Hear My Train A Comin’ One Of The Most In-Depth Hendrix Documentaries Yet

Courtesy:  Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Legacy Recordings

November 27th, 1942 is one of the most important dates in the history of modern music.  It is one of the most important dates in modern music history because that is the day that guitar legend Jimi Hendrix was born.  If Hendrix were still alive today, November 27th, 2013 would mark the guitarist’s seventy-first birthday.  In celebration of the anniversary, Legacy Recordings has put out yet another release focusing on his life and legacy in the form of the brand new documentary, Hear My Train a Comin’.  This latest documentary is one of the most in-depth documentaries centered on Hendrix to date.  Whether one is new to the music of Jimi Hendrix or is more knowledgeable of him, this documentary is one more impressive release celebrating Hendrix’s life and music.

Hear My Train a Comin’ is such a wonderful addition to any Hendrix fan’s home collection because of its breadth.  Much of the material included in this release is completely different from any previous concerts and blu-rays released to the masses before.  Audiences get with this roughly two hour documentary more than just a glance into what made Hendrix so legendary (and what continues to make him so legendary even today).  Rather, they get the full *ahem* experience (bad pun fully intended).  This documentary includes classic concert footage that has rarely ever been seen before as well as classic interviews with Hendrix.  There are also interviews with some of the biggest names in the music industry past and present that help to highlight the kind of person that Hendrix was both on and off stage.  These elements along with the documentary’s bonus features make Hear My Train a Comin’ a must see for anyone that has any interest at all in Jimi Hendrix.

One of the key elements that makes Hear My Train a Comin’ such a joy is the inclusion of so much classic live footage.  More classic footage is included in this documentary than any Hendrix documentary or concert film released in recent memory.  On the surface, the footage is such a wonderful addition to the program because it gives viewers more chance than ever to experience his music live on film.  It’s one thing to hear the band’s live performances on vinyl or on CD.  But to actually see just how much concert footage has been preserved is in itself impressive.  It raises hopes that maybe in the not too distant future, even more of that footage will be released so as to help maintain Hendrix’s legacy for another seventy years plus.  What’s most impressive about the footage is its quality.  Both the video and audio mix of every piece of concert footage is just as clear as could be.  This applies both to the black and white footage and the color footage.  Those charged with maintaining the concert footage and restoring it for this presentation are to be highly commended.  It’s just the beginning of what this documentary has to offer audiences.  Audiences will also appreciate the vintage first person commentary from Hendrix as well as his sit down with talk show host Dick Cavett.

The first person commentary from Hendrix and his sit down with Dick Cavett are just as important to the overall presentation that is Hear My Train a Comin’ as the preserved concert footage.  His interview on the Dick Cavett Show is especially enlightening.  That’s because this interview, which has been shown only in segments in other documentaries, shows just how humble Jimi Hendrix was both as an artist and as a person.  It echoes the sentiment shared about him throughout each of Legacy Recordings’ previous Hendrix documentaries.  When asked about his thoughts on getting compliments from audiences, he explains to Dick that compliments aren’t why he performs, and how far too many artists let compliments feed their egos and lose sight of what’s most important.  This sentiment rings true even today.  That sentiment along with Hendrix’s own first person commentary on his writing makes the entire presentation even richer for audiences.  Of course the enjoyment doesn’t end here.  Audiences are also treated to insight on Jimi from some of the biggest names in the music industry from the past and present.  Their own stories make the concert footage, the interview with Dick Cavett, and Hendrix’s own words that much more interesting.  And together with the bonus concert footage from the Miami Pop Festival and a special second concert, viewers are treated to a music documentary unlike any that has been released in recent memory.  It’s one that any fan of Jimi Hendrix will agree is a must see.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from the official Jimi Hendrix website at http://www.authentichendrix.com/Dept.aspx?cp=103_62591, along with the new double disc vinyl release of the new Hendrix live release, Miami Pop Festival.  More information on these releases and all things Jimi Hendrix is available online at http://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix and http://www.jimihendrix.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Miami Pop Festival Another Fitting Tribute To Hendrix’s Legacy

Courtesy:  Sony Legacy/Experience Hendrix, LLC

Courtesy: Sony Legacy/Experience Hendrix, LLC

November 27th, 1942 is one of the most important dates in modern music history.  It is such an important date because that was the day on which one of the greatest guitarists in modern music history was born.  His name was Jimi Hendrix.  If he were still around today, this November would mark his seventy-first birthday.  In honor of the upcoming anniversary, Sony Legacy and Experience Hendrix, LLC will release the never before released live recording, Jimi Hendrix Experience: Miami Pop Festival on November 5th.  This latest live release is another welcome addition to the home library of any true purist Hendrix fan.  Fans will appreciate and enjoy this latest live release first and foremost because as any fan knows, Hendrix and his band mates never played the same song the same way twice.  This was the case both in The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys.  And that holds true even in the case of this release.  Audiences will also take note that in this performance, they get Hendrix’s very first ever recorded live performance of ‘Hear My Train A Comin’’ and ‘Tax Free.’  And sealing the deal for fans is the fact that as old as the performance is, the sound quality is just as good as any live recording released today.  The sound quality combined with the set list and overall performance makes this recording one that is deserving of many more than just one listen.

