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Customer Review

on 26 August 2007
I borrowed a video of this concert from a friend and had to replace it with this CD when he made me give it back (in a distinctly more worn condition than when he gave it to me!).

This concert also introduced me to Jimi's post-Experience work. A life-changing moment.

Rather than reiterate much of what has already been written about this concert, I would simply like to draw attention to three particular tracks (I'm a bit surprised that no one has mentioned them yet, although I have seen references to them in reviews on other CDs):

Message To Love - this, in my opinion, must be the all-time greatest festival song ever performed! The superb riff, the pounding, driving rythm, the "come alive" refrain, the usual mind-bending guitar work. For the surviving swamp-dwellers at Woodstock, this must have been the perfect rallying cry and the most exquisite reward for their endurance and faith! To me, this song sounds totally contemporary and very reminiscent of modern blues of the garage- or basement- variety, by artists such as T Model Ford or Paul 'Wine' Jones (although with the benefit of having been performed by a virtuoso!).

Izabella - this was the only song that the band had fully rehearsed before the show, and is clearly one of the most orderly and structured of the entire set. IMO, it also happens to be one of the most brilliant guitar riffs ever, and is without question one of my favourite Hendrix numbers. Given that this was the only song that Jimi felt entirely happy with prior to the performance, I like to think that this song represents the essence of the musical shift that he was making by leaving The Experience and by hooking up with his old army buddy, Billy Cox (on bass).

(More significantly, I think that these two tracks reveal, unambiguously, that the shift that Jimi was making was away from the melody-based material of the JHE, and towards a much more rythm-based sound - more in keeping with Jimi's true love, the blues.)

Hear My Train A Comin' - I think Jimi had a deep lonely streak in him, (arising from his difficult childhood and the death of his mother while he was still only a wee lad) and that this lonliness left him with the ability to feel and communicate powerful emotions through his music. Hear My Train is a beautiful, emotion-drenched, classic blues song, that, IMO, epitomises the true genius of Jimi Hendrix and the priceless gift that he left us, ie. the combination of traditional and pyschedelic blues, with virtuoso guitar-playing, deep deep feeling, and great great soul.

"Music is Magic, Magic is Life" -JH-
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Product Details

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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