Tuesday, March 10, 2009

YouTube - Jimi Hendrix - Fire

YouTube - Jimi Hendrix - Fire On October 17, 2008 I went to the Providence Performing Arts Center in downtown Providence, Rhode Island to see "Experience Hendrix" a tribute to the life and music of Jimi Hendrix. I went there with my brother Scott and his wife Leslie. We parked in the lower level of a nearby parking garage before this show and had a meal of grinders and beer from "Sam's Deli" made by our friend Michelle (Shell) Kimmey.

"Experience Hendrix" had quite an all star lineup of musicians. The 2008 tour had 19 stops across the country starting on October 15th in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and ending on November 7th in Portland, Oregon. The October 17th Providence show was the third stop on tour and featured performances by Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox,Bernard Allison,Eric Gales,Buddy Guy, Eric Johnson,Jonny Lang,Chris Layton,Mato Nanji,Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Hubert Sumlin, and Brad Whitford.

The show started with a welcome by Mitch Mitchell, the original drummer, who along with Noel Redding and Jimi Hendrix comprised the original Jimi Hendrix Experience. (click the You Tube link above to see Jimi and the Experience playing "Fire" at Woodstock). Mitch Mitchell as the sole surviving member of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience trio gave a happy hearty appreciative welcome to the audience. Over the years this diminutive drummer with the fast and big sounding drum rhythms of the original "Hendrix Experience" seemed to have lost his speed drumming style. Mitch played on a few of the songs along with some of the other drummers as a second drummer but he was a shadow of his distinctive former self.

I was particularly impressed with three of the performers that evening. Eric Johnson on guitar gave a good rendition of the Jimi Hendrix style of feedback and guitar note distortion as his guitar wailed and screamed through I believe the song "I Don't Live Today" from the "Are You Experienced?" album. Johnny Lang had a rapid fire aggressive guitar style as he played a few Hendrix tunes. Kenny Wayne Shepherd to me gave the finest performance that evening particularly with the song "Voodoo Chile" and wailed away on his guitar even playing guitar over his head behind his back and also a few chords with his teeth as Jimi Hendrix was known to do.

All in all this was a great performance by everyone involved and brought back memories of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience. Mitch Mitchell thanked everyone and said that he hoped to see everyone again on future tours.

Unfortunately, Mitch Mitchell passed away on November 12, 2008 in his hotel room in Portland, Oregon at the age of 61 just shortly after this 2008 Experience Hendrix tour ended. He now joins Jimi Hendrix who died in 1970 and Noel Redding who died in 2003. The Jimi Hendrix Experience is now reunited in the after world. As they say, "If there is a rock and roll heaven, there's sure to be a hell of a band." Play on Mitch, keep up your eternal beat. You left your mark in this world, now on to the next "Experience".