Anyone purist Hendrix fan knows that one thing that makes his live recordings so special is that he and his band mates never performed the same song the same way twice.  This applied both in the case of his performances with The Jimi Hendrix Experience and with his Band of Gypsys.  And it rings especially true on this recording.  Listeners will love how the band spontaneously breaks into jam sessions on every song.  One of the best of those moments comes in the band’s performance of ‘Red House.’  One can instantly see the band on stage, letting the music take over as it flows within the moment.  Drummer Mitch Mitchell’s playing is incredible to say the least.  Even throughout his performance in the band’s jam session here, he never misses a single beat.  And one can almost close one’s eyes and see Jimi, his own eyes closed as he lets the music flow from his fingertips.  This is a moment that is more than just part of concert.  It is part of a musical experience (pun fully intended).  It’s just one of so many moments that audiences will appreciate throughout this recording.

Hendrix and company offer so much enjoyment throughout The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Miami Pop Festival.  Listening to this new release is just as good as having been there.  The performance itself is just part of the equation, though.  Listeners get an extra special treat in this new live release that they’d never gotten in previous live Hendrix recordings.  That special treat is the inclusion of the first ever live recordings of ‘Hear My Train A Comin’ and ‘Tax Free.’  The first ever live recording of ‘Hear My Train A Comin’ is a wonderful musical experience.  It really served to exhibit Hendrix’s talent on the guitar.  The song’s old school blues roots come out so powerfully throughout the song, showing perfectly the connection between rock and the blues.  And again, Mitchell’s drumming perfectly complements Hendrix’s playing, while bassist Noel Redding maintains the songs foundation just as expertly.  ‘Tax Free’ by contrast is something that simply has to be heard to be appreciated.  This song is a full on jam session.  There are no words here.  Just music.  And the music is incredible. It is a rock song.  But it is also a chance for the band members to show the extent of their talents.  And to say that each one is talented would be an understatement.  It is one more small portion of the whole that makes this recording a must for any fan of Jimi Hendrix or of real music with soul and substance.

The set list and overall performance presented by Jimi Hendrix and his band mates on this latest live release are both extremely impresses parts of the whole presentation.  There is one more aspect of this recording’s presentation to consider in its success.  That factor is its audio mix.  More than forty-five years have passed since this performance was originally recorded.  Considering how much time has passed, it’s incredible that the masters have stood the test of time so well.  Just as interesting to note is that they survived the transfer from tape to CD.  The sound on this recording is just as clear as if one were actually at the performance as it was happening.  That is a tribute to both those that transferred the show to CD and to the man originally responsible for putting the recording to tape, Hendrix’s friend and sound engineer Eddie Kramer.  Kramer handled his recording duties with the utmost expertise in this performance.  And it shows from start to finish.  No one part overpowers the other at any one point throughout the show.  This added to the mix puts the recording over the top and that much more worth picking up when it hits stores in November.  More information on this and other upcoming Hendrix recordings is available online at http://www.jimihendrix.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Lickety Split Rocks Its Way Into The Year’s Best New Records List

Courtesy:  Blue Note Records

Courtesy: Blue Note Records

Robert Randolph and the Family Band are back.  And they are back in grand fashion on their first album in three years.  The new record, Lickety Split is one of the best new records of 2013, hands down.  This twelve-song musical masterpiece mixes lots of fun anthems with some more subdued pieces and tosses in a pair of covers and a famous guest spot to make it an album that audiences will find themselves enjoying even more with each listen. 

Among the best of the album’s more full on songs is its opener, ‘Amped Up.’  This was the perfect choice with which to open the album.  It wastes no time at all getting listeners moving.  The energy kicks right into gear at one thousand percent, making listeners want to pump the volume on their stereos and iPods to eleven.  It’s just a fun, full on song that anyone will enjoy.  Randolph sings cheerfully, You’ve only got one life to live/So give it everything you’ve got to give/If anybody asks you why/Look ‘em in the eye and say/I’m about to get amped up/Everybody throw your hands up/Come on and get cranked up/Everybody get amped up.”  The energy from the lyrics mixes with the song’s music to easily achieve its goal at getting audiences amped up and moving.  Once the song ends, Randolph and company pull back, but not too much, in the bluesy/gospel hybrid ‘Born Again.’ 

‘Born Again’ isn’t as high energy as ‘Amped Up.’  But, it still has its own energy.  The song’s bluesy/gospel hybrid sound is just like something that one might actually hear in a church.  Ironically enough Randolph himself stated of the song that this song was originally a love song.  “It’s about finding the joy again,” he said.  “At first, it was more of a love song, about the sense you get when you find the right person.  Then as we were recording this new music with a whole new sense of direction and feeling free again it all came together.  It’s not a religious thing, it’s just new energy—which is really the old energy that I had at the beginning of my career.”   It’s interesting that he notes that it not only started out as a love song, but that it was also not a religious thing.  That’s because with its hybrid sound, it could just as easily pass for a song one might hear in a church.  Regardless, it’s a song that any listener will enjoy.  Vocalist Lenesha Randolph’s vocals are so strong throughout the song.  And the addition of a choir to back the band serves to make the song that much better.  It’s such an impressive follow-up to the album’s opener that by its end, some listeners might even find themselves out of breath and energy having danced their way through both songs.  Thankfully, the band pulls back just a little more on the next song, ‘New Orleans.’

