Back in 1964 when the Bay Area still provided low-rent housing for an emerging generation of artists, two local musicians named Janis Joplin and Jorma Kaukonen came together to rehearse for a North Beach gig. Though then little known outside the coastal community, the two would become leaders in the emerging San Francisco rock movement, the former as the Queen of Psychedelic Blues and the latter as a driving force of Jefferson Airplane.
Recordings of the now-legendary rehearsal have floated around for decades through low-quality, multi-generational transfers. Now, straight from Kaukonen’s reel-to-reel recorder with approval from Jorma and Janis’ estate, The Legendary Typewriter Tape: 6/25/64 Jorma’s House is available from Omnivore Recordings.
The eight-track collection hears the duo take on blues classics like “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” and Richard James‘ “Trouble in Mind”. They also display their budding songwriting talents as Jorma offers Hot Tuna‘s signature “Hesitation Blues” while Pearl submits her own “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy”. All the while, Jorma’s wife Margareta clacks away on her typewriter, giving the archival release its name. Between tracks, listeners enjoy a fly-on-the-wall perspective of two counterculture icons in the making.
“This is indeed a window into a simpler time when the music truly was everything,” Kaukonen writes in the album’s liner notes.
Stream Janis Joplin and Jorma Kaukonen’s The Legendary Typewriter Type or order the CD from Omnivore.
Janis Joplin, Jorma Kaukonen – The Legendary Typewriter Tape: 6/25/64 Jorma’s House