Jimi Hendrix: Live At The Atlanta Pop Festival Is One Of 2015’s Top New Live CDs

Courtesy:  Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

On July 4th, 1970 legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix stood on a stage in Byron, Georgia before an audience estimated to be anywhere from 300,000 to 400,000 people at the city’s Second Atlanta International Pop Festival. He was joined on stage by then band mates Billy Cox (bass) and Mitch Mitchell (drums) for what would go on to be the biggest audience for which the trio would ever perform before Hendrix’s untimely death a little more than two months later. While it is the biggest performance that Hendrix and company had ever held, it has never seen the light of day. That is until now. Thanks to the efforts of the people at Experience Hendrix, LLC and Legacy Recordings, this classic concert will finally be available to audiences this Friday, August 28th. Needless to say this new, upcoming live recording is one more welcome addition to any Hendrix fan’s music library. The main reason that it is such an enjoyable recording is its set list. The show’s set list totals sixteen songs and tops off at roughly an hour and twenty-two minutes. It features both a number of Hendrix’s biggest hits up to that point and even a number of lesser-known pieces. The combination of both those bigger hits and lesser-known pieces makes for a set list that both the most hardcore Hendrix fans will enjoy and those that might not be so familiar with the music that made Hendrix rock royalty. As important as the concert’s set list is to its presentation in whole, it is just one part of what makes the show so enjoyable. Hendrix’s stage presence and that of his band mates plays its own role in the concert’s enjoyment. Last but hardly least important in the concert’s enjoyment is its audio mix. Considering the changes in recording technology over the course of the past forty-five years the quality of this concert’s audio mix is surprisingly impressive. Sure, it’s tough to hear Hendrix talking and joking with the audience between songs without pumping the volume almost to max. But that’s a minor issue when looking at the audio mix in general. That being the case, the audio mix passes the test and rounds out what is yet another archived show that any Hendrix fan will want to have in his or her own music library.

Jimi Hendrix: Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival is hardly the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first archived live show to be released by Experience Hendrix, LLC and Legacy Recordings. That aside, it is still another great addition to the home music library of any Hendrix fan out there regardless of his or her familiarity with Hendrix’s body of work and his live shows. The main way in which it proves so enjoyable is its set list. The set list is not entirely different from previous Jimi Hendrix Experience concert recordings. However, it does show at least some differences from those recordings. It shows differences by including a number of lesser-known songs including the likes of: ‘Lover Man,’ ‘Spanish Castle Magic,’ ‘Room Full of Mirrors,’ ‘Message To Love,’ and ‘Freedom’ just to name a handful. While the inclusion of those lesser-known songs is in itself important to the enjoyment of this recording the performance of the band’s more well-known songs should not be played down. Audiences will love the band’s laid back take of ‘Red House.’ And fittingly the band’s performance of the show-opening ‘Fire’ will have listeners even today feeling the energy exuded by the band and by the audience in attendance all those decades ago. Feeling that energy, listeners will feel it running through themselves, too. Just as interesting is the band’s performance of ‘Hey Joe,’ one of its biggest hits of all. Unlike with so many other performances of this song–and even the song’s original recording–it shows to be more up-tempo than in those recordings. That’s not to say that it is a really fast paced rendition of the song. It is just not as slow as audiences are accustomed to in regards to this song. It’s yet another interesting way in which the set list shows to be just one important element in the whole of Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival. The rest of the songs featured in the show’s set list could each be used as examples, too. These examples within themselves are just a few of the clearest examples of why the show’s set list is so important to its success and enjoyment.

The set list featured at the heart of Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival is a key element of the recording’s success. It is of course just one element in a much larger picture. The band’s stage presence–especially that of Hendrix himself–is just as important to its success and enjoyment. Audiences that are familiar with Hendrix’s history both on and off the stage will find his stage presence just as enjoyable as ever. This includes both his performance of each song and his rapport with his audience. During the course of each of the band’s songs, Hendrix feels just as at ease as ever. His performance feels completely natural and organic. Listeners will especially notice this in some of the concert’s more spur of the moment jam session moments. The same can be said of [Billy] Cox and [Mitch] Mitchell. They feel just as natural in their performances. Mitchell sounds as if his drumsticks are natural extensions of his arms as he flows through each song while Cox is just as smooth, offering up just enough low-end to perfectly compliment both Mitchell’s rhythms and Hendrix’s main line. It makes for a great harmony opposite Hendrix’s work. All three musicians’ talents together make for a nearly ninety minute set that is still just as enjoyable today as it was forty-five years ago. Hendrix’s rapport with the audience plays into that, too. Although listeners will have to pump the volume on their stereos or MP3 players in order to hear him between songs, they will hear for themselves in doing so just how natural he was even when not performing. It’s really interesting to note especially considering his nature off-stage. He was just as nice off-stage as he was in front of a crowd. But he was also somewhat shy around people when he wasn’t performing. So keeping that in mind, it makes his interactions with the audience here just as enjoyable and incredible as in any of the band’s other performances. It really goes to show why his ability to overcome that shyness is so important both to the enjoyment of this and other performances from the band, and why he is himself one of the most important front men in modern rock history.

