Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
For just a fleeting moment, I was 14 again. Holding my first guitar, trying to get my guitar face just right in the mirror.
If some years ago someone would have told me that I would not only be seeing, but photographing the likes of Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, and an assortment of other bad asses of the guitar, I would have likely told you that you had lost your mind! But on a random Thursday night in St. Louis, the impossible became possible. The Experience Hendrix Tour came to the Fabulous Fox Theater with an assembled cast of musicians like none other. The lineup included the previously mentioned Zakk Wylde and Buddy Guy along with Eric Johnson, Dweezil Zappa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Jonny Lang, Doyle Bramhall II, Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos), David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Mato Nanji (Indigenous), and Brad Whitford (Aerosmith). Also included were top notch musicians Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys & Jimi Hendrix Experience), Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble), Tony Franklin (Kenny Wayne Shepherd), Noah Hunt (Kenny Wayne Shepherd). This illustrious group was traveling together for one purpose, and purpose only: to celebrate the love of all things Hendrix. In my estimation, the Fox was at capacity, or darn close to it, as those in attendance truly did witness a guitar player’s heaven on earth. Billy Cox played emcee to this well-orchestrated, three-and-a-half hour jam session. Opening the show, Mr. Cox performed with Stan Skibby and Dani Robinson as they recreated the magic of Band of Gypsys.
Every guitar slinger put their signature spin on the master’s work. Those that were chosen to grace the stage, met or exceeded the challenge before them: take a Hendrix song and make it their own. Each artist’s effort and solo brought this Hendrix-loving crowd to their feet. I wish I could convey to you in words and pictures the scope of this show but there just isn’t enough bandwidth. If I were to generalize this show, I would liken it to looking up in the sky one day and seeing Superman! Rummaging through reviews while researching this article, I found one review to be exceptionally humorous. The review said Experience Hendrix lacked soul. I’m not sure which show they saw but this show had a heartbeat, heavy-breathing, and more soul than James Brown. James “Al” Hendrix formed Experience Hendrix LLC in 1995 in hopes of keeping his son’s legacy alive. Tonight, that vision came full-circle with the conclusion of the show. Buddy Guy and Billy Cox wound up this Spanish Castle Magic night of guitar intensity with “Red House”, while some of the most mystifying images of James Marshall Hendrix graced the screen hovering above these extremely talented musicians. As I look at all the performers taking one big, final collective bow, the term surreal comes to mind and I think to myself, superheros are real and they play guitars! Thanks to Experience Hendrix management letting MTC in the door and to all of the musicians that took part in this tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Photos of the show are below:
Doyle Bramhall II
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Experience Hendrix @ The Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 2:00:00 PM Rating: