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Hendrix, Jimi: Both Sides of the Sky

Though some may say that Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings have been scraping the barrel with unearthed Jimi Hendrix recordings in recent years, I'm of the opinion that any new Hendrix is a good thing. The late guitar god never played or recorded anything exactly the same twice, so hearing alternate, demo, and live takes of some of his more obscure material is always a fresh listening experience. Both Sides of the Sky is the third and final release in a trilogy of albums meant to uncover some of Jimi's unreleased material recorded between 1968 and 1970, and here we have 13 tracks, 10 of which have never been heard before. Sure, we've experienced "Mannish Boy", "Lover Man", "Hear My Train A Comin' " "Power of Soul", and "Stepping Stone" before, but these versions, all recorded with various line-ups at difference dates at The Record Plant by Eddie Kramer, contain plenty of alternate nuances that most Hendrix devotees will savor. With a revolving rhythm section that contained Noel Redding, Billy Cox, Buddy Miles, and Mitch Mitchell, different flavors are experienced on each track. "Hear My Train A Comin' ", from a 1969 session with Mitchell & Redding, is especially explosive, Jimi's guitar licks saturated with fuzz, wah-wah, & feedback, while "Mannish Boy" rocks with pure blues rock power & conviction. "$20 Fine", from a September 1969 session, features Stephen Stills on vocals & organ, Hendrix providing some tasty guitar riffs & solos on what is more of a mainstream rock song, but a good one at that. The awesome "Jungle" is just Jimi and Buddy Miles, the guitarist laying down some sexy melodies, his Stratocaster soaked in Univibe, while Johnny Winter guests on slide guitar for a rollicking "Things I Used to Do". Jimi's old mate Lonnie Youngblood appears on a lengthy slow blues jam "Georgia Blues", and Hendrix dons the bass for an early take on "Woodstock" alongside Stills & Miles from a September 1969 session. Fast forward a few months to early 1970 and the Band of Gypsies recorded "Send My Love to Linda", a bluesy track that skyrockets with some scorching guitar solos from Hendrix at the mid-way point, and the album concludes with a rare 1968 recording with Hendrix & Mitchell titled "Cherokee Mist". This latter piece features Jimi on sitar as well as screaming, feedback laden, whammy bar driven electric guitar. If you like the psychedelic aspect of Hendrix's playing, this one's for you.

Though far from perfect, Both Sides of the Sky is, after all, Jimi Hendrix, whose leftover and long lost recordings found in the trash are leagues better than what most artists crank out over their entire careers. If you are only interested in the pristine studio efforts and all the hits, Both Sides of the Sky won't be for you, but, should you be ravenous for any shred of musical creativity from the genius that was Jimi Hendrix, this will be a mandatory purchase. The CD offers a great booklet filled with information & photos, which is an extra added bonus.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
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

Added: March 11th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 235
Language: english

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