Nearly 4 years ago, in February 2004, I was performing an audit in Portland, OR. Per my modus operandi, I checked out what was going on in town and discovered a tribute concert to celebrate the music of Jimi Hendrix sponsored by Experience Hendrix, the company operated by Janie Hendrix, the step-sister of the late legend. It was a great show starring an all-star cast, which included: Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell who played with Jimi; Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon of Stevie Ray Vaugh's Double Trouble fame; Jerry Cantrell; Indigenous; Living Color, Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, Free, and the Firm; and Buddy Guy; to name the most prominent musicians who participated. Therefore, when an East Coast tour was announced, I was apoplectic. Especially given my current quest, to have the opportunity to see 3 Woodstock performers (Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell were part of Jimi Hendrix's Gypsy Sun and Rainbows and Tommy Shannon played bass for Johnny Winter) was one not to be missed. I caught the show on Saturday, October 20, 2007 at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT (Roughly 90 minutes from my house; however, the two NY shows were early in the week and was unable to take the next day off ).
This time the tour featured: Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin (Howling Wolf's lead guitarist), Robby Krieger (of the Doors), Mick Taylor (of the Rolling Stones), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Corey Glover (of Living Color), Kenny Olson, Andy Aledort, Tommy Shannon, Chris Layton, Robert Randolph, Doyle Bramhall II, Noah Hunt, Mato Nanji (of Indigenous), and Eric Gales.
The show featured various configurations of the aforementioned talent jamming together and playing the music of Jimi Hendrix (except Buddy Guy who played his own material).
The show opened with Eric Gayles and Andy Aledort on guitar, Billy Cox on bass, and Chris Layton on drums performing "Foxey Lady". Chris Layton stayed behind the kit for most of the night, sometimes joined by Mitch Mitchell. Buddy Guy brought his own band, giving Mr. Layton a rest. Tommy Shannon also served as bassist for most musicians; however, Billy Cox stepped in occaisionally, and Andy Aledort stepped in once or twice. Of course, the guitarists rotated greatly, each one played about two songs each.
Other highlights included:
Mato Nanji (guitar and vocals) with Double Trouble performing "Little Wing".
Billy Cox (bass and vocals) with Andy Aledort ( guitar) and Chris Layton playing"Dolly Dagger".
Eric Gayles (guitar and vocals), Robby Krieger (guitar), Mitch Mitchell (drums), Chris Layton (drums), Billy Cox (bass) & Kenny Olson (guitar) jamming on "Red House"
Corey Glover (vocals), Andy Aledort (guitar), Chris Layton (drums), Robbie Krieger (guitar), Tommy Shannon (bass), Kenny Olson (guitar), & Mitch Mitchell (drums) ripping "Spanish Castle Magic".
Andy Aledort (guitar), Robbie Krieger (guitar), Corey Glover (vocals), with Double Trouble tearing through "Manic Depression".
Mick Taylor (guitar and vocals), Billy Cox (bass), Mitch Mitchell & Chris Layton (drums) playing "Catfish Blues". Who knew Mick Taylor sang? He's a better guitarist.
Double Trouble, Kenny Wayne Shepherd (guitar), and Noah Hunt vocals performing ""I Don't Live Today"
Buddy Guy and his band jamming with Hubert Sumlin, Mick Taylor, and Robert Randolph. Mitch Mitchell also joined in on the fun. I'm not familiar with Buddy Guy's material; however, he's an amazing showman and his 30 minute set passed quickly.
Everyone left the stage but Robert Randolph (pedal steel guitar and vocals) who was joined by Robbie Krieger and Double Trouble for a rendering of "Purple Haze.
The show closed with Robert Randolph (pedal steel), Noah Hunt (vocals), and Double Trouble covering Voodoo Child (Slight Return).
All in all a great show. As I was leaving, I saw a line off to the left and was told that a signing was taking place. Janie Hendrix and Billy Cox were signing autographs (score!). The people in front of me were tying up Janie Hendrix so the guard gave me permission to see Billy Cox (they were seated at the same table). He signed my poster and asked where I had purchased it – I told him the name of the gallery (Art Rock). He also signed a tour program that the ushers distributed. I then went to the stage door to see if I could get Tommy Shannon and Mitch Mitchell (I struck out on both accounts – they walked straight to the tour bus); however, I did get Eric Gales, Doyle Bramhall II, and Mato Nanji to sign my program. I also chatted with Buddy Guy's guitarist, Ric Hall, who is a really good guy. I also obtained his autograph.
So, 1 for 3 isn't bad. The first failures of my quest; however, I saw a great show.
Up next: David Crosby and Graham Nash on Friday, October 26. I hear David Crosby is a tough signer – we'll see.