Jimi Hendrix: Blues

Jimi Hendrix
(Sony Legacy)

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Jimi Hendrix’ blues performances might be the most visceral, emotionally-charged music in his archive and the new deluxe edition re-release of the his Blues album, originally released in 1994, is Exhibit A.  The set includes the 11 blues classics from the original album with a new, expanded, half-hour DVD  from the Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues series as well as a new color booklet with some background information on the songs and history of Jimi’s exploration of the blues.

The album itself is bookended with two great versions of “Hear My Train A Comin’,” the first is played on a 12-string acoustic and the last was taken from a live appearance in Berkeley in 1970, shortly before he died, which is known to be one of his best performances.  It also contains a few Hendrix masterpieces such as an intense cover of Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” and one of the best versions of his classic “Red House” as well as his take on a number of blues standards such as the archetypal Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy.”   

In the songs, which were recorded between 1966 and 1970, you can hear Jimi adapting and expanding on some of the music that was most influential to him such as the sounds of the Delta Blues players like Robert Johnston, Lead Belly, and Elmore James as well as Chicago Blues players like Muddy Waters and adding his own mark to them, which result in something that is uniquely Hendrix.  It’s an essential album for any fan of Hendrix.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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