When it started to happen, the people in England went nuts and of course this new vibe traveled to America very fast and caught fire too. It was in the mid ’60’s when big name guitarists Eric Clapton, and the band Cream, and Jimi Hendrix (the only American) and his The Jimi Hendrix Experience Band (no introduction necessary), FYI, Jimi was the only American among them, and the band Cream, formed bands that literally exploded on to the music scene, going about 99 and a half miles per hour.
Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were “Power Trios”, bands that consisted of a lead guitar player, a drummer and bass player only; they were the new breed of British Rock and Blues bands. Abruptly and in excellent fashion, they become the model for bands over the next forty plus years. In a certain sense both bands made the power trio, the standard by which many bands are still formed.
They combined a very busy drummer and solid bass player with terrific instincts with the rich, sensual and soul piercing sounds that revolutionized rock and blues by cranking up the volume, in Hendrix’s case two Marshall 100 watt amp heads and about 4 stacks of speaker cabinets and tons of distortion and reverb.
It was more than that though, the drums and bass were not only for the background rhythm beat, their parts were designed to capture the audience or listeners’ attention along with the vocals.
Ginger Baker the innovative drummer for Cream, created a style of drumming noted for its flamboyance, showmanship, and pioneered the use of two bass drums instead of the conventional single bass kick drum.
Mitch Mitchell, was the great drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience band. Mitch Mitchell invented the style of drumming which would soon become known as fusion. This is a where the drummer plays “lead” at the same time and is noted for the proactive instinctive blending with lead instruments such as guitar. It is an excellent rhythmical blend of jazz and rock drumming styles. Noel Redding the bass player, former guitar player, proved the perfect match of timing, instinct and rhythm for Jimi Hendrix.
Early, the power trio bands would often perform songs composed and played by the first blues artists like Robert Johnson and R.L. Burnside. Reworking them into their new style of music, they often and unintentionally took credit away from the people who wrote them.
Many of the songs we heard came from the early African American blues artists. It is quite surprising to find out how many songs we listen to that are actually songs composed by people who only in the last 15 years are getting the credit they earned and deserve.
BTW,…If you are interested in some of the older blues artists, go to Squeeze My Lemon and check it out.. If the blues interests you in general, check out The Blues Blogger… You won’t be disappointed.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience band with Mitch Mitchel and Noel Redding hit my sweet spot, on the spot in the ’60’s…Later in ’70’s, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, with Tommy Shannon on bass guitar and Chris Layton on drums made an immediate, high-impact impression on me as another unbelievable, leave me speechless breed of high-energy, physical and emotional blues bands called power trios–not to be matched yet.
Led Zeppelin, The Jeff Beck Group, Dave Mason and Johnny Winter are a few more of my favorite power trios, ones that took over during the period I formed my tastes in music. You will find the power trio structure at the base of every genre of music nowadays.
Don’t be mad at GuitarPlayersCenter for missing your favorite power trio. There are only about a million of great ones out there! Enjoy.