New Orleans is even more pulled back than the first two songs on Lickety Split.  After all of the energy carried by those two songs, this seeming love letter to one of America’s greatest cities is perfectly placed in the album’s overall sequencing.  Again, Lenesha Randolph takes center stage, her vocals so gentle and calming.  Set again Robert Randolph’s slightly more upbeat sections, the two make for a wonderful juxtaposition celebrating Nola.  Lenesha sings fondly of the city, “I heard a sound/Sweet soulful sound/And a happy song/In my dreams/A marching band/Piano man/And that soul…/So sad and sweet.”  The tone in her singing instantly creates such a sense of nostalgia among listeners.  This includes even listeners who have maybe never been to New Orleans.  One can almost see images in sepia tone in their minds, everything of which she sings.  Robert Randolph’s counterpoint, on the other hand, brings everything into full color.  It helps to paint a massive, happy picture of a city that has done and meant so much to America.  It’s one more wonderful addition to an album that boasts so many high points. 

The joy of this album doesn’t end with its first trio of songs.  As soon as ‘New Orleans’ fades gently away, the party gets moving again with the aptly titled, ‘Take The Party.’  This piece brings back the energy of the album’s opener before easing into the more old school funk influenced ‘Brand New Wayo.’  The fun doesn’t end here, either.  Randolph and company keep listeners’ ears throughout the rest of this album. This is thanks in large part to the band’s continued talent and skill as musicians.  Credit will be given where credit is due here.  The people behind the boards are also to thank for this album’s fun factor, as well as guest guitarist Carlos Santana and trombone player, Trombone Shorty. 

Engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin) and mixer Jim Scott (Tedeschi Trucks Band) deserve their own credit for the work behind the boards on this record.  It’s no wonder that Lickety Split bears significance to the Tedeschi Trucks Band with Scott on board.  If one didn’t know any better, one would think that one of the husband/wife duo of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks was in fact guesting, hearing the guitar work throughout the record.  Though having fellow legend Carlos Santana on board, helping with guitar duties doesn’t hurt, either.  That bonus, and the work of everybody else involved on this record makes Lickety Split a must hear for any long-time Robert Randolph fan and for anyone that is new to the work of this highly accomplished musician and his family.  It will be available tomorrow, July 16th in stores and online. Audiences can keep an eye out for it in the official Robert Randolph online store at http://www.robertrandolph.net.  Fans can also go here and the band’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/rrtfb and “Like” it to keep up with all of the latest news and tour information from the band.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.    

Robert Randolph Announces New Record Deal, Tour

Courtesy:  Merlis For Hire

Courtesy: Merlis For Hire

Robert Randolph and the Family Band are back.  The band has signed a new deal with legendary jazz label, Blue Note Records.  This news comes along with the announcement of a new upcoming album due out this Summer.  The long anticipated new release will be the first from Randolph since 2010’s We Walk This Road.  Blue Note president Don Was recently commented on the signing, expressing his joy at having Randolph as the label’s newest signee.  “Robert Randolph is an American original…he has mastered what is, arguably, the most complex instrument in the world and developed a unique voice that is equal parts street-corner church and Bonnaroo,” he said.  “Robert’s new studio album finally captures the energy and excitement of his legendary live performances…we are honored that he has chosen Blue Note Records as his new home.” 

Randolph also shared his thoughts on having signed with Blue Note, expressing just as much excitement at this next step in his career.  “Blue note is a true music label with a 75-year history of working with great musicians like John Coletrane, Miles Davis and Al Green and the head of the label is a real musician and songwriter,” he explained.  Randolph will self produce the album, which will also feature members of his own family once again.  It will be engineered by Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin) and mixed by Jim Scott (Tedeschi Trucks Band).

Randolph will hit the road this Spring and Summer in support of his as yet untitled album.  His tour is currently slated to kick off April 6th at the River Run Rocks Series in Keystone, CO.  It’s set to run through August 16th and will include a pair of performances in North Carolina.  The first of those dates is Friday, May 10th at Wilmington, NC’s Greenfield Lake Amphitheater.  The second of his North Carolina dates is Saturday, May 11th in Beaufort, NC at the Beaufort Music Festival.  Fans can get a full list of tour dates online at http://www.facebook.com/rrtfb, http://www.robertrandolph.net, http://www.myspace.com/robertrandolph and http://twitter.com/rrtfb.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Hendrix LP Storms Billboard Charts In Its Debut

Courtesy:  Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Legacy Recordings

The latest compilation of songs from Jimi Hendrix made a big splash in its debut.  People, Hell and Angels debuted on the Billboard 200 at #2 and the Billboard Hard Music Chart in the #1 spot.  It’s the highest charting Hendrix album since his landmark 1968 album, Electric Ladyland.  That album spent two weeks at number one that year.  The most previous compilation of Hendrix songs, Valleys of Neptune, also on Legacy Recordings, debuted and peaked at #4.

People, Hell and Angels’ #1 chart position comes thanks to combined sales of the record from both online and brick-and-mortar outlets.  The album’s lead single, ‘Somewhere’, has also gone to the #1 position, according to a segment of CBS’ CBS This Morning.  “Jimi Hendrix (born November 27th, 1942) died in 1970 at the age of 27,” said host Charlie Rose.  “But his influence on music continues to this day.  The album as a whole is considered an important part of any Hendrix fan’s library.  The album’s release has also triggered a resurgence in interest in the legendary guitarist’s other works.  The Best Of, South Saturn Delta, Are You Experienced, and Axis: Bold As Love have all moved up on the latest album charts as a result of the latest LP’s release. 

