Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Experience Hendrix' Tour Helps Keep Jimi Hendrix's Music Alive

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Experience Hendrix' Tour Helps Keep Jimi Hendrix's Music Alive

Article excerpt

The annual "Experience Hendrix" tour boasts a long list of artists on its roster, including Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Zakk Wylde, Ana Popovic, Beth Hart and Dweezil Zappa. But the one name giving the event the most heft isn't even the biggest name on the bill.

It's bassist Billy Cox, who actually played and recorded with the legendary Jimi Hendrix.

Cox is credited as being the only surviving member of Hendrix's three most prominent bands, including the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsies. He has been a part of Experience Hendrix, which celebrates the music of Hendrix, from the beginning.

"It's about the music of Jimi Hendrix, and we've gathered together musicians who are Jimi Hendrix aficionados," Cox says. "If you picked up a guitar in the last 40 years, you had to go through Jimi Hendrix."

He says Hendrix, a seminal rock guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer known for albums such as "Are You Experienced" (1967) and "Electric Ladyland" (1968), paved the way for everyone who came after him.

"There are two kinds of guitar players: those influenced by Jimi and those who don't admit they're inspired by Jimi." Cox says the music of Hendrix reaches down throughout generations, traditions and cultural boundaries in a way that he hasn't seen since.

"He had his own vibe," he says. "They called him the god of the guitar, and it's true. That's pretty good for a guy who was 27 and only had fame for about five years."

Cox says tour organizers weren't concerned with how much money it'd generate but rather giving Hendrix fans what they needed. "His songs talked about love and about God and about peace and harmony," Cox says.

The tour presents "a real guitar setting when we're out there. …

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