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CD Reviews:
The Listening Room: Jimi Hendrix, Buckcherry, Kip Moore, Motorehead and more...
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Jimi Hendrix Experience

"Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival"

(Experience Hendrix/Legacy)

Grade: A-


The Jimi Hendrix archives have yielded more treasures than anyone would expect from an artist who was just 27 years old when he died in September of 1970. But we clearly haven't reached bottom yet, as the release of this iconic and much bootlegged show from July 4, 1970 at the Middle Georgia Raceway demonstrates. Hendrix was in full-fledged and transitional glory here, with Billy Cox replacing Noel Redding on bass in the Experience and Hendrix demonstrating some of the cosmic rock directions he'd be taking in the near future -- particularly evident in expansive versions of the blusey "Red House" and "Hear My Train A Comin'" and in the psychedelic romp of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)." And though there are undeniably fiery performances of favorites such as, well, "Fire," "All Along the Watchtower," "Freedom" (incorporating a hint of "Crosstown Traffic"), "Foxey Lady," "Purple Haze" and "Hey Joe" -- as well as deeper cuts such as "Lover Man" and "Straight Ahead" -- you can hear Hendrix straining and pushing the group to reach new heights, which led him to further musical experiments in the two and a half months between this show and his death. Despite a dry and sometimes drab sonic mix, an A/B comparison of "Freedom" with live sets from earlier in Hendrix's career shows an exponential, visionary growth that makes makes his premature passing that much more tragic.

New & Noteworthy:

Atlas Genius, "Inanimate Objects" (Warner Bros.): The sophomore outing by the Australian alt.rock duo builds on the buzz generated by its 2013 debut "When It Was Now."

Buckcherry, "Rock N Roll" (F-Bomb): Few titles can be more apt than this one for the Los Angeles hard rock troupe's seventh album, and first full-length for its own F-Bomb llabel.

Maddie & Tae, "Start Here" (Dot.Republic): The debut outing from the country singing and songwriting duo from Tennessee.

Kip Moore, "Wild Ones" (MCA Nashville): The Georgia-born country singer co-wrote all 13 tracks on his sophomore set.

Motorhead, "Bad Magic" (UDR): The veteran metal group's 22nd studio album features a cover of the Rolling Stones's "Sympathy For the Devil."

Steep Canyon Rangers, "Radio" (Rounder): Fellow roots aficionado Jerry Douglas produced the latest set from the bluegrass troupe that's gained greater fame via its collaborations with Steve Martin.

Also Out: AHAB, "The Boats of Glen Carrig" (Napalm); Beach House, "Depression Cherry" (Sub Pop); The Blackberry Bushes Stringband, "Three Red Feathers" (self-released); Robert Cray, "40 Nights of 40 Years Live" (Provogue); Crazy Town, "The Brimstone Sluggers" (Membran); Andra Day, "Cheers to the Fall" (Warner Bros.); Defeater, "Abandoned" (Epitaph); Destroyer, "Poison Season" (Merge); Flame, "Forward" (Clear Sight); Foals, "What Went Down" (Warner Bros.); Ghost Ship, "Costly" (BEC); I See Stars, "Phases" (Sumerian); k-os, "Can't Fly without Gravity" (Dine Alone);20The Lynch Mob, "The End" (Frontiers); Mad Season and the Seattle Symphony, "Sonic Evolution: January 30, 2015, Benaroyal" (Monkeywrench); The Paper Kites,, "Twelvefour" (Nettwerk); Itzhak Perlman, "Faure & Strauss Violin Sonatas" (Deutsche Grammophon/UMC); Tamaryn, "Cranekiss" (Mexican Summer); Tito Nieves, "En Dos Idiomas" (self-released); NILE, "What Should Not Be Unearthed" (Nuclear Blast); Sidewalk Prophets, "Something Different" (Fervent); Soilwork, "The Ride Majestic" (Nuclear Blast); Yo La Tengo, "Stuff Like That There" (Matador)

From The Vaults: The Faces, "1970-1975: You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything" (Rhino); Van Morrison, "The Essential Van Morrison" (Legacy)

Soundtracks: Carter Burwell: Mr. Holmes" (Lakeshore); Various Artists, "Aristocats: Legacy Collection" (Walt Disney); Various Artists, "Doctor Who: Musical Adventure Through Time" (BSX); Various Artists, "The End of the Tour" (Lakeshore)

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