People, Hell and Angels has received high marks from across the music and entertainment industry.  NPR’s World Café will be showcased in a pair of hour-long broadcasts as well as on the Dan Akroyd-hosted radio series, “Elwood’s Bluesmobile.”  “Elwood’s Bluesmobile” is syndicated on 180 commercial radio stations across America, Canada, and the Armed Forces Network.  The album is available now in stores and online.  Fans can order it online through the official Jimi Hendrix website, http://www.jimihendrix.com.  Fans can also get news on the latest Jimi Hendrix releases and more on the official Jimi Hendrix website as well as the official Jimi Hendrix Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ThejimiHendrixExperience.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Official Record Store Day Poster Released

Courtesy:  Experience Hendrix, Inc./Merlis for Hire

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix, Inc./Merlis for Hire

The official poster for the 2013 Record Store Day—Saturday, April 20th–has been released.  The poster in question features legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix in record store.  The original photo was taken by photographer Ira Rosen just before the release of Hendrix’s famed album, Are You Experienced.  It just so happened that Hendrix was a fan of record stores and was spending the morning of that photo shopping around for some of the day’s latest releases. 

Hendrix’s sister Janie—the head of Experience Hendrix, Inc.—spoke on the use of the photograph.  Here is what she had to say regarding her brother being used to promote Record Store Day.  “It’s entirely appropriate that an image of Jimi Hendrix is on the official Record Store Day poster.  He was an avid music fan and record collector himself and, of course, his recordings are among the most enduring and cherished of all time.  Jimi’s musical legacy and influence grow with every passing year, so in a sense, he makes Record Store Day last much, much longer than 24 hours.”

The poster featuring Hendrix will be printed in very limited quantity.  Only 5,000 copies of the poster will be printed.  The 24” x 36” poster will be printed on heavy paper and gratis to fans who take part in Record Store Day at record stores across the country.  Fans interested in getting their hands on a poster should contact their local record store ahead of time to get details on whether their store will carry copies of the poster.

As an added bonus to the poster, Experience Hendrix, Inc. will also make available in celebration of Record Store Day a 7” vinyl single featuring the original mono mixes of ‘Hey Joe’ and ‘Stone Free.’  Neither of these mixes has been available since their original 1966 release. 

The upcoming celebration of Jimi Hendrix’s life and legacy comes fresh on the heels of the release of the new Hendrix album, People, Hell & Angels, which will be released Tuesday, March 5th.  Record Store Day is held on the third Saturday of April each year.  This year marks the sixth consecutive year that music fans will celebrate Record Store Day.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

New Hendrix LP Is One Of 2013′s Best New Releases

Courtesy:  Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Legacy Recordings

Legacy Recordings and Experience Hendrix, Inc. have released in the new Jimi Hendrix album, People, Hell & Angels what is one of the best albums of 2013. This latest release from the vaults represents Hendrix in a never before heard manner. Audiences will best understand and appreciate this record by listening to its twelve total tracks for themselves. Whether one is a devotee of Hendrix’s work or not, most people know songs such as ‘Hey Joe’, ‘The Wind Cries Mary’ and his take on Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower.’ But few people have heard Hendrix as they will on this new release; even the most devoted of fans.

People, Hell & Angels represents Hendrix at a pivotal point in his career. Having made music with The Jimi Hendrix Experience for so long, Hendrix wanted to do something outside of his comfort zone. And this compilation of songs is the result. The album opens with a nice up-tempo piece in ‘Earth Blues.’ The fuzz effect that Hendrix uses in his guitar with this song is true retro. And his vocals are just as strong. One can easily close one’s eyes and see people dancing to this, bodies moving in time throughout its near four-minute run time. What’s really interesting about this song is its stripped down sound.  Compared the music that Hendrix had previously written in his career, this is quite a different sound.  It’s more of a funk style work.  And lyrically, one can only be led to believe that Hendrix was writing about a woman here.  And even as old as it is, it sounds like something that could have been included in the repertoire of so many of today’s garage rock bands.  Yet again, it’s proof of how far ahead of his time Hendrix was.

Just as impressive as the album’s opener is the take on this record of his song, ‘Hear My Train a Comin’.’  This song is without a doubt one of the highlights of this new album.  It exhibits not just Jimi’s talents as a guitarist but as a musician.  This song is pure blues at its best.  His musicianship here is equivalent to that of fellow blues great Stevie Ray Vaughan if not greater.  And while the song clocks in at less than six minutes, the guitar breaks throughout the song give Hendrix the opportunity to really shine along with his band mates Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, with whom he would later go on to record the landmark album, Band of Gypsys.  Noting that, it’s just one hint of the greatness that was to come.

Hendrix fans will appreciate the original take of ‘Hear My Train A Comin’ as it’s without a doubt one of the true highpoints of this album.  Though, it isn’t the album’s only high point.  As already noted, People, Hell & Angels shows Hendrix in a way never heard before.  And nowhere is this more evident than in the absolutely funky ‘Let Me Move You.’  Presented in this song is Hendrix playing alongside a saxophonist by the name of Lonnie Youngblood.  The relationship between Hendrix and Youngblood went way back, even before Jimi had been discovered by Chas Chandler in March 1969.  Jimi’s guitar styling here, Youngblood’s musicianship, and the vocals (supposedly by Youngblood, too) combine for a work that will leave any listener breathless and sweaty from dancing to its infectious grooves.  If ‘Hear my Train A Comin’’ is a high point to this new release, then ‘Let me Move You’ is the definitive high point of this LP.

