Sony Legacy’s Latest Hendrix Profile Is One Of The Best Overall Albums Of 2015

Courtesy:  Sony Legacy/Experience Hendrix, LLC

Courtesy: Sony Legacy/Experience Hendrix, LLC

Sony Legacy’s new record You Can’t Use My Name is one of this year’s best new records. It is also one of the most important pieces of music history to be released in a long time. The record is a compilation of songs on which legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix lended his talents during his short stint with Curtis Knight and the Squires from 1965 – 1966. The songs culled for this record have never been released in any form. That is,as is noted in the album’s companion booklet, a result of legal issues that were only hammered out by the people at Experience Hendrix, LLC. Speaking of the booklet, it is just one part of what makes this record so important regardless of one’s level of knowledge in regards to Hendrix and his body of work. Confused? It’ll all be explained shortly. First and foremost though, the songs are central to the overall enjoyment of the record. They, along with the record’s companion booklet, make perfectly clear why any music lover overall will want to hear this record. Last but not least of all worth noting is the production values of the songs presented across the record. Considering that they have apparently sat in limbo for decades, they sound especially impressive in this presentation. Each element by itself makes You Can’t Use My Name enjoyable for any Jimi Hendrix fan. All three elements taken collectively into account they prove this record to be an equally important piece of music history. That collective importance and enjoyment makes You Can’t Use My Name one of this year’s best new album’s overall and a piece that both Hendrix fans and music lovers overall should add to his or her collection.

There is a lot to be said of Sony Legacy’s new compilation You Can’t Use My Name. The fourteen-track record is a compilation of songs that were recorded by legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix between 1965 and 1966 when he served as a backup member of Curtis Knight’s group Curtis Knight & The Squires. Its release on Tuesday, March 24th marks the first time ever that these songs have seen the light of day. They have hung in limbo for so long because of legal issues that Experience Hendrix, LLC only recently finally got settled. The issues in question had to do with ownership and distribution rights for the songs. The efforts to get the rights to the songs were well worth it as listeners will agree in hearing these songs. As listeners will note on this record, Hendrix’s guitar playing in each one of the compilation’s songs displays the roots of his talents. His guitar solo on ‘Gotta Have a New Dress’ and his work on the near seven-minute-long ‘Knock Yourself Out (Flying on Instruments) both display those roots. Though, the latter of the two shows more hints of the timeless tunes that he would churn out in the years to come with Mitch Mitchell, Noel Redding, and Billy Cox. For all of the breadth of talent displayed by both Hendrix and the members of The Squires on this record, listeners get to hear a glimpse of the consequences of those talents in the uncut take of ‘Gloomy Monday.’ Listeners hear Hendrix talking to Curtis Squires and to producer Ed Chalpin, head of PPX in regards to his name being used in the song’s credits. His reasoning for keeping his name off of the recording is fully justified, as audiences will read in the album’s companion booklet. Speaking of that story and the booklet in whole, the companion booklet that comes with You Can’t Use My Name both that story and the larger story presented in the booklet proves to be another reason that music lovers and Hendrix fans alike will enjoy and appreciate You Can’t Use My Name.

So many consumers today have turned away from purchasing physical albums and turned more towards directly downloading specific songs from given acts’ albums. Ever since the creation of iTunes so many years ago, people have increasingly turned their backs on the physical object. The main argument given for this turn is that there are so few full albums worth purchasing anymore. To a certain point, that argument does hold water. In the case of You Can’t Use My Name, it is an argument that is one giant hole. In this case, the hole is so large not only because of the amount of impressive songs included for the compilation’s body but for the inclusion of its companion booklet. The booklet included with You Can’t Use My Name gives an in-depth background on Hendrix’s early days and his rise to stardom as the mouthpiece of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. While many audiences know plenty about Hendrix’s time with The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys, it’s likely that far fewer audiences know about the legal issues that he faced during his rise to stardom. The booklet included with You Can’t Use My Name outlines in detail the legal issues in question courtesy of writer John McDermott. Those legal issues even boil over onto the album itself as can be heard in the rough cut of ‘Gloomy Monday.’ McDermott goes so far as to clearly transcribe the conversation heard between Hendrix, Knight, and PPX head Ed Chalpin before the recording begins. It clearly displays Hendrix as being very untrusting of Chalpin but trying to play off his discomfort at the situation in which he had found himself. That’s just part of the whole story that makes this record a must have for any music lover, historian or Hendrix fan. McDermott goes on to detail how perhaps Hendrix’s own interpretation of his contract with PPX versus Chalpin’s view obviously led to the ongoing dispute and the rift formed between Hendrix and Chalpin. McDermott notes in his history that these disputes followed Hendrix into his career with The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It would explain why in Sony Legacy’s Hendrix documentaries Jimi Plays Berkeley (2012), The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hear My Train A’ Comin’ (2013), and Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight, Hendrix is seen as being somewhat closed off from others while not on stage. He even shows a little of that side on-stage, too. It is visible and audible in his stage presence. Despite his powerhouse performances, he himself comes across as being a little reserved for lack of better wording. The impact of these legal issues would seem to explain at least to some extent that reserved nature. Regardless of whether or not the legal issues outlined in You Can’t Use My Name’s companion booklet played a role in who Jimi Hendrix became over time, one can’t help but wonder. The very revelation of those issues–which may or may not have played a role in his personal life–thanks to John McDermott and the potential discussions that they could lead to as noted here, prove without a doubt why the booklet included with You Can’t Use My Name is just as important to the whole as the music itself. It still is not all worth noting of what makes the record work, either. The record’s production values are well worth noting, too.

