Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 106

Doyle Bramhall II

Rich Man

In the 15 years
si nc e h i s debut
album, Welcome,
Doyle Bramha ll,
II has been in great
demand. Along with a decade working
with Eric Clapton in the studio and onstage, he's has collaborated with a lengthy
list of artists including Elton John, Roger
Waters, Sheryl Crow, and on the TedeschiTrucks Band's last three albums. This
extended break from solo work directly
informed Rich Man's highly complex and
eclectic direction.
Behind Bramhall's vocals, his layered
guitar accompaniments - combining standard electric with baritone, 12-string, and
bass create - distinct and diverse textures,
occasionally enhanced by other guitarists.
On "Mama Can't Help You," Chris Bruce
(right speaker) and Woody Jackson (left
speaker) are heard. Along with his own
guitars, the eerie, modal "My People"
adds the 12-strings of Paul Stacey and
Adam Minkoff, plus Ustad Singh's bowed
sarangi.
The powerful "November" honors
Bramhall's dad, the respected Austin
drummer who died five years ago.
The instrumental backings establish
powerful moods behind his voice on the
riff-driven "Keep You Dreamin'" and
the foreboding blues "Hear My Train AComin'." Providing contrast is the austere,
elemental acoustic sound of "New Faith."
In all, Bramhall's vocal and instrumental skills, songwriting, and unique blend
of complexity and simplicity all award our
patience. - Rich Kienzle

Jake
Shimabukuro

Nashville Sessions

The Hendrix of
the ukulele proves
he's worthy of his
title, jamming here
with a power trio made up of bassist Nolan
Verner and drummer Evan Hutchings.
Jake Shimabukuro says he went into the
studio for these sessions with no written
songs and was playing with a drummer for
the first time. The result is pure chemistry.
All of the 11 songs here were written on
the f ly, built on jams in the studio over
just six fruitful days.

	

Jimi leads the
Band of Gypsys
at Fillmore East.

POWER SOUL

J

imi Hendrix learned
the hard way that
signing contracts
for fast money can
come back to haunt you.
Hendrix' naiveté forced
him to settle a breach-ofcontract dispute with Ed
Chalpin of PPX Industries
by providing him a new
album. Accepting the help
of Wilson Picket/Electric
Flag drummer Buddy
Miles and his bass-playing Army pal Billy Cox,
the Band of Gypsys was
also an opportunity to
appease members of the
Black Power movement
who accused Hendrix
of cozying up to white
audiences. Thus, the first
high-profile black-rock
power trio was born.
Produced by Janie
Hendrix, Eddie Kramer,
and John McDermott,
the live album here was
mixed from the original
Elvis Presley
8-