Album Review

Jimi Hendrix - People, Hell and Angels

Released March 5, 2013
Chad W. Lutz

Sometimes our favorite, late artists give us exactly what we want: more. Johnny Allen Hendrix was laid to rest in 1970 after a magnanimous, if not mythical, career. He was the King of Wah, the Sultan of Distortion, the Man with the Guitar, and he’s back. People, Hell and Angels features cuts even diehard bootleggers haven’t heard yet.

The album was recorded around the Electric Ladyland sessions, and includes an audio biography of Hendrix’s evolution. Even though the album features abandoned tracks never used, Jimi shines alongside bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles.

In addition to new music, People, Hell and Angels offers fresh takes on old cuts, including “My Train A’ Comin’” and “Bleeding Heart”. The album kicks off in true Jimi Hendrix style: a showboating solo leading into a classic blues riff and catchy call-and-response chorus reminiscent of “Wait Till Tomorrow” (Axis: Bold as Love).

People, Hell and Angels continues to delight as it moves into later tracks. Funky, soul-ridden “Let Me Move You” gives us glimpses of what Hendrix might have played had he lived into the late 1970s. “Somewhere” easily stands as the best song on the album, featuring otherworldly guitar play and arrangements that perhaps only Hendrix could create.

Fans of Hendrix definitely should not shy away from picking up a copy. Experience styles, Band of Gypsys rhythms and Isle of Wight soul all find a way into the grooves. The guitar sizzles, the rhythms drizzle - People, Hell and Angels is bold.