Personnel includes: Jimi Hendrix (electric & acoustic guitar, vocals); Steve Winwood (organ); Jack Casady, Billy Cox, Noel Redding (bass); Buddy Miles, Mitch Mitchell (drums). Engineers include: Bob Cotto, R. Beekman, Mike Ross. Includes liner notes by Michael J. Fairchild. When the American expatriate James Marshall Hendrix made his triumphant return to the United States with ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?, he'd just smelted British pop psychedelia, R&B, Bob Dylan and Cream into a gleaming rock and roll alloy. Nothing quite looked or sounded like the musical melting pot that was the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Yet the American release of ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? differed from the British version in one significant respect: "Everybody was scared to relase 'Red House' in America," Hendrix recalled, "because they said 'America don't like blues, man!'" Yes, it's hard to believe, but the Experience's original rendition of Jimi's epic "Red House" (recorded in London on December 13, 1966) appears stateside for the very first time on this superb compilation of Hendrix rarities (including 8 previously unreleased tracks), simply entitled BLUES. BLUES is probably the best packaged, richest sounding, most coherent post-mortem release from the Hendrix archives. Fleshed out by Michael J. Fairchild's detailed, informative essay, BLUES portrays Jimi Hendrix as a classic bluesman, a devout student of the tradition from down home delta stylings to sophisticated urban forms. Framed by his poignant 1967 acoustic 12-string rendition of "Hear My Train 'A Comin'" and a stirring 1970 trio performance, these 11 rough and ready tracks illustrate Hendrix's deep spiritual connections to his blues roots, and his daring experimental take on the shape of future blues to come. Thus you have a moody studio outtake of his autobiographical "Voodoo Chile Blues" and a ruminative "Born Under A Bad Sign" (in which his Albert King tribute evolves with raga-like complexity). Hendrix's "Catfish Blues" is a powerful evocation of tribal elders Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, while his abstract chord changes and soaring, strident leads on the shuffling "Jelly 292" are an affectionate parody of classic urban blues lines such as "After Hours" and "Sweet Home Chicago." Taken as a whole, Jimi Hendrix's BLUES is the portrait of a great American original who was (like Stevie Ray Vaughan a generation later) just beginning to scratch the surface of his awesome talent.