The stage presence of both Hendrix and his band mates throughout the course of Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival shows in the long run to be a hugely important element in its overall success and enjoyment. That is because all three musicians’ performances feel just as natural and organic as in any of the band’s previous performances. That natural, organic approach to each song make the set list in whole that much more important to the recording’s success, too. For all of the importance of both noted elements, neither would be of any worth noting without noting the concert’s audio mix. Thankfully, those charged with restoring the concert’s audio mix stepped up and accomplished their task with the utmost expertise. Sure, it would have been nice if listeners didn’t have to jack up the recording’s volume in between songs. But that is a minor price to pay for a recording that sounds as good as it does in this case. It speaks volumes of not only the abilities of those that re-mastered the concert’s sounds but of those that originally recorded the concert and of the recording tech from the era. It is thanks to both that tech and the abilities of all involved that both the show’s set is so easy on the ears and why the band’s stage presence throughout the whole show comes across just as well even with the issue of the moments between the songs. It is the foundation for the concert in whole and in turn makes the concert complete. It is the final touch in the concert’s examination, proving exactly why it is yet another welcome addition to any Hendrix fan’s music library.

Jimi Hendrix: Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival is not the first live Hendrix concert recording to be released to audiences. That aside, it still proves in the end to be another fully welcome addition to any Hendrix fan’s music library. That is thanks to the show’s near ninety-minute set list, made up of songs that all of Hendrix’s fans will recognize. The band’s stage presence and the work of those responsible for re-mastering its sound are just as much to note. All three elements combined make Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival one more welcome addition to the music library of any Jimi Hendrix fan and one more of this year’s best new live CD recordings. It will be available in stores and online this Friday, August 28th. More information on this and other Jimi Hendrix recordings is available online now at:

Website: http://www.jimihendrix.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix

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Experience Hendrix, Legacy Announce New Hendrix Live Recording

Courtesy:  Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Officials with Experience Hendrix, LLC and Legacy Recordings announced Tuesday that the companies will release one of the last live performances of Jimi Hendrix’s career next month.

Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight will be released on Tuesday, June 17th on DVD and Blu-ray. The recording captures what would be his last full performance before his death eighteen days later on September 18th, 1970. His last live performance before his death was an impromptu set at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho less than a month later. The concert presented on Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight documents Hendrix’s headlining performance at the hugely revered festival on August 31st 1970. Hendrix performed to an audience of 600,000 at the festival. It was the largest audience before which he had ever performed. It was also the first time that his new band, rounded out by bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell, had played together in the UK.

The concert’s presentation on both DVD and Blu-ray will contain the same features including new footage of ‘Hey Joe’ that was not part of the concert recording’s original release. There is also a bonus interview with director Murray Lerner, reproductions of the original Isle of Wight Festival tickets, festival posters and even a copy of Hendrix’s own hand-written directions to the festival. The recording features both a stereo sound mix and ad 5.1 audio surround sound track mixed by Eddie Kramer. Eddie Kramer was Jimi Hendrix’s original recording engineer. The complete track listing for Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight is noted below.

TRACKLIST

  1.      Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live At The Isle Of Wight (Main Film) (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  2.      Introduction (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  3.      God Save The Queen (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  4.      Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  5.      Spanish Castle Magic (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  6.      All Along The Watchtower (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  7.      Machine Gun (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  8.      Lover Man (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  9.      Freedom (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  10.  Red House (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  11.  Dolly Dagger (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  12.  Foxey Lady (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  13.  Message To Love (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  14.  Ezy Ryder (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  15.  Purple Haze (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  16.  Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  17.  In From The Storm (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  18.  Credits (Live At The Isle Of Wight)

Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight will be available Tuesday, June 17th. It can be pre-ordered online now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JGD0TGC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00JGD0TGC&linkCode=as2&tag=legacy_recordings-20&linkId=ZIHQ4HIRI22HXDGE. More information on this and other Jimi Hendrix recordings is available online at http://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix and http://www.jimihendrix.com. 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 https://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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Blues For Jimi Is A Fitting Tribute To Hendrix, Moore, & Mitchell

Courtesy: eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

It’s been over four decades since the passing of Jimi Hendrix.  To be precise, it’s been just over forty-two years since his untimely passing.  In the time since this music legend’s death, his legacy has continued to thrive as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.  In honor of this unwitting rock star, the music world has been paying tribute to him throughout 2012, opting to celebrate his life rather than his death.  November 27th will have been seventy years since Hendrix’s birth.  In anticipation of his birthday anniversary, a handful of releases have been put out on DVD, Blu-ray, and CD.  As the big day nears, audiences are being treated with another tribute to Hendrix thank to Eagle Rock Entertainment’s release of Gary Moore: Blues for Jimi.