‘Let Me Move You’ is the high point of People, Hell & Angels.  But even after its near seven-minute run ends, the enjoyment doesn’t end.  The second half of this album offers its own share of enjoyment.  A prime example of that is the instrumental ‘Easy Blues.’  This hard to find song was originally recorded for the long out of print 1981 album, Nine to the Universe.  After the raw energy of ‘Let me Move You’ and ‘Izabella’, this song makes for a great way for listeners to catch their breath while still enjoying some outstanding improve musicianship not only on the part of Jimi, but fellow band mates at the time, Billy Cox, Mitch Mitchell and then second guitarist Larry Lee.  It’s just one more example of the greatness of this music legend and his band mates throughout his career.  Of course it isn’t the end of things, either.  The album still offers no less than five more tracks for listeners to enjoy and select from as their favorite on an album that is one of the year’s best.  People, Hell & Angels will be available in stores and online Tuesday, March 5th.  Audiences will be able to order it online via Legacy Recordings’ online store at http://www.legacyrecordings.com/a/#/home/

To keep up with the all of the latest news surrounding every new Jimi Hendrix release, fans can online to the official Hendrix website and Facebook page at http://www.jimihendrix.com and http://www.facebook.com/TheJimiHendrixExperience

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

McDermott Discusses Upcoming Hendrix LP

Bob Merlis/M.f.h./Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Bob Merlis/M.f.h./Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Legacy Recordings will release the brand new Jimi Hendrix rarities album, People, Hell and Angels on Tuesday, March 5th.  The anticipation is building over this upcoming compilation of previously unreleased songs.  Now thanks to musicradar.com writer Joe Bosso, audiences are able to get a glimpse into each song on the new LP.  Bosso—who previously served as editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine and ex VP of A&R at Island Records–sat down with the album’s co-producer John McDermott and let him discuss the story behind each track in depth.  The following is what McDermott had to say about each song.  It comes courtesy of Mr. Bosso.

On 5 March, Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings releases People, Hell And Angels, a new collection of previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix recordings culled from sessions between early 1968 and late ’69, which saw the guitarist assuming the producer role and experimenting with different groups of musicians outside of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience trio.

“It’s a really exciting and interesting album,” says John McDermott, who co-produced the set with Eddie Kramer and Janie Hendrix. “The idea on Valleys Of Neptune was to show the end of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience, and with People, Hell And Angels, we moved the timeline up some. We looked at the remaining material, and the idea was to fill in the portrait as best we could.”

The recordings on People, Hell And Angels feature the first-ever studio session by the Band Of Gypsys, along with the group that Hendrix assembled for Woodstock, and also it showcases collaborations with old friends and new friends. “He was widening the net,” says McDermott. “Once the Experience were no longer going to be an effective recording unit, he got Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, as well as additional percussion and Larry Lee on additional guitar. And there’s a track where his friend Stephen Stills bass. There’s experimentation, but it’s not in a loose, unformed way; Jimi was working with really compelling song structures, and he was playing great, too.”

During this period, Hendrix worked at various facilities – New York’s Record Plant, Hit Factory and Sound Center, along with the Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama – and with the exception of the track Somewhere, everything was recorded 16-track onto two-inch tape. “They were mainly Scotch tapes, and they were great shape,” says McDermott. “Jimi was fortunate in that he was working at a time before tape got thinner. We didn’t have to do any baking to the recordings. Everything held up beautifully.”

Hendrix’s last official album with the Experience was 1968′s Electric Ladyland, and the tracks on People, Hell And Angels offer fascinating insights as to the musical direction he was entertaining on his planned double album First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. “Jimi was working with friends who shared a common language with him,” says McDermott. “To be able to say to people who knew Elmore James, ‘I want to get an entirely different beat to this. I want to take this somewhere new. Here’s where we’re going’ – that was exciting for him. Everybody fell right in and tore into the music.

“What’s fascinating about Jimi is that one week of his felt like a year for other artists. There was so much creativity and so many possibilities. He was really looking to challenge himself. When he had an idea, he chased it fearlessly.”

Earth Blues

 

     “This harks back to that first May 1969 session. It was one of the songs that Jimi showcased to Buddy and Billy. While they didn’t get it then, they certainly had an interesting handle on it. When things geared up in December of that year for 

      the Band Of Gypsys shows, this is one of the tracks that was not only in the set, but Jimi recorded it in the studio, as well.

 

“What’s really interesting about this one is that, unlike the version now on First Rays Of The New Rising Sun and previously on Rainbow Bridge, it shows off the stripped-down funk, without the Ronettes and a lot of the extra guitar things that were overdubbed by Jimi later. It’s a separate take entirely, and he’s got the drum break in it, which is really cool. It’s a different approach.

“There was a shared understanding between Billy and Buddy, and that made it really easy for Jimi to work with them. As great as Noel became as a bassist, I just think that the camaraderie that Jimi and Billy had was special. They worked on material before they got into the studio in ways that Jimi and Noel never did. They got together in hotel rooms or in Jimi’s apartment – they enjoyed playing together. By ’68, ’69, Jimi’s relationship with Noel was more professional.”

