Big Brother And The Holding Company

'Frisco hippies who survived the '60s and still go back there for a living

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HOW HARD IT IS

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Once they were rid of the mixed blessing of Janis Joplin’s Bessie Smith Jnr-isms, the West Coast rock, blues and juggery of Big Brother came back into its pre-Cheap Thrills own. Adding Quicksilver’s Nick Gravenites to the fold, they threw off some of their amiable imagery and resumed their club-forged sound, honed as house band at the Avalon Ballroom. These two early-’70s reissues will still appeal to devotees of that whole Cold Blood/Sons Of Champlin era. Guitarists Sam Andrew and Peter Albin share some Dead work-out ambition on their retread of Quicksilver Messenger Service’s “Joseph’s Coat” and the riffy “Maui”, while “I’ll Change Your Flat Tire, Merle” fits in with the redneck vs hippie style wars that once seemed so important.

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