The first 15 seconds of Bleeding Heart by Elmore James’ on, of the new Jimi Hendrix album Valleys Of Neptune is the perfect way to state the blues. I mean, nobody ever said it better than that. I have heard a lot of blues phrases over the years, but this one beats them all. I think it is because Jimi puts all of the blues together, mixes it up and spits it out with his interpretation, as he did in the beginning, and is still doing now.
Forty years later Jimi’s New album is complete mastery of his rhythmical skills, guitar playing abilities, voice, and pure freelance blues mentality. To learn and master guitar without any guitar education, with a soul capturing vibe that has been imitated plenty is part of a higher level of being no one else has been gifted with.
After about 10 full listening’s and having listened to several parts of some songs like the one mentioned in the first paragraph about 100 times there is no doubt that this album displays a new level of rhythm to his new and older songs. It is obvious he played a lot of rhythm guitar before he had his chance in the spotlight. Yet he has taken his rhythms to new more indescribable level.
If you are in the minority and thought/think someone else is a better guitar player in the purest sense, better call the guitar player store and ask them for your chops back. If you think you have more, or someone else has more, internal passion for playing the guitar or can put a wah pedal to good use, or can shred, go back to the drawing board, the rules have changed again.
The music is all Hendrix. Jimi shows how well versed he is in all playing styles of guitar. If it is a guitar he can play it using his outer limits passion. Regardless of style, Jimi puts his passion in any style he wants to play. This album is a showcase of his skills with some new flare to them.
Covering Hendrix is impossible. His voodoo vibe is copyrighted. Lots of people try to put the voodoo vibe into use, one of my internet friends, Mac has an intense voodoo vibe. I want to write on him soon, I know you will agree that Mac has a very deep voodoo vibe, partly from his inner vibe and partly because he has the same deep feelings I do regarding Hendrix and his guitar god status.
All Jimi Hendrix junkies can feel good about buying this album. It is not a bunch of reruns thrown at us solely for making money. If this a glimpse of the guitarist extending his reach beyond the Experience trio, it’s thrilling.
I look forward to savoring every piece of new Hendrix material that the Hendrix foundation says it has to offer for at least 10 more years. Enjoy. GuitarPlayersCenter.com