Somewhere

“It’s really Jimi and Buddy Miles, and then Stephen Stills joins them on bass, and it starts to come together. It’s a great track with something of a strange history: It was part of the Crash Landing album, but a different take of the song was used on that. To us, this is the version that has all the right pieces. It’s got the original instrumentation and none of the posthumous overdubbing.

“It’s surprising to me that Somewhere was never considered for Electric Ladyland. I don’t know whether that was because Jimi recorded it without Chas Chandler being there to supervise it – that could have been an issue. Like My Friend, it’s a really interesting look at Jimi when he was just starting to step outside the original three-man band.

“Stephen Stills was good friends with Jimi, and he was friends with Buddy, as well, so it was a great mix of personalities. Stephen acquitted himself well on the bass. I think this track was really about Jimi taking advantage of the skills his friends had and tapping into that. Today, it’s nothing to invite your friends to the studio and have them play on a track – people do it all the time, guest starring on cuts and all that. Back then, it didn’t happen so much. The Beatles, The Stones – with rare exceptions, they always kept the core.”

 

Hear My Train A Comin’

 

“One of the highlights of the record. It’s Jimi sharing a common language with Billy and Buddy. All three of them did the chitlin’ circuit together. Both this song and Bleeding Heart were right in everybody’s wheelhouse.

“Jimi’s first love was the blues, but unlike his contemporaries – Clapton or Beck or some others – who were covering blues songs that they had heard on records, he was writing new, original blues and taking it to the next level. That’s what this is – a phenomenal take on a song that he had really tried to get right with the Experience, but hadn’t been able to do it to his liking.

“Billy and Buddy understood how to set the tempo. If you listen to this recording, they play it the same way as they did on the Live At The Fillmore East album. They knew intuitively that the song should have a great, menacing groove; it shouldn’t be old-school, old-tempo, four-bar stuff. They wanted it to have a totally different feel, and that’s what makes it exciting.”

 

Bleeding Heart

“The Elmore James song. Jimi loved Elmore, of course, and he tried this one many different ways: as a 12-bar, slow, extended version with the Experience; as a version that’s on Valleys Of Neptune with Billy Cox and the Cherry People, which is really cool – a totally different vibe. He worked with it a lot.

“What’s so cool about this track is that, prior to cutting it again, he told Buddy and Billy, ‘I want to drive a whole different beat.’ Again, it’s Jimi reinterpreting the blues. Yes, there’s homage there, but he’s putting his imprint on it. He had a way about him in that, when he did a cover, be it All Along The Watchtower, Sgt. Pepper or Like A Rolling Stone, it became a Jimi Hendrix tune. This is a fresh take.” 

Let Me Move You

 

“Jimi was reaching back to old friends, including Lonnie Youngblood, and he had this idea to take what they used to do, when Jimi was a sideman for Lonnie, and bring it into the future. He was able to be free not only with his guitar part but with the tone and the attack, as well. None of that stuff had to be muted like it was going to be a little R&B recording; instead, it was a Jimi Hendrix recording.

“Given that, I think everybody stepped up. It’s a very exciting, energetic cut. Jimi put everything he had into it. If you compare it to some of the things he had done with Lonnie three years earlier, it’s like night and day.

“Guitar players should take note of him comping the changes. He really understood the value of rhythm guitar; that you really have to connect to an arrangement and bring something to it, not just for a 16-bar solo but throughout the song. He’s all over it.

“It’s really cool to hear Jimi play off Lonnie’s saxophone, and what’s especially interesting is to hear how he can add but not trample.”

Izabella

 

“What I love about this version of Izabella is that it showcases the promise of the Woodstock band. I think what Jimi saw in that, and having somebody like Larry Lee, whom he had played with on the chitlin’ circuit, was adding that rhythm guitar and connecting with it. The band had played this song two weeks earlier at Woodstock, and it came off very well. Jimi wanted to cut it in the studio while it was still fresh.

“The solo is just fantastic – absolutely scorching. Eddie Kramer and I heard it in ’95 when we were going through the tape library, and we said, ‘You know what? When the time comes, there will be a place for that.’ It’s amazing.”

Easy Blues

“Easy Blues is a favorite. There was an edited version that came out as part of Nine To The Universe, and we’ve had a lot of requests for the extended track. It really fits here because it’s from the same sessions, and it’s the same instrumentation, the same players. Contextually, we felt that this was the place to showcase the longer extract.

“It’s right in Mitch’s pocket – he plays very, very well on this. The additional percussion, the ability for everybody to add to what Jimi was doing instead of him having to carry the weight all the time – there’s a lot here, and you can hear why Jimi felt that this band had a lot of potential. It’s a shame that it wasn’t able to grow into something, but cuts like this sound great.”

Crash Landing

 

“Obviously, it was a part of the Crash Landing album. We just felt that anything that had been tinkered with should be heard in its original form. This is what Jimi was actually doing with the players, and it’s really good. There was never any need for any of that overdubbing that had gone on in ’75.

“Anybody who hears this will recognize it as a precursor of Freedom, but it still stands on its own. Jimi’s playing is great, the time signatures are unique, and Billy Cox, in one of his first sessions, is terrific. You can kind of get a sense for some of the things Billy would be doing going forward. He cemented the bottom in a way that Noel didn’t.

“There is a keyboard player on the track – somebody’s on B3 – but we don’t know who it was. They cut it all live. The session was tough for Jimi because he was struggling to get the guy to play what he wanted. A more sympathetic player like Steve Winwood might have been able to take it our further, but this is what Jimi had on this particular day.”