The music chosen for You Can’t Use My Name and the record’s companion booklet are both of equal importance to the record’s enjoyment and success. That has been noted above. The music presents Hendrix before he was a star. And not only that, but it also presents a clear picture of his musical roots. The in-depth history of the legal issues challenging Hendrix as his star rose is just as key to the record’s enjoyment and success. It is more ammo in the argument in favor of owning the physical object and against the digital. Those that buy the album in its physical form will get the full experience, including that history and music. Those that only download the music won’t get the full background on the music and why the songs on this record are so important in the overall history of popular music and of Jimi Hendrix’s career. Now, having noted all of this, the music and the history lesson behind the music would be useless without quality production values. From the socio-politically charged protest piece that is ‘How Would You Feel’ to the uptempo, blues-infused instrumental that is Knock Yourself Out (Flying on Instruments) to the album’s controversial closer ‘Gloomy Monday,’ each song collected for the album sounds equally impressive. And that is thanks to those charged with resurrecting them and re-mastering them. If not for their painstaking efforts, none of the elements noted above would mean anything and this record would otherwise end up collecting dust on store shelves. But thankfully that is not the case. Because it isn’t the case, every song on the record is equally worth the listen. In hearing the quality sound of each song and taking in the important history behind the songs, listeners that are open-minded enough will agree that You Can’t Use My Name is not only one of this year’s best new albums but one of the most important pieces of 20th Century music history to come along in a very long time.

You Can’t Use My Name proves in the end to be an aptly titled new collection of songs from Experience Hendrix, LLC and Sony Legacy. The history provided behind the songs courtesy of John McDermott illustrates this clearly and concisely. This leads the songs themselves to prove all the more valuable both because of Hendrix’s performance on each one and simply for the fact that they were held in music limbo for so long. And thanks to the hard work of those charged with restoring the songs, the songs are clear and completely enjoyable. The end result of all of these elements is an album that once again proves to be one of the year’s best overall new records and one of the best pieces of 20th Century music history to come along in a very long time. You Can’t Use My Name will be available Tuesday, March 24th in stores and online. Though, the purchase of the physical item in the case is highly recommended. More information on this and other titles from Experience Hendrix, LLC and Sony Legacy is available online now at:

Website: http://www.jimihendrix.com

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

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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 https://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.

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Hendrix Woodstock Performance Coming To Theaters Nationwide

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix

Music lovers the world over are celebrating a big anniversary this year.  AS 2012 has rolled on, fans of music legend Jimi Hendrix have celebrated the seventieth anniversary of Hendrix’s birthday.  Now another addition has been made to the year-long celebration courtesy of Experience Hendrix.  The original recording of Jimi’s legendary Woodstock 1969 concert will run in select theaters across the globe very soon.  Among the theaters here in the states holding screenings of the iconic performance is the Rave Southpoint 17 + IMAX in Durham, North Carolina. 

The Rave Southpoint 17 + IMAX will have two showings of the concert.  The first of the pair will be on Wednesday, November 28th.  The second planned showing is set for Wednesday, December 5th.  Both screenings will be at 7:00pm.  Tickets for each showing are $12.50 per person.  For more information on the showings, fans can go online to the theater’s website at http://www.streetsatsouthpoint.com/movies.  Fans can also get all the latest news on the year-long celebration of Hendrix’s birthday on his official website, http://www.jimihendrix.com.

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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

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