites’ “As Good As You’ve Been To This World,” after which Janis took the mood down a notch for an excellent rendition of the recent Bee Gees’ hit “To Love Somebody,” which would also be on her new album.