Tag: Blues

Tunes for Tuesday: Piece of My Heart!

Janis Lyn Joplin (Born: January 19, 1943, Died: October 4, 1970) was an American singer-songwriter who belted out rock, soul, and the blues. Joplin was one of the most successful and widely known rock stars of her era; she was noted for her powerful and raspy vocals and her “electric” stage presence.

Ball and Chain (Monterey, 1967)

Momma Cass Elliot was wowed!

In 1967, Joplin rose to fame following an appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, where she was the lead singer of a little-known San Francisco psychedelic rock band called Big Brother and the Holding Company.

After releasing two albums with Big Brother, Janis Joplin left to continue as a solo artist with her own backing groups, first the Kozmic Blues Band and then the Full Tilt Boogie Band. She performed at Woodstock and with the Festival Express train tour. Five singles by Joplin reached the Billboard Hot 100, including a cover of the Kris Kristofferson song “Me and Bobby McGee,” which hit #1 in March of 1971

This next video was produced by a fan named Jeffrey A as a tribute to 1960s rock legend Janis Joplin. Along with the audio are some great historical images of her. It’s an amazingly beautiful homage.

Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster wrote “Me and Bobby McGee,” which Roger Miller originally sang. Janis Joplin killed it with her great cover of this song.

Bobby McGee (Best HD Quality)

Her most popular songs include her covers of “Piece of My Heart,” “Summertime,” “Cry Baby,” and “Down on Me,” and her original song “Mercedes Benz,” which became her final recording.

Sometime you just have to let the artist speak for themselves …

Piece of My Heart (Live in Germany, 1968)

Summertime (Recorded live at Winterland, 1968)

Cry Baby

Down On Me (Newport Folk Festival, 68)

Janis Joplin … a little bit of rock, a good bit of soul, and a mega-dose of blues. Sadly, she lived her music. In 2005 the Grammys gave Janis Joplin a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for being one of the greatest rock singers of all time.

Mercedes Benz (Original)

Janis recorded this on October 1, 1970. She died on October 4th. Rest in Peace. Janis Joplin will always have a little piece of my heart.


Janis Joplin died in 1960 of an accidental heroin overdose. She was 27-years-old. She had released three albums.

Her fourth album, Pearl, was released in January 1971, three months after her death. It quickly climbed to number one on the Billboard charts.

Joplin was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Rolling Stone ranked Joplin number 46 on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She remains one of the top-selling musicians in the United States, with Recording Industry Association of America certifications of 18.5 million albums sold.

Tunes for Tuesday: Blues Deluxe

Joe Bonamassa is probably the most gifted guitarist I have ever seen and listened to in my life. I saw him play in Knoxville, Tennessee and was utterly blown away. It was about a three-hour set. In the middle, the band went off stage for a break. Bonamassa just grabbed an acoustic guitar and continued to amaze the audience. I have never before or since heard anyone play an acoustic guitar the way he did.

Mountain Time (Live From The Royal Albert Hall, 2019)

Now that is a grand performance.

Blues Deluxe (2007)

While a blues guitarist, Joe Bonamassa also covers some really great rock as well. However, Led Zeppelin, despite their moniker as the founders of Heavy Metal, was essentially a blues-based band. Here Bonamassa performs one of my all-time favorite blues songs by Zeppelin.

I Can’t Quit You Baby (KTBA Cruise 2019)

Your really need to watch this video to the end. It is freaking amazing! A great showcase of both Joe Bonamassa and Jimmy Page’s guitar virtuosity.

For those of you who, like me, love to take the guitar ride, here is an awesome guitar duel between Joe Bonamassa, Tommy Emanuel, and Josh Smith. Check this shit out!

I will just end this post here … with this great video, Remembering BB King, that Joe Bonamassa did for his mentor and friend, BB King.

If you enjoyed this Tunes for Tuesday post, please take a few minutes and check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here!

And, if you happen to love reading great action-adventure stories, check out my award-winning novel, Montagnard.

Tunes for Tuesday: A Little Led for the Head!

Led Zeppelin was my favorite rock group of all time. In high school, I wore Led Zeppelin T-shirts, had a Led Zeppelin belt buckle, and wanted to play a guitar like Jimmy Page.

I was lucky to see them in concert at the Frankfurt Festhalle in Germany in 1980. Unfortunately, John Bonham, one of rock’s greatest drummers passed away later in 1980 from a tragic asphyxiation accident.

The Thunder of the Gods was laid to rest on October 12, 1980.

The British rock group, Led Zeppelin, was formed in London in 1968 with vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham.

They got the name for this band when Jimmy Page made a comment that their “new” band would probably fly like a “lead balloon.”

Zeppelin is often referred to as the beginning of Heavy Metal rock, and yes, they certainly could rock. Especially with Jimmy Page’s heavy guitar-driven sound. But much of their music defied classification, blending many influences, including blues and folk music.

In fact, Zeppelin’s music was deeply rooted in the blues. The influence of American blues artists such as Muddy Waters and Skip James was very evident on their first two albums

Many of their best songs are blues, and a large number are acoustic. Much of what I considered their best music never received my air time because it was outside the mainstream of commercial rock and roll.

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You

This famous folk song written about 1959 by American singer Anne Bredon is about a guy who is letting his lady know that he’s about to “Ramble On” and leave her. It was also recorded by Joan Baez in 1962 and released on her live album, In Concert.

The Rain Song

One of my personal Zeppelin favorites, this was written in collaboration by all four Zeppelin members after George Harrison, a huge fan, told Zeppelin drummer, Bonham, that “the trouble with Led Zeppelin is that they don’t do any ballads.”

Bonham took this comment to the rest of the band, who worked with him to put this song together. It is one of the few Zeppelin songs where all four members shared the composer credit.

Robert Plant has stated this song is one of his best vocal performances with Led Zeppelin. He uses the seasons as a metaphor, starting with the springtime of his love and ending with the coldness of winter, a song about the changing seasons of love.

Upon us all, a little rain must fall.

I can’t Quit You Babe

This is based on a Blues song by Willie Dixon that he wrote for Otis Rush, who recorded it in 1956. Many of Led Zeppelin’s songs were influenced by old blues or folk songs.

Many musicians consider this one of Led Zeppelin’s technically strongest performances, but Jimmy Page admitted that it’s certainly not perfect. In an interview with Guitar Player magazine in 1977, Page stated, “there are mistakes in it, but it doesn’t make any difference. I’ll always leave the mistakes in. I can’t help it. The timing bits on the A and B flat parts are right, though it might sound wrong. The timing just sounds off. But there are some wrong notes. You’ve got to be reasonably honest about it.”

Rock and Roll

As the title suggests, the song is based on one of the most popular structures in rock and roll. That is the 12-bar blues progression (in A). The phrase “Rock and Roll” was a term rhythm and blues musicians used as a metaphor for sex.

The song, Rock and Roll, has been covered by many other artists, including Def Leppard, Heart, and even the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2001, this song was recorded by Double Trouble (Stevie Ray Vaughan’s backup band), for their 2001 album, Been A Long Time with Susan Tedeschi singing lead on the track.

The band often used this either as an encore or to open live shows from 1971-1975.

“The Biggest Band in the World” 1971 – 1975

Many consider Led Zeppelin to be one of the most successful, innovative, and influential bands in the history of rock music.

Rock critic Mikal Gilmore said, “Led Zeppelin—talented, complex, grasping, beautiful and dangerous—made one of the most enduring bodies of composition and performance in twentieth-century music, despite everything they had to overpower, including themselves”

Led Zeppelin influenced hard rock and heavy metal bands such as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Rush, Queen, Aerosmith, the Black Crowes, and Megadeth as well as progressive metal bands like Tool and Dream Theater.

They also influenced some early punk and post-punk bands, such as The Ramones, Joy Division and the Cult.

Zeppelin was also a significant influence on the development of alternative rock artists who adapted elements from the “Zeppelin sound” of the mid-1970s, including the Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.

Bands and artists from many diverse genres have acknowledged the influence of Led Zeppelin. These include Madonna, Shakira, Lady Gaga, Kesha, and Katie Melua.

Too many achievements to count!

Led Zeppelin has achieved many honors and awards throughout their career. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

Among the band’s awards are an American Music Award in 2005, and the Polar Music Prize in 2006.

Led Zeppelin was the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and four of their recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

In the US, Zeppelin has been awarded five Diamond albums, as well as fourteen Multi-Platinum, four Platinum and one Gold album.

In the UK, they have five Multi-Platinum, six Platinum, one Gold, and four Silver albums.

In addition to listing five of their albums among “the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, Rolling Stone named Led Zeppelin the 14th-greatest artist of all time in 2004.

Perhaps the biggest accolade for me was when, not too many years ago, a lady friend and I went to see a Led Zeppelin cover band called Get the Led Out (they are excellent by the way). This wonderful lady was not a big rock and roll fan, being more into classical music and opera, and I am sure going to humor me. During one song, the band got to one of my favorite parts, where the melody shifts key, tempo, and everything else. She looked at me and said, “Oh my God … that was brilliant!”

So, grab your iPhone, stereo, boombox, radio, or whatever you listen to music with, and take a few minutes to get the Led out!