I recently had a guitar repaired* and when I got it back the first thing I did was blast out the opening to this song. I don’t know why but at some point it became my go to riff. I guess I got comfortable playing it and just settle into easily, but I haven’t picked a guitar up in years. I can”t remember the last time I even thought about how to actually play this song yet it comes out without much thought.

It got me to thinking about Jimi Hendrix though, this song as well as others, and what attracts me to his music. It’s the guitar obviously, I learnt to play guitar largely by picking up guitar magazines and in the mid to late 90s Hendrix was all over them. There was never much of his tab in there, the early days of  sites like Ultimate Guitar Tabs did the job there. But there was barely an issue of any magazine where he wasn’t mentioned in some way, the magazines loving to propel the battle of Jimi / Jimmy’s  – the Hendrix v Page debate. I was funnelled through that to listen to more and more Hendrix and spent lots of time listening and trying to play his songs and emulate his riffs.

I got to thinking about the whole package though and something else struck me whilst listening again to this song, I’ve never considered Hendrix to be a great vocalist, I don’t think he considered himself to be either. I wondered though, if Hendrix didn’t sing, wasn’t that driving force up front in the vocals as well as the guitar would you lose something? I really think you would, I think the persona of Jimi up there as front man drives so much, being the focal point adds so much. You feel the interplay of the guitar and the vocals in a way that really enhances both. That’s not to say you can’t get a great marriage of both with a separate guitarist and vocalist but I think it really makes the guitar sing, you feel Hendrix sing so deeply in the vocals as well as the guitar.

“Hey Joe” is as great an encapsulation of that as any of Hendrix’s song, the traditional blues style call and refrain coming from Jimi in the vocal and the guitar. The passion as he meets the mid point guitar solo which is almost understated for a Hendrix guitar part. There’s such an ease to it though and such a pleasure in listening to someone play just as easily as he can open his mouth and sing.

I don’t pick up those same guitar magazines like I used to, in the same way I don’t pick up guitars as often, but I’d imagine there’s still plenty of Jimi in there, and it’d be for good reason.




*great job by JC Guitars by the way (https://www.facebook.com/jcguitarsuk/)

From the blog

The Christmas reading list

If you’re prepared you’ve probably already bought all your Christmas gifts even if it isn’t yet December, if you aren’t and you have a music lover in your life then how about a nice music related book? I’ve got a few recommendations for you here, there are plenty more I’ve enjoyed over the years – […]

For Your Ears, For Your Eyes #2

The latest newsletter has dropped this week, the second of our recommendations issues. Featuring Charli XCX, Zuzu, The Avalanches, Everything is a remix and a few more. Check it out at the link below and don’t forget to sign up so you don’t miss future emails – link in the site footer! For Your Ears, […]

The mailing list – For Your Ears – For Your Eyes

We’ve just sent out the first issue of our mailing list with our fortnightly recommendations. If you haven’t read it yet you can do so here. https://mailchi.mp/f200e38df083/for-your-ears-for-your-eyes But why not sign up using the form in the footer and make sure you don’t miss an issue.

Some Podcast Recommendations

So much to listen to, so little time. I’m sure it’s the same for most people – I have a queue of new music I want to listen to, along with wanting to rediscover and enjoy old favourites and then add to that an ever increasing queue of podcasts to take up my listening time. […]

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