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Gary Moore: Blues for Jimi is a tribute not just to Hendrix, but also to his former drummer Mitch Mitchell and to Gary Moore.  This concert, recorded at the London Hippodrome in 2007 archives, is a wonderful performance to say the least.  It archives a legend paying homage to a legend along with two other legends.  The way that Moore churns through each song in this near hour and a half long show seems like he’s channeling Hendrix himself.  And were they listening to this show, not knowing, audiences would swear that bassist Bill Cox was Hendrix, too.

The concert runs a grand total of roughly an hour and fourteen minutes.  In that time, audiences are treated to something special.  As already noted, the way in which Moore plays, it’s as if he’s channeling Hendrix himself.  Audiences can tell in watching both the DVD and the Blu-ray presentation of this concert how much fun the late musician was having.  One of the best moments in the show comes as Moore is joined by Billy Cox and the now late Mitch Mitchell on ‘Red House.’  This show would be one of the last that Mitchell would ever perform before his death in 2008.  The jam session that the trio breaks into in this song is well worth the total eleven and a half minute run time.  What Hendrix show would be complete without a rendition of perhaps Hendrix’s greatest songs, ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)?’  Just watching Moore interact will both Mitchell and Cox shows the respect that he has not just for Hendrix’s legacy, but for both Mitchell and Cox, too.  They looked like three kids just jamming out having fun.  And that fun translated to the audience as well.  Even audiences at home will feel that same energy and joy.  It will make the show feel like it was over just when it began.  That is a sign of a great concert.

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records

The DVD and Blu-ray presentations of this archived concert are great for home viewers.  The concert looks especially great on blu-ray.  Fans can also take the concert with them anywhere they go as it’s also available on CD.  The CD presentation is exactly the same as the DVD and Blu-ray presentation.  So audiences won’t have to worry about losing anything in translation.  It still has all the same enjoyment as the DVD and Blu-ray.  The CD, DVD and Blu-ray presentation are all available in stores and online now.  Fans can order it direct via Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website, http://www.eagle-rock.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, 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 reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Legendary Live Hendrix Show Is Among 2012’s Best Live Recordings

Courtesy: Sony legacy

The 1960’s and 1970’s were without a doubt two of the most turbulent eras in America’s history.  They were eras of political and social unres.  By contast, they were also eras that created some of the greatest music in the country’s history, too.  One of the greatest names in music in those days was a young man from Seattle, Washington by the name of Jimi Hendrix.  His music epitomized the free expression of the time.  It also captured the tensions of the times.  Nowhere was this more evident than at his performance at the Berkeley Community Theater in Berkeley, California on Memorial Day, 1970.

The two concerts held that day were among the most important and impressive of Hendrix’s career.  The footage of the unrest right outside the theater as Hendrix played was a complete juxtaposition of the vibe of togetherness inside the theater.  His music became an escape for those in attendance as conflict brewed outside.  That both shows sold out that day showed Hendrix’s influence; his ability to join people together for peace, love, and music, despite all the problems of the world.  Just over forty-two years have passed since his performances that day.  That the original footage from those shows has lasted so long is simply incredible.  And thank goodness it did.  It captured an important momtn both in music history and American history.  Because it has been so well preserved, music lovers the world over can re-live these two shows on CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and even on double disc 200 gram vinyl.

Courtesy: Sony Legacy

The brand new release, “Jimi Plays Berkeley” is part of a bigger collection celebrating what would have been his 70th birthday later this year.  If Jimi were alive today, it would have been one heck of a gift to him.  Instead, it’s a gift to fans of his music, and music lovers in general.  Being that over four decades have passed since these shows were originally recorded, audiences will be amazed at thequality of the video and audio transfer.  Reading the included story of the journey made by the footage adds to the appreciation of the performances.

Those who pick up the blu-ray presentation of “Jimi Plays Berkeley” get more than just one amazing concert, speaking of footage.  Included in the blu-ray set is the second set that is also available in CD only format.  This is a big bonus for audiences.  It allows them to choose whether they want the CD, the blu-ray, or even both.  Even if fans pick up the DVD, they are still getting a performance that is not only one of 2012’s best live recordings, but also one of music’s greatest live shows.  “Jimi Plays Berkeley” is available now in stores and at most online retailers.

Courtesy: Sony Legacy

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, go 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 all the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.