Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jimi HENDRIX - Blues 1994

Jimi HENDRIX - Blues 1994
1994 2 x Vinyl,LP. RTH2006


After the disorganized and often unlistenable Alan Douglas-produced reissues in the '70s and '80s, MCA has been releasing the vast Hendrix archives in an intelligent and methodical manner. Blues is a perfect example, making the case that--on top of everything else--Jimi Hendrix was one fine blues guitarist. Combining the fluid lines of B.B. King with the spikiness of Hubert Sumlin and the crying tone of Elmore James with his usual synapse-frying intensity, Hendrix manages to both honor the music tradition while remaining uniquely himself. These studio outtakes and warm-ups (plus one previously released track, the magnificent "Hear My Train a Comin'") include a playful "Mannish Boy," the slow burn of "Once I Had A Woman," and a metallic "Bleeding Heart."
By Steven Mirkin.
Its bittersweet that Jimi Hendrix's music is continuing to be released over 30 years after his sudden death. I'm not going to go into the arguments others are about who released this under what label and when. This album means a lot to me because it is Jimi Hendrix, and they are all tracks I am listening to for the first time. Jimi's style, imagination, and overall vision was coupled with his extreme gift at playing the guitar with such magic that anything I can hear that he played is truly "music to my ears". Though a guitar is a tool for which a musician can express ones self, Jimi made it talk, scream, shiver, and shout. There are sounds that one can hear, and then there are sounds that you FEEL. This is how I feel about his music, its something for the soul. Though he was not known primarily as a blues guitarist, every great guitarist has some base with the genre of blues, and its here on the album "Blues" that we get to hear Jimi play the blues With those awesome electric licks that only his guitar can really do. Again, it sounds like magic when the man plays.

Eleven tracks in all, there isn't one on here that does not, in my mind, garner repeated listening. Blues is usually a music you play either during a certain mood, or to invoke that mood. Kick back, down on your luck, heavy and groovy all at the same time. Track three is "Red House" and has some classic solos on here that are trademark Hendrix. The vocal performance on here drones on with eclectic fun and brings back some memories from tracks I like on "The ultimate experience". Track four is "Catfish Blues" and has a great rocking beat to it. Despite what I've seen others say, I don't find the sound quality bad at all. This is a guy who died in 1970, so anything from the studio archives that is re-released may not be your bread and butter, but its Hendrix, and that's good enough for me.

Track eight is a slower paced song along the lines of true traditional Blues sound. What is eerie with that is that you don't think of it maybe as a "blues song" but something that just got left off of one of his studio releases from earlier times. Before I go, I have to mention that track one is "Hear My Train Comin'" and is done by Jimi on an acoustic guitar. It's a truly magical sound (I use that word a lot, but how else do you describe his sound?) that is epic in feeling. This is true art, my friends, and as always with Jimi's songs, he can be a true storyteller with his vocals and imagery just as much as he was skilled on the six string. Jimi is gone but millions around the world still enjoy his music, and I am glad that his family was able to get back the rights to his music and re-release much of it, whether heard before or undiscovered up to now. If you like Blues, Electric guitar, or Hendrix in general, you might take a chance and check out this album, I did and will never regret it, nor forget it.
By Eddie Lancekick. 
When the American expatriate James Marshall Hendrix made his triumphant return to the United States with ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?, he'd just smelted British pop psychedelia, R&B, Bob Dylan and Cream into a gleaming rock and roll alloy. Nothing quite looked or sounded like the musical melting pot that was the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Yet the American release of ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? differed from the British version in one significant respect: "Everybody was scared to relase `Red House' in America," Hendrix recalled, "because they said `America don't like blues, man!'"
Thus you have a moody studio outtake of his autobiographical "Voodoo Chile Blues" and a ruminative "Born Under A Bad Sign" (in which his Albert King tribute evolves with raga-like complexity). Hendrix's "Catfish Blues" is a powerful evocation of tribal elders Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, while his abstract chord changes and soaring, strident leads on the shuffling "Jelly 292" are an affectionate parody of classic urban blues lines such as "After Hours" and "Sweet Home Chicago." Taken as a whole, Jimi Hendrix's BLUES is the portrait of a great American original who was (like Stevie Ray Vaughan a generation later) just beginning to scratch the surface of his awesome talent.
Jimi Hendrix- (Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Vocals);
Steve Winwood- (Organ);
Jack Casady, Billy Cox, Noel Redding- (Bass);
Buddy Miles, Mitch Mitchell- (Drums).
A1. Hear My Train a Comin' (Acoustic)  3:05
A2. Born Under a Bad Sign  7:37
A3. Red House  3:41
B1. Catfish Blues  7:46
B2. Voodoo Chile Blues  8:47
B3. Mannish Boy  5:21
C1. Once I Had a Woman  7:49
C2. Bleeding Heart  3:26
C3. Jelly 292  6:25
D1. Electric Church Red House  6:12
D2. Hear My Train a Comin' (Electric)  12:08


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