Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings are opening the Jimi Hendrix vaults once again for a new release intended as the third installment in the trilogy that began with Valleys of Neptune in 2010 and continued with People, Hell and Angels in 2013. Both Sides of the Sky will arrive in stores on March 9 in CD, vinyl, and digital formats, featuring 13 songs recorded between January 1968 and February 1970 – ten of which are previously unreleased.
The recordings on Both Sides of the Sky evince Hendrix’s desire to continue exploring a new context for his beloved blues music. Many of the album’s tracks were recorded by the trio that would come to be known as Band of Gypsys: Hendrix on guitar and vocals, Billy Cox on bass, and Buddy Miles on drums. Their very first studio session together (on April 22, 1968) found them jamming on Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy,” and a previously unreleased, uptempo version of the classic song opens this new collection. Of the Hendrix originals here, “Lover Man” is heard in a December 1969 take by the Band of Gypsys interpolating Hendrix’s homage to Neal Hefti’s Batman theme.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is represented via “Hear My Train A-Comin’,” with drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, in an April 1969 recording. Other tracks receiving an airing here include never-before-released versions of “Stepping Stone,” “Jungle,” “Cherokee Mist” (which features Hendrix on both electric guitar and sitar) as well as the January 1968 recording of “Sweet Angel.” In addition to the artist’s usual cast of musicians, a few guests appear, as well. Stephen Stills showed up at a September 1969 session at the Record Plant with a newly-minted song by his friend Joni Mitchell entitled “Woodstock.” Stills, Hendrix, and Miles recorded the future classic months before Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young committed their famous version to tape. Stills is also heard on the original song “$20 Fine,” with Hendrix on multiple guitars, Stills on organ and lead vocals, and Duane Hitchings of the Buddy Miles Express on piano.
Lonnie Youngblood, Jimi’s old bandmate in Curtis Knight and the Squires, appears on “Georgia Blues,” which previously was included on the out-of-print Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues volume dedicated to Hendrix in 2003. Johnny Winter and CSNY drummer Dallas Taylor are also among the special guests. Their version with Hendrix and Billy Cox of Guitar Slim’s “Things I Used to Do” was first heard as part of a 1990 radio program and Reprise Records’ Lifelines box set, but makes its full-length debut here as newly mixed by Eddie Kramer.
Both Sides of the Sky has been produced by the team of Janie Hendrix, John McDermott, and Eddie Kramer. This set will be available on CD, double 180-gram vinyl (limited and numbered), and digital platforms on March 9 from Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings!
Jimi Hendrix, Both Sides of the Sky (Experience Hendrix/Legacy, 2018)
- Mannish Boy
- Lover Man
- Hear My Train A Comin’
- Stepping Stone
- $20 Fine (with Stephen Stills)
- Power of Soul
- Things I Used to Do (with Johnny Winter)
- Georgia Blues (with Lonnie Youngblood)
- Sweet Angel
- Woodstock (with Stephen Stills)
- Send My Love to Linda
- Cherokee Mist
Tracks 1-5, 7, 10-13 previously unreleased
Track 6 previously unavailable extended version
Track 8 previously unreleased extended version, original version from Lifelines: The Jimi Hendrix Story, Reprise 926435-2, 1990
Track 9 from Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Jimi Hendrix, Experience Hendrix/MCA B0000698-02, 2003