January 23, 2014
EXPERIENCE HENDRIX TOUR EXPANDS — SIX DATES JUST ADDED FEATURING LIVING LEGENDS OF ROCK AND BLUESSOURCE: Experience Hendrix Tour
Six additional dates have just been added to the front and back ends of the previously announced 2014 Experience Hendrix Tour, presented by Band Fuse: Rock Legends. With just-added shows in Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota, this year's edition of the Experience Hendrix tour includes 25 performance dates over a span of just under four weeks.
Concurrent with the announcement of the added dates come word that The Black Crowes' Rich Robinson, Brad Whitford of Aerosmith and Robby Kreiger of the Doors, Taj Mahal and Quinn Sullivan will be among the roster of all-star musicians joining the tour that has been an annual event for the past decade. Robinson, founding member, guitarist and songwriter for the Black Crowes, commented, "I'm really looking forward to getting out and playing some of my favorite Hendrix songs with these great musicians."
Artists whose participation was previously announced include Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, Bootsy Collins, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson, Doyle Bramhall II, Dweezil Zappa, Los Lobos' Cesar Rosas and David Hidalgo, Eric Gales, Ana Popovic, Mato Nanji, Quinn Sullivan and others. Billy Cox, the bass player who was part of Jimi Hendrix's music life before he was "discovered" as well as thereafter, is again part of the line-up as is Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton.
The new kick-off date for the tour that pays homage to the musical genius of Jimi Hendrix is March 8 in Shawnee, OK at the Grand Event Center there, followed by a concert on Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center in Midland, TX on March 9. These will be followed by the previously announced concert dates March 11 — April 3 which will be followed by a second Milwaukee show on April 4 at the Roverside Theater (the March 16 date there has already sold out), April 5 at the Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville, IN, April 6 at the Civic Center in Peoria, IL, and April 8 at the State Theater in Minneapolis.
In terms of format, the tour offers multiple opportunities for performers and audiences to witness unique collaborations among the participating artists, and will highlight these artists and the others performing their favorite Hendrix signature songs including "Little Wing," "Fire," "Purple Haze," and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)". As has been the case with previous Experience Hendrix outings, special guests are expected to sit in at many of the dates, making the concerts all that much more memorable for both new and veteran Hendrix fans. Past special guests have included Paul Rodgers, Joe Satriani, Hubert Sumlin, Steve Vai, Susan Tedeschi, Robert Randolph, Carlos Santana and others.
As in years past, Fender Guitars and Dunlop Manufacturing, whose gear is an integral part of the tour's backline, sponsor the Experience Hendrix Tour together with IK Multimedia and Hal Leonard. Band Fuse: Rock Legends, the tour's presenting sponsor recently concluded a multi-phased partnership with Experience Hendrix, LLC whereby fifteen of Jim Hendrix signature songs will be offered as downloadable content for players of the newly released Rock Legends video game.
This year's Experience Hendrix Tour is the focus of the Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition. Backed by Sony Music's Legacy Recordings, IK Multimedia, Talenthouse along with Experience Hendrix, LLC the competition offers entrants a chance to win a performing slot on one of the tour dates next year as well as a cash prize plus gear. Contestants are invited to submit a video of their performance of a Jimi Hendrix track with the winner selected by a team of judges including Janie Hendrix, producer/engineer Eddie Kramer, Guitar World editor Brad Tolinski and musician Dave Stewart.
Janie Hendrix, President/CEO of Experience Hendrix L.L.C., noted, "Jimi often spoke of his concept of 'Electric Church' and using music to connect directly with people. Everyday, we see how Jimi's musical legacy continues to transcend generational and cultural boundaries. It's our continuing mission to do all we can to celebrate what he's given us and to keep his music in the forefront: the Experience Hendrix tour does that with brilliant musicians who love Jimi, electrifying the stage with his music and sound."
Billy Cox, the legendary bassist whose relationship with Jimi Hendrix and his music dates back to the early 1960s when the two met while serving in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. The two bonded over their love of music and would later work together backing R&B acts on the "chitlin' circuit." They reunited when Cox was recruited to be part of the Jimi Hendrix Band of as well as the ultimate iteration of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, performing at such landmark festivals as Woodstock and the Isle of Wight. Cox, who has been part of all previous Experience Hendrix tours, notes, "It's always a great thrill and honor for me to play Jimi's music for audiences now just as it was in the 1960s. The Experience Hendrix tours have shown how timeless this music really is and is just wonderful that we've continued to get an infusion of new, very enthusiastic artists to participate and are able to offer the most wide-ranging Jimi Hendrix-related repertoire possible."
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, a veteran of most of the Experience Hendrix tours remarked, "Jimi Hendrix's music has really inspired me to push the limits of my own music. He didn't observe any boundaries musically. He was an amazing player and a tremendous showman so I incorporated some of his showmanship in what I do." As far as having been part of the Experience Hendrix touring phenomenon, Shepherd noted, "It touches you on the inside and gets you fired up."
Massively popular with fans and critics alike, an earlier edition of the Experience Hendrix tour inspired Larry Rodgers of the Arizona Republic to rave, "It was encouraging to see fans of all ages, from teens to baby boomers who witnessed Hendrix's career launch firsthand, in the Mesa crowd. The show and that crowd made it clear that Hendrix's magical music will never die."
Ben Weiner of the Orange County Register characterized the show as "an all-star array of modern and legendary guitar greats in a nearly three-hour tribute to the most innovative virtuoso who ever touched six strings. It helped, of course, that the performances were uniformly strong, even inspired, an Electric Church encounter that one likes to think would have made Jimi proud."
Jeff Miers of Buffalo News wrote, "The nearly three-hour show moved from peak to peak, as varying configurations of musicians gathered to explore the Hendrix canon."
Scott Mervis, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, observed, "In the end, amidst all the star power on stage, the message reaffirmed in every lick, riff and warped melody was the wild and true genius of Jimi Hendrix."
Dan Durchholz, covering the tour for the St. Louis Post Dispatch marveled at how "...the Experience Hendrix tour showed just how pervasive (Hendrix's) influence continues to be. The three-hour show featured an all-star lineup from a variety of musical traditions, united by a collective debt to the iconic artist's songs, showmanship and trailblazing technique. Despite its creator's demise decades ago, Hendrix's music is still alive and well."
# # #