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The Music & Legacy of Jimi Hendrix: Experience Hendrix at NYCB Theatre at Westbury

Mike Perciaccante By

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The Music & Legacy of Jimi Hendrix: Experience Hendrix
NYCB Theatre at Westbury
Westbury, NY
March 28, 2019

Many describe Jimi Hendrix as the "GOAT" of the electric guitar—the greatest of all-time; the greatest and most influential guitarist who ever lived. James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix in 1942. The rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter's mainstream/solo career was short— from 1967 until his untimely passing in September 1970.

Hendrix was born in Seattle, WA and began playing guitar when he was 15-years-old. He enlisted in the U.S. army in 1961. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1962, Hendrix moved to Clarksville, TN and began playing on the Chitlin' Circuit, backing Curtis Knight & the Squires, the Isley Brothers and Little Richard. In late 1966 he moved to England and formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience with drummer Mitch Mitchell, and bassist Noel Redding. Almost immediately the band achieved fame by placing three songs in the UK Top 10 Singles chart—a cover of the Leaves' "Hey Joe," along with his original compositions "Purple Haze" and "The Wind Cries Mary."

The Jimi Hendrix Experience performed at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. In 1968, Hendrix released Electric Ladyland (Reprise Records), his third and final studio album. The album reached number one in the US. In 1969, he headlined the Woodstock Festival.

Beginning in April 1970, Hendrix, Mitchell, and bassist Billy Cox performed and recorded together until Hendrix's death. This trio was often billed as the Jimi Hendrix Experience and headlined the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. In 1970 Hendrix, along with Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums, recorded the live Band of Gypsies (Capitol Records) album which was released on March 25, 1970.

Hendrix's sound was a mixture of electric blues and straight-up rock 'n' roll. He used various effects such as fuzz tone, wah-wah, distortion and feedback which was delivered through large amplifiers with high volume and gain. He is credited with being the first artist to use stereo phasing effects in his recordings.

Hendrix received many awards both during his lifetime and posthumously. In 1967, readers of Melody Maker voted him the Pop Musician of the Year. In 1968, Rolling Stone declared him the Performer of the Year. In 1970, Guitar Player named him the Rock Guitarist of the Year. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Rolling Stone ranked Are You Experienced (Track Records, 1967), Axis: Bold As Love (Track Records, 1967), and Electric Ladyland, among the 100 greatest albums of all time. The magazine also ranked Hendrix as the greatest guitarist and the sixth greatest artist of all time.

In addition to the three songs which first brought him to prominence in 1967, Hendrix is best known for the tunes "Fire," his cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower," "Stone Free," "Little Wing," "Spanish Castle Magic," "If 6 Was 9," "Manic Depression," "Burning of the Midnight Lamp," "Red House," "Can You See Me" and "Foxy Lady."

The Experience Hendrix Tour which features a number of top musicians paying tribute to Jimi Hendrix and his legacy has basically been an annual event since 2008. On Thursday March 28th, the 2019 version of the tribute tour made its way to Westbury, NY's intimate NYCB Theatre, where the spirit of the '60s was alive in the parking lot as audience members tailgated and shared their barbeque foods, vendors hawked various Hendrix t-shirts and more than a few "entrepreneurs" were offering magic mushrooms and other indulgences.

This stop on the tour featured an all-star lineup that included artists such as guitar wizard Joe Satriani; Megadeath's Dave Mustaine; Dweezil Zappa; Jonny Lang; Eric Johnson; drummer and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chris Layton of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble fame; Billy Cox, who manned the bass guitar for both the Band of Gypsys and the Jimi Hendrix Experience; Calvin Cooke and Chuck Campbell, the "Sacred Steel" slide guitarists known as The Slide Brothers; Mato Nanji of Indigenous; King's X singer-bassist Dug Pinnick (sometimes referred to as dUg Pinnick); drummer Kenny Aronoff; blues great Taj Mahal and vocalist Henri Brown.

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