Eddie Kramer Recalls Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Mannish Boy': Exclusive Premiere
Longtime Jimi Hendrix producer and engineer Eddie Kramer takes fans behind the scenes of the late guitar legend's upcoming Both Sides of the Sky LP in an interview clip sharing his thoughts on the session that produced the album's lead-off track, a previously unreleased cover of Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy."
As previously reported, the Both Sides collection — due in stores March 9 — includes 10 previously unreleased Hendrix recordings in its 13-song track listing, collected from sessions taking place between January 1968 and February 1970. It's a period that, as Kramer notes in the below interview footage, found Hendrix working heavily with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, who later formed Band of Gypsys with him.
"Jimi loved the blues," says Kramer in the clip, which is a UCR exclusive premiere. "So did Billy, so did Buddy. It's the first time they're in the studio, actually recording. It's at the Record Plant in 1969, New York City. This thing just rocks — it's just got that fantastic feel to it."
That "fantastic feel" Kramer describes isn't all about Hendrix. In his new musical foils, the guitarist found a different means of expression, and Kramer points to the first recorded evidence of that connection in this track.
"Billy was always this wonderful counterpart. He did these fantastic runs, these lovely loping figures. Jimi was so happy to have that bouncy feeling beneath what he was doing," Kramer recalls. "And you can't have a record like this without the famous cement mixer. That's what Mitch Mitchell used to say about Buddy — 'He's a bit of a cement mixer.' No kidding. I mean, he was just the most amazing funk/R&B drummer, and I just love the way that Jimi's solo just rips into that far-out distortion. It just shreds. I mean, that's the ultimate shred solo."
You can listen to "Mannish Boy" above.