Inside Out

 

“A cool track. It starts to show the concept of Jimi no longer having to work with the three-man band. Actually, it’s him looking at a really unusual way of recording, where he and Mitch would work without a bass player. Jimi would overdub the bass.

“When you listen to a track as complex as this, that’s almost hard to believe. Mitch wasn’t a straight-ahead kind of drummer like Buddy Miles. While he played in time, he would certainly add a lot of amazing accents and techniques. Yet Jimi was able to pull everything off, and as a bass player he was fabulous.

“He and Eddie Kramer worked on that great Leslie guitar sound. Ezy Rider was such an important riff in his head – he doesn’t yet have it quite together, but here he’s blending it with kind of what he did with Tax Free, and that’s what makes it so interesting.”

Hey Gypsy Boy

 

“The precursor of Hey Baby from the Rising Sun album. Again, it’s one of Jimi’s first recordings with Buddy Miles. It shows the direction moving out of the Experience, and it would be a key part of Jimi’s set throughout 1970 and, of course, as the great version that’s on First Rays.”

Mojo Man

 

“A very cool track. It was cut at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, which was the hottest R&B studio at the time, but Jimi, just by making his additions, turned it into something that those guys never could have put together. His whole approach elevates it beyond what was then contemporary R&B.

“The groove of the Fame track – James Booker on piano – is fantastic. There was some amazing talent in the room. But what Jimi brought to it really speaks to what he could do, not only as a guitar player but as a producer, as well.”

Villanova Junction Blues

 

“The Woodstock version with Band Of Gypsys is so ingrained in people’s minds, but here is Jimi at the very front of it, kind of saying, ‘OK, I’ve got something really great, but I have to develop it.’

“We thought it was a sweet way to bring the record to a close. Like a lot of great songs in the library, it’s one that held a lot of promise, but of course, he wasn’t able to finish it.”

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Experience Hendrix Announces New Slate of Releases for 2013

Bob Merlis/M.f.h./Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Bob Merlis/M.f.h./Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

The world celebrated the seventieth anniversary of the birth of the iconic musician Jimmy Hendrix this past November.  While the anniversary has passed, Experience Hendrix, LLC continues to celebrate his legacy with more new releases this winter.  The company is set to release a new compilation of previously unreleased material in March titled, People, Hell and Angels.  In anticipation of the upcoming release, the single, ‘Somewhere’ is now available online at http://www.rollingstone.com.  The song is just one of the twelve tracks that comprise the new release.  It will also be available in a variety of formats beginning February 5th.  It will be available as a CD single available only at Wal-Mart.  It will also be available as a digital single and a special double-sided vinyl single available only at independent record stores nationwide.  The vinyl single will come with a bonus B-side that is a previously unreleased recording of ‘Power of Soul’ recorded by Band of Gypsys.  The CD single will come with a bonus live recording of ‘Foxey Lady’ recorded live at the Fillmore East in January 1970.  Both the vinyl and CD singles will be limited editions.

The upcoming album and limited edition singles are just part of the ongoing celebration of Hendrix’s birth and life.  Now, Experience Hendrix, LLC has made a new announcement about even more releases.  Along with the upcoming release of People, Hell and Angels, Experience Hendrix, LLC will also release a pair of Hendrix’s classic albums on 12” mono vinyl’s for true Hendrix aficionados.   The companion releases will be re-issues of his classic albums, Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold as Love.  Both albums will be struck on 200-gram audiophile vinyl.  Each one will be individually numbered and will include original artwork and sequencing.

The track listing for each vinyl is as follows:

Are You Experienced (U.S. Sequence and Artwork)

Side 1                                                    Side 2

1.  Purple Haze                                  1.  The Wind Cries Mary

2.  Manic Depression                      2.  Fire

3.  Hey Joe                                          3.  3rd Stone From The Sun

4.  Love or Confusion                      4.  Foxey Lady

5.  May This Be Love                       5.  Are You Experienced

6.  I Don’t Live Today

Are You Experienced (U.K. Sequence and Artwork)

Side 1                                                    Side 2

1.  Foxey Lady                                    1.  May This Be Love

2.  Manic Depression                      2.  Third Stone From the Sun

3.  Red House                                    3.  Remember

4.  Can You See Me                         4.  Are You experienced

5.  Love or Confusion

6.  I Don’t Live Today

 

Axis: Bold as Love

Side 1                                                    Side 2

1.  EXP                                                   1.  You Got Me Floating

2.  Up From the Skies                     2.  Castles Made of Sand

3.  Spanish Castle Magic                                3.  She’s So Fine

4.  Wait Until Tomorrow                4.  One Rainy Wish

5.  Little Wing                                     5.  Little Miss Lover

6.  If 6 Was 9                                       6.  Bold as Love

 

For all of the latest news on the latest Hendrix releases and more, fans can go online to http://www.jimihendrix.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Experience Hendrix, Legacy Recordings Offer Track-By-Track Rundown Of New Hendrix LP

Bob Merlis/M.f.h./Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

The music world has spent 2012 celebrating the seventieth anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s birthday.  And now rather than let the celebration end, Experience Hendrix, LLC and Legacy Recordings have decided to extend the celebration of the late musician’s birthday anniversary with a new release in the New Year.

