Written by Jim Bille
Mar 22, 2012 at 08:00 PM
ImageJimi Hendrix music was on the bill for at least three hours last week as the Experience Hendrix tour made a stop at The Arena Theater. I have wanted to see this show for a number of years now and believe this may have been the first time it’s played in Houston so my anticipation was pretty high.

I can say without a doubt this show did not disappoint anyone in the house. More than a tribute show, Experience Hendrix is an event that celebrates the music that continues to influence anyone who picks up a guitar to this day.

EH has been touring in some form or fashion for about ten years now and has an ever changing line up of some the best guitarists in the business paying tribute to Hendrix and his legacy.

The line up for the Houston show included Jonny Lang, Dweezel Zappa, Bootsie Collins, Robbie Krieger, Eric Johnson, Robert Randolph, Caesar Rojas, David Hildago, Brad Whitford, Mato Nanji, Eric Gales, Kenny Wayne Sheperd, The Slide Brothers, Chris Layton, Byron ‘Showman’ Bordeaux, Henri Brown, Scott Nelson and Hendrix long time bassist, Billy Cox.

ImageMany numbers featured were almost carbon copies of the original recordings but just as many featured the artists own interpretations of Hendrix’s vast catalog. It was a real treat watching some of the unlikely matchups like Eric Johnson and Dweezel Zappa trading off Hendrix licks or Bootsie Collins funkin’ it up with Eric Gales as they ran through the Hendrix classic “Foxy Lady”.

Dweezel Zappa and Billy Cox’s version of “Freedom” along with Jonny Lang and Brad Whitford’s take on ‘All Along the Watchtower’, as well as Caesar Rojos and David Hildago’s rendition of ‘Little Wing’ were just a few of the incredible duet numbers featured.

ImageBilly Cox was more or less the ring leader as he made numerous appearances throughout the evening. His Band of Gypsies number ‘Message of Love’ was outstanding.

As mentioned the show was three hours long so much of the Hendrix catalog was featured. It would be easier to list what songs weren’t played then try to recall all of the ones performed.

This was truly a tastefully crafted musical celebration of Jimi Hendrix and an event that hopefully will return to Houston again soon.

Catch it if you can……….hopefully next time around Houston.

A special thanks goes out to our friends at The Arena Theater for helping HMR out with this incredible show.