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Jimi Hendrix's Curtis Knight Recordings to Be Released in March — Hear "Hornet's Nest"

On March 24, we'll finally (officially, anyway) get to hear (opens in new tab) early recordings of Jimi Hendrix when he was a member of Curtis Knight and the Squires.

A new album, You Can’t Use My Name: Curtis Knight & The Squires (featuring Jimi Hendrix) The RSVP/PPX Sessions (opens in new tab), will be released with the authorization of his estate's Experience Hendrix LLC.

According to Rolling Stone, the album's title is a play on the decades-long battle Hendrix's management—first Animals bassist Chas Chandler, then his own estate—faced in order to end a 1965 contract the guitarist signed with PPX Records to be Knight's sideman.

After the Jimi Hendrix Experience released Are You Experienced?, PPX released Hendrix's Knight-era tracks as an album. Another album, Got That Feeling, was planned for the U.K. in 1968 before the courts barred the release.

The battle of the Knight tapes raged on for decades until July 2014, when Experience Hendrix and Sony Legacy acquired the rights of 88 studio recordings Hendrix made with Curtis Knight and the Squires between 1965 and 1967.

"We are extremely delighted to now be in a position to offer these rare, historic recordings," (opens in new tab) Jimi's sister and Experience Hendrix president and CEO Janie Hendrix said in a statement. "What makes them so special is that they provide an honest look at a great artist during the pivotal time when he was on the cusp of his breakthrough, a time when Jimi's number one priority was playing and recording, and this set captures him doing just that, both as a collaborator and an innovator. They are more than just recordings, they represent a significant segment in the timeline of Jimi's musical existence."

"We've taken every single performance as far back as we could go in terms of source and we came up with the best original performances, stripped them back and re-mixed them and made what we feel is the best representation of those recordings," Eddie Kramer said in a statement. "It's a continuing archeological sound dig which is to say you sweep away the dirt with a fine brush and find the gem hidden therein."

And, in case you think it's all "leftover garbage," be sure to check out audio of one of the songs, "Hornet’s Nest," below. The instrumental, guitar-based track was actually co-written by Hendrix. Note that it is not an official stream of the song.

The album is available now for pre-order. (opens in new tab)

You Can’t Use My Name: Curtis Knight & The Squires (featuring Jimi Hendrix) The RSVP/PPX Sessions

  • 01. "How Would You Feel"
  • 02. "Gotta Have A New Dress"
  • 03. "Don’t Accuse Me"
  • 04. "Fool For You Baby"
  • 05. "No Such Animal"
  • 06. "Welcome Home"
  • 07. "Knock Yourself Out [Flying On Instruments] "
  • 08. "Simon Says"
  • 09. "Station Break"
  • 10. "Strange Things"
  • 11. "Hornet’s Nest"
  • 12. "You Don’t Want Me"
  • 13. "You Can’t Use My Name"
  • 14. "Gloomy Monday"

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Damian Fanelli
Damian Fanelli

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.