‘Both Sides Of The Sky’ Reaches For, Reaches The Sky In Its Debut

Photo Credit: Mike Berkofsky

There’s good news for Jimi Hendrix’s new album.

Both Sides of the Sky, the latest collection of songs from the legendary guitarist, debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200.  This figure comes after the album’s first week sales were announced early this week.  The album was released March 9 in stores and online, with March 16 marking its first full week of availability.

Along with its Top 10 debut on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, the album also charted at #3 on Billboard’s Top Current Albums and Top Rock Albums chart.  It has also proven a success overseas, with Top 10 debuts in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria.

These collective figures make Both Sides of the Sky the third consecutive Hendrix collection to debut in Billboard’s Top 10.  The 13-song record features guest appearances from Johnny Winter, Stephen Stills and Lonnie Youngblood. It was co-produced by Hendrix’s longtime producer, Eddie Kramer, Hendrix’s sister and Experience Hendrix, LLC head Janie Hendrix, and John McDermott, with liner notes penned by McDermott.

Both Sides of the Sky is available now.  It can be ordered online now here.  Its track listing is noted below.

Both Sides of the Sky tracklist:

1)    Mannish Boy*

2)    Lover Man*

3)    Hear My Train A Comin’*

4)    Stepping Stone*

5)    $20 Fine*+

6)    Power Of Soul^

7)    Jungle*

8)    Things I Used to Do#

9)    Georgia Blues++

10)  Sweet Angel*

11)  Woodstock*+

12)  Send My Love To Linda*

13)  Cherokee Mist*

 *Previously unreleased

^ Previously unavailable extended version

+Featuring Stephen Stills

#Featuring Johnny Winter

++Featuring Lonnie Youngblood

Produced by Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott for Experience Hendrix, L.L.C.

More information on Both Sides of the Sky is available online now along with all of Hendrix’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://jimihendrix.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Jimihendrix

 

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The Jimi Hendrix Park Finally Becoming A Reality

Courtesy:  Merlis For Hire

Courtesy: Merlis For Hire

It has taken four years of planning and fundraising. But it looks like the long-awaited Jimi Hendrix Park will finally become a reality at least in part very soon.

Officials with the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation announced this week that after much negotiation, The City Of Seattle is now pursuing a contract with construction company ERGG, Inc. to start work on the park, honoring one of the city’s favorite sons. ERGG, Inc. was chosen from a pool of five bidding companies to build the 2.5 acre park in the city’s Central District. The park will be located adjacent to the city’s Northwest African-American Museum. Construction on Phase I is expected to begin in April with opening of the park’s new features expected for this fall. Phase I of the park’s growth, designated “Little Wing,” will include a new stairway and grand entrance at the southeast corner of the park at the intersection of 25th and Massachusetts. It will also feature a chronological timeline of Jimi’s life and career, paved pathways, new landscaping that will feature new trees and native plantings, seat wall benches, improved fencing, ADA accessible walkways, rain infiltration gardens, a butterfly garden, and central plaza for community gatherings and performances.

Jimi Hendrix’s sister Janie Hendrix is Founder and Director of the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation. She shared her thoughts on this week’s major announcement noting her hopes that the park will be more than just another tourist trap. Rather, she hoped that it would become a site that would pay homage to Jimi’s life and legacy, noting, “It is our hope that for generations, it will exist as more than an attraction or point of interest, but a place of homage to one of Seattle’s own. The landscaping, the artistic design, and the ambience all mimic the vibe of the persona of Jimi, whom this park honors.”

Rosanna Sharpe is Executive Director of the Northwest African-American Museum. She shared Jamie’s high hopes for the park, especially being that the park will be located so close to the museum. “The Northwest African-American Museum looks forward to the opening of the new Jimi Hendrix Park,” she said. “Together we form a premier cultural destination that celebrates African-American art, history and culture, and the living legacy of an iconic musician who helped the world expand its definition of “black music” and continues to influence musicians today.”

Fundraising by the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation started in 2012. It raised a total of $1.4 million for the first of the park’s two phases. Fundraising for the second phase of the park’s development is ongoing. The second phase of the park’s development includes: additional pathways, pedestrian lighting, improved fencing, construction of a central shelter and centerpiece feature, and a “shadow wave wall” that depicts iconic silhouette images of Jimi Hendrix. Anyone that would like to donate to the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation’s work on the park’s second phase can do so online via the Foundation’s website at http://www.jimihendrixparkfoundation.org/donate.php. The Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation is a 501(c)3 registered public charity (EIN 27-3599916). A schematic design of the park in its completed state is noted below.

Courtesy:  Merlis For Hire

Courtesy: Merlis For Hire

Major financial assistance for development of Phase I came from: Hard Rock International, Parks and Green Spaces Opportunity Fund, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Janie L. Hendrix, King Conservation District, Seattle Parks Foundation, KISW 99.9 FM, Northwest African-American Museum, Nisqually Indian Tribe, and Fender Musical Instruments Co.

More information on The Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation is available online along with information on how to donate to the second phase of the park’s construction, and all of the latest developments on its construction at:

Website: http://www.jimihendrixparkfoundation.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JimiHendrixPark

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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 https://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.

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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.

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