STAFF PICKS: “Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock”

By: Seth Bode

 

This generation defining album was released in 1999 after Jimi’s famous performance at Woodstock in 1969. Featuring live iconic songs like “Purple Haze,” “Foxey Lady,” “Villanova Junction,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” and “Hear My Train a Comin” the album is pretty epic.

 

image (13)There are several moments where it seems like Jimi’s guitar should catch fire from Hendrix’s ferocious playing. Jimi’s speed, skill, and vibrato is unmatched, and Hendrix was truly one of a kind.

Starting off in a full-fledged sprint, “Purple Haze” is one of Jimi’s most iconic songs, used in countless movies, commercials, and is covered by numerous modern artists.

A series of iconic riffs lead the song into killer solo, full of this furious raw energy. It’s as if Hendrix and the guitar are truly one being. The music is viscous demands to be heard. In between the iconic riffs, Jimi plays these truly wild solos, releasing an abundance of musical genius. The song comes to a close with Jimi playing like a complete madman, as is common for Hendrix.

During Jimi’s performance of “Foxey Lady,” Jimi becomes an animal with a guitar. Playing killer solos following the song’s iconic riffs, the song is simply awesome. Jimi’s solos are rife with this otherworldly energy.

The rhythm, drums, bass, and Jimi all come together to create this storm of roaring energy, that is “Foxey Lady.” The performance ends with a final solo. This is by far one of the best versions of “Foxey Lady” out there and is definitely worth listening to.

As with the rest of the songs on the album, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” is pretty rockin. It really shows just how much of a monster Jimi was on the guitar. Mid song is marked with a solo, accented by drums, over rhythm guitar. It’s powerful and sounds three-dimensional, as if from another plane of existence. It’s an experience.

During the track, Jimi begins reintroducing  all of the band members and thanking them.  Later the solo opens up with a speedy run down the neck. Overall the song essentially consists of Jimi playing these awe inspiring solos then easing in the song’s riffs and verses. The song ends and turns into a jam session. Hendrix tells the crowd “you can leave anytime you want to; we’re just jamming” … as if anyone would want to leave and miss out on that.

Another song that rocks pretty hard is “Hear my train a comin.” Though not as catchy or iconic as “Purple Haze,” or “Foxey Lady,” the tune gives a longer glimpse of Jimi’s skills on the guitar. Featuring a truly beautiful solo mid song that only Hendrix could pull off – the song amazes.

With a bluesy rhythm, awesome solos, and a masterful use of the guitar, you can just hear how deep Jimi is truly into the music. It’s as if Jimi is channeling some sort of cosmic energy.

“Villanova Junction” is a lesser known hidden gem on the album. The song starts slower and more relaxed than “Foxey Lady” or “Purple Haze,” but it’s still just as heavy. Hendrix’s amazing solos and riffs, played over the drums and rhythm guitar create this unique, awesome sound.  

It’s like a deep exploration of a funky psychedelic universe. The song is this river of musical energy flowing straight from Hendrix and is well worth a listen.

The album’s energy seems to flow directly from Hendrix’s genius. Hendrix just fell into the music and let it take over, as if he were channeling a force of nature.

 

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