Experience Hendrix, LLC and Legacy Recordings have teamed up for the release of a brand new compilation of previously unreleased Hendrix recordings title, People, Hell and Angels. The album, which shows Hendrix’s post- Jimi Hendrix Experience works, will be released March 5, 2013.  In anticipation of the upcoming release, Jimi’s sister and Experience Hendrix, LLC President/CEO commented on the new album.  “We’re thrilled to be able to release People, Hell and Angels during the celebration of the 70th anniversary of my brother’s birth.  The brilliance of the album serves to underscore what we’ve known all along: that there has never been and never will be a musical force equal to his and that we cherish and take inspiration of what he left us both now and for many generations to come…simply eternity.”

Legacy Recordings president Adam Block also shared his thoughts on the upcoming release.  “People, Hell and Angels provides us with further insight into the genius of Jimi Hendrix”, he said.  “Working with new rhythm sections and instrumentation, Jimi Hendrix was opening up the horizons of his music, creating new sounds filled with endless possibilities.”

While People, Hell and Angels won’t hit stores for at least another four months, Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings are offering a track-by-track rundown of the album for fans.  Each song on the album is given explanation in this new rundown.  And they are explained right here as follows:

People, Hell & Angels - Track by Track

 

Earth Blues:

Totally unlike the version first issued as part of Rainbow Bridge in 1971, this December 19, 1969 master take features just Hendrix, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles–stripped down funk at its very origin.  

 

Somewhere:

This newly discovered gem was recorded in March 1968 and features Buddy Miles on drums and Stephen Stills on bass.    Entirely different from any previous version fans have ever heard.

 

Hear My Train A Comin’:

This superb recording was drawn from Jimi’s first ever recording session with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles–the powerhouse rhythm section with whom he would later record the groundbreaking album Band Of Gypsys

 

Jimi shared a deep love for the blues with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles.  Both musicians understood Jimi’s desire to create what he described as a ‘new type of blues’.   Jimi’s menacing lead guitar is the centerpiece of this dramatic addition to his remarkable legacy.

 

Bleeding Heart:

This Elmore James masterwork had long been a favorite of Jimi’s.   He had performed the song earlier that year with the Experience in concert at the Royal Albert Hall and had attempted to capture the song in New York studio sessions during the weeks that followed.

 

Recorded at the same May 1969 session as “Hear My Train A Coming,” the track conveys Jimi’s firm understanding of the arrangement and tempo he desired. Before they began, Jimi instructed Cox and Miles that he wanted to establish a totally different beat than the standard arrangement.  He then kicked off this amazing rendition that was nothing like any other he had ever attempted. 

 

Let Me Move You:

In March 1969, Jimi reached back to another old friend, saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood.   Before he was discovered by Chas Chandler in the summer of 1966, Jimi had contributed guitar as a nondescript studio sideman for Youngblood and such infectious rhythm and blues styled singles such as “Soul Food”.

 

This March 1969 session features Hendrix and Youngblood trading licks throughout this never before heard, high velocity rock and soul classic.

 

Izabella:

In the aftermath of the Woodstock festival, Jimi gathered his new ensemble, Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, at the Hit Factory in August 1969 with engineer Eddie Kramer.  “Izabella” had been one of the new songs the guitarist introduced at the Woodstock festival and Jimi was eager to perfect a studio version.    This new version is markedly different from the Band Of Gypsys 45 rpm single master issued by Reprise Records in 1970 and features Larry Lee, Jimi’s old friend from the famed rhythm & blues ‘chitin’ circuit’, on rhythm guitar.

 

Easy Blues:

An edited extract of this gorgeous, free flowing instrumental was briefly issued as part of the long-out-of-print 1981 album Nine To The Universe.  Now nearly twice as long, the track offers fans the opportunity to enjoy the dramatic interplay between Jimi, second guitarist Larry Lee, Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell.

 

Crash Landing:

Perhaps known as the title song for the controversial 1975 album that featured Hendrix master recordings posthumously overdubbed by session musicians, this April 1969 original recording has never been heard before.   Jimi is joined here by Billy Cox and drummer Rocky Isaac of the Cherry People to record this thinly veiled warning to his girlfriend Devon Wilson.

 

Inside Out:

Jimi was fascinated by the rhythm pattern that would ultimately take form as “Ezy Ryder”.  Joined here by Mitch Mitchell, Jimi recorded all of the bass and guitar parts for this fascinating song–including a dramatic lead guitar part amplified through a Leslie organ speaker.

 

Hey Gypsy Boy:

The roots of Jimi’s majestic “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)” trace themselves to this March 1969 recording.  Unlike the posthumously overdubbed version briefly issued as part of Midnight Lightning in 1975, this is original recording that features Jimi joined by Buddy Miles.

 

Mojo Man:

Jimi would lend a hand to Albert & Arthur Allen, the vocalists known as the Ghetto Fighters, whom he had befriended in Harlem long before he achieved fame with the Experience.  When the two recorded this inspired, previously unreleased master at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama they took it back to Hendrix at Electric Lady Studios.  Jimi knew just what to do to elevate the recording beyond contemporary R & B to the new hybrid of rock, rhythm and blues he was celebrated for.

 

Villanova Junction Blues:

Long before his famous performance of this song at Woodstock, Jimi recorded this studio version with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles at the same May 1969 session which yielded “Hear My Train A Comin’” and “Bleeding Heart” also featured on this album.  Never fully finished, the song stands as an example of the fertile ideas he hoped to harness and bring to fruition.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.