Experience Hendrix tour performs at Fantasy Springs

One of the last to record and perform with Hendrix, bassist Billy Cox (far left) joins the star-studded assembly including Joe Satriani (raising bottle) on stage for a bow. Janie Hendrix (middle, scarf) hosted. Photo courtesy of the Chaparral.

BY JACOB SCHULTE

STAFF REPORTER

Rock and roll fans gathered at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio on Oct. 11 to catch Billy Cox, Joe Satriani and a bevy of other prominent guitarists and musicians who were part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

From 1966 to 1970, Jimi Hendrix fronted one of the most influential rock ensembles in history. His brilliant fusion of jazz, blues, rock and soul combined with unmatched showmanship landed him a number one album in 1968 with “Electric Ladyland” as well as the number one spot on Rolling Stones 100 greatest guitarist of all time in 2015.

Hendrix, who was known to abuse alcohol and other drugs, died of an apparent overdose in 1970.

Janie Hendrix, the step-sister of Jimi Hendrix and owner of his estate, hosted the show and thanked the fans for keeping Hendrix’s music very much alive nearly 50 years after his passing. Indeed, the entire floor seating was filled, and fans of all ages attended.

Eric Johnson, Ana Popovic, Dweezil Zappa, and Jonny Lang were just some of the legendary guitarists on stage to revive Hendrix’s soulful music and it truly was a talented spectrum of six-string shredders. From the impassioned acoustic strumming of Lang to the incredibly intricate solos from Popovic and Johnson, each guitarist held little back as they took turns giving their best Hendrix impression over a two and a half-hour set.

Billy Cox, though never an official member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience band, played bass for Hendrix at his infamous Woodstock show, during his final studio sessions in 1970 for the planned fourth studio album “The Cry of Love” as well as being featured on much of his other posthumous work.

Calvin Cooke and Chuck Campbell of The Slide Brothers brought plenty of pedal-steel guitar goodness to the stage, and blues legend Taj Mahal was another of many special guests. Mahal’s beautifully soulful rendition of “Catfish Blues” was easily a highlight of the show.

While there was no shortage of talent on display on this chilly October night, the final act welcomed guitar maestro Joe Satriani to the stage with enough whammy-bar shredding for the whole week.

Satriani is the best-selling instrumental rock guitarist for a reason — the man can play. Not many can truly give “Voodoo Child” the proper live treatment it deserves, but ‘Satch’ will bring you as close to the soul of Jimi Hendrix as you can get.

With the tour ending Oct. 22, fans across the country are left to dig through the timeless music left behind by Jimi Hendrix and reminisce of what could have been had his life not ended so suddenly.

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