Hear the Never Released Jimi Hendrix Track, “Station Break,” Which Shows Us the Guitar Legend as an R&B Sideman

As we’ve pre­vi­ous­ly not­ed, Jimi Hen­drix spent sev­er­al years as a jour­ney­man gui­tarist, play­ing the ear­ly rock ‘n’ roll cir­cuit with stars like Wil­son Pick­ett and Lit­tle Richard, before he final­ly came into his own. One point in his career, writes the Dai­ly Beast, found him “on the bad side of a hor­ri­ble record­ing con­tract” with “noto­ri­ous­ly shady label own­er and pro­duc­er” Ed Chalpin of RSVP Records. This was dur­ing his tenure with a group called Cur­tis Knight & The Squires, many of whose record­ings end­ed up “locked in lit­i­ga­tion for years, a peri­od that stretched to decades.”

Now that these tracks have been acquired by the Hen­drix-fam­i­ly run com­pa­ny Expe­ri­ence Hen­drix, they can final­ly be heard for the first time. Soon to be released as part of the com­pi­la­tion You Can’t Use My Name: Cur­tis Knight & The Squires (Fea­tur­ing Jimi Hen­drix), the instru­men­tal above, “Sta­tion Break”—unlike so many oth­er sup­pos­ed­ly “new” Hen­drix releases—has nev­er appeared before in any oth­er ver­sion. It’s not a Hen­drix com­po­si­tion, but it’s his gui­tar, restrained in some fair­ly stan­dard R&B licks.

“What makes [the record­ings] so spe­cial” on the new com­pi­la­tion album, says Hendrix’s sis­ter Janie, “is that they pro­vide an hon­est look at a great artist dur­ing a piv­otal time when he was on the cusp of his break­through.” Though Hen­drix may seem to have descend­ed from out­er space, he actu­al­ly honed his skills in groups like the Squires, before Ani­mals bassist Chas Chan­dler dis­cov­ered him and brought him to the UK. These ear­ly R&B releas­es “rep­re­sent a sig­nif­i­cant seg­ment in the time­line of Jimi’s musi­cal exis­tence.” They may not be as mind-blow­ing as, say, the psy­che­del­ic riffs in “Third Stone From the Sun,” but they show us an incred­i­bly tal­ent­ed gui­tarist at work, strain­ing to break free of a pop tem­plate and ven­ture into musi­cal realms unchart­ed.

via The Dai­ly Beast,

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Jimi Hendrix’s Final Inter­view on Sep­tem­ber 11, 1970: Lis­ten to the Com­plete Audio

Jimi Hen­drix at Wood­stock: The Com­plete Per­for­mance in Video & Audio (1969)

Pre­vi­ous­ly Unre­leased Jimi Hen­drix Record­ing, “Some­where,” with Bud­dy Miles and Stephen Stills

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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