Pearl, San José Pop Festival in 1968. Photograph by Bruce Steinberg.
Janis’s voice is tightly woven throughout my life soundtrack. Ever present, empowering me to slay whatever dragon haunts my keep. However, she speaks to me most in this season. High summer in Bluegrass country is not for the weak, ill prepared or uninitiated. Certain items are simply necessary for survival in this exhausting environment. Uppermost on that list is access to bodies of cool water with awesome music floating above them. Her rendition of Gershwin’s classic is always first on the playlist. Sustenance for a walk on the face of the sun wrapped in a steaming towel. Armed only with an ice-cold watermelon from Jigg’s and cheap sunglasses.