Joplin's original band at Telluride's Opera House Friday

Joplin's original band at Telluride's Opera House Friday

[to hear BBHC’s Sam Andrew talking to Susan, click “Play”]

BBHCoriginalnologos Telluride’s Sheridan Opera House welcomes Janis Joplin’s original band to town. Big Brother & The Holding Company are performing live concert at the historic venue on Friday, July 2. Show time is 8 p.m. Doors and box office, 7:30 p.m. (Stop by the Sheridan Opera House courtyard from 5-8pm just prior to the show for a free Gala Premiere and Silent Auction, featuring paintings created by artists attending Telluride Plein Air’s 7th Annual Celebration of Outdoor Painting.  Complementary wine sampling and snacks provided.)

Janis Joplin brought her big, bad, bluesy voice from the red dirt of Texas to San Francisco, when “The Haight” was the heart of the drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll flower child days of the 1960s. Virtually overnight, thanks to a man named Chet Helms, she went from drifter to a superstar universally described as “the greatest white urban blues and soul singer of her generation.” That is, thanks to Helms and the band he managed, Big Brother & The Holding Company, which became Joplin’s surrogate family.

BBHCPostCardTT Together, Joplin and Big Brother made the milestone album, Cheap Thrills, which topped the charts for eight straight weeks in 1968 and has been re-released. Her performance with Big Brother at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967, a highlight of the documentary “Monterey Pop,” is widely considered among the great performances in rock history.

Big Brother’s sound was loud, explosive mix of blues and psychedelia, topped off for good measure by Joplin’s awesome wails. The band was a regular at Chet Helms’ legendary Avalon Ballroom, where much of “Cheap Thrills” was recorded.

Big Brother came unstuck in 1968 when Janis and founder/guitarist Sam Andrew decided to leave to form a new group. Big Brother reformed in 1986 and has been touring ever since, and with increasing velocity since 2007, when the Summer of Love 40th Anniversary Tour came into being with Big Brother in a line-up that included Jefferson Starship and Quicksilver Messenger Service. Then came The Heroes of Woodstock 40th Anniversary tour. And the beat goes on. And so does Big Brother, once again touring the world.

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to  Sam Andrew’s interview.

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