Curtis Knight & The Squires’ ‘You Can’t Use My Name’ features a young Jimi Hendrix

Curtis Knight‘You Can’t Use My Name’
Curtis Knight & The Squires (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)
4 stars out of 5

In the mid-1960s, long before Jimi Hendrix became “JIMI HENDRIX, ROCK GOD,” the soon-to-be-legendary guitarist worked as an anonymous sideman for artists like The Isley Brothers, Little Richard and the unheralded R&B act Curtis Knight & The Squires.

Curtis Knight CDHendrix was introduced to Knight in 1965 and he served intermittently as a guitarist for The Squires in 1965 and 1966, recording some 40 studio masters during that brief stint. The best of those recordings (plus one 1967 session) have been put together as “You Can’t Use My Name.” While not an essential series of tunes in and of themselves, Hendrix completists should add this 14-track to their collection.”

“We are extremely delighted to now be in a position to offer these rare, historic recordings,” says Janie Hendrix, the late guitarist’s sister and president/CEO of Experience Hendrix. “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. They are more than just recordings, they represent a significant segment in the timeline of Jimi’s musical experience.”

Opener “How Would You Feel,” with its not-so-subtle aping of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” is the highlight of the collection, followed closely by instrumentals “Knock Yourself Out (Flying on Instruments)” and “Hornet’s Nest,” in which you can hear Hendrix blossoming into guitar great he would one day become. Additional standouts include “Fool for You Baby,” “Welcome Home,” “You Don’t Want Me” and “Gloomy Monday.” (Jeffrey Sisk)

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