Various Artists

House of Blues: Songs of Janis Joplin: Blues Down Deep

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Janis Joplin: This Ain't No Tribute Series -- All Blues'd Up! is an unusual way to pay tribute (or apparently not pay tribute) to the music surrounding Janis Joplin, whether it be songs that she wrote or just performed. Offering new versions of "Piece of My Heart," "Mercedes Benz," and many others, the album features modern electric blues artists like Taj Mahal and Tracy Nelson delivering fairly straightforward blues renditions of these songs. Joplin was heavily influenced by the genre, but her music was more soulful than the renditions offered here. There is an empty feeling to the material that doesn't complement her passion and emotion, but the songs are still quite passable when detached from the memory of her performances. Fans of Joplin probably won't find this that impressive, but these aren't that bad if one can simply forget the point of the album.

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