Practically speaking, this is a rock album infused with blues thanks to the artists that perform on it. Each of the 16 Hendrix hits is given new life in a contemporary setting which lasts 75 minutes. It was recorded on both sides of the Atlantic between late 1999 and early 2000. Each cut has its own producer and Thomas Ruf is the executive producer. Jimiís career really launched in the UK so its all too appropriate that Eric Burdon has written the liner notes. Both these artistsí careers were moving in the fast lane simultaneously in London in the late 60s.
Burdon hasnít sounded better vocally on "I Donít Live Today". He comes across as being totally inspired to give an outstanding performance in homage to his friend. Eric Bibb delivers a graceful version of "Angel" with delicate piano accompaniment. Blues-rock nirvana is the scene as Walter Trout, Popa Chubby and Jimmy Thackery attack "Who Knows" with more energy than that required to left the spaceshuttle! Buddy Miles and Double Trouble play "The Wind Cries Mary" almost identical to the original version. The only thing that is unique is Milesí soft and silky voice. "Purple Haze" is given a techno-pop feel courtesy of Friend Ďní Fellow.
Trout returns to play a scorching version of "Star Spangled Banner", followed by a smoking "Hey Joe". The master of world music, Taj Mahal, plays the most unique version of "All Along The Watchtower" ever recorded. You wonít want to miss this one. Trudy Lynn and Eric Gales team up for an interesting version of "Voodoo Chile". Her deep and heavy vocals sound great out in front of his wailing guitar. Vernon Reid and Michael Hill get together on "Red House". However Hillís slide playing seems to take something away from this timeless blues-rock classic. Perhaps, Reidís guitar was the only one required. One of the CDís many surprises is an electric performance by Alvin "Youngblood" Hart on "Remember".
Walter Trout is quoted as saying, "Jimi Hendrix set the standard by which all of us electric guitarists have to be measured. And that ainít easy!" However, maybe that is the very reason why this is such an enjoyable and fitting tribute to a deserving master musician.
For CDs contact: Ruf America, Kenilworth, NJ, Ira Leslie (908) 653-9700; for publicity contact Lisa Bates (323) 852-9444 Website: www.rufrecords.de
This review is copyright © 2000 by Tim Holek, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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