The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Live at Woburn

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Oddly, the Jimi Hendrix Experience's July 6, 1968, performance at the Woburn Music Festival was their only live concert in the U.K. that year. Much, though not quite all, of it is contained here on this soundboard recording, issued on the Hendrix specialist label Dagger. Like other Dagger releases -- and the label is quite up-front about this in the packaging and sleeve notes, so it's not deceptive -- it isn't quite up to par with Hendrix's standard official product soundwise. Owing to equipment problems at the event itself, some crackling and high-pitched noises are emitted from the amplifiers, and much of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is missing, as is the end of "Tax Free" (which nonetheless still lasts ten minutes). Those factors aside, the sound and performances are pretty good, though the availability of some of the songs ("Fire," "Red House," "Foxey Lady," and "Purple Haze," the last of which starts with almost three minutes of squealing and howling distorted effects) in so many other versions mark it as something for the completist. Of greater interest, if only because they're less usual fare, are the instrumental "Tax Free," which points toward the more meandering jamming Hendrix would frequently favor over the next couple of years, and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," performed here three months in advance of its first official appearance on record (on Electric Ladyland). While this is one of the less remarkable Hendrix live recordings even when judged only against the lesser-profile specialist concert CDs of his that have been made available, the packaging is excellent, with lengthy liner notes from Hendrix historian John McDermott.

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