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Hendrix Label Unearths Vintage Festival Cuts

Chiming in with the "Year of the Blues" theme, Jimi Hendrix's record label is set to release two DVDs and one CD commemorating the American Folk Blues Festival, featuring performances in the early '60s by folk and blues masters playing to European crowds.

"The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966" (Experience Hendrix/Universal Music Enterprises) will be released in two DVD volumes Aug. 26, as will a compilation of 16 audio highlights on one CD.

The releases are the first non Hendrix-related items issued by the Experience Hendrix imprint.

The DVDs feature 36 previously unreleased performances by the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, T-Bone Walker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Memphis Slim and Big Mama Thornton. They were recorded live in a German TV studio and were remastered by producer/engineer Eddie Kramer.

Each DVD contains 18 performances. Some notable inclusions are Hooker's take on "Hobo Blues" from 1965, Williamson sitting in on harmonica with Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon on "Got My Mojo Working" from 1963, Walker's 1962 show, the earliest-known filmed performance by the pioneering electric guitarist, Lighnin' Hopkins' 1964 rendition of "Mojo Hand" and bonus footage of Magic Sam and Earl Hooker at the 1969 festival.

The packaging also features rare photographs from the tapings, extensive liner notes and commentary by the Rolling Stones' Bill Wyman. (Reuters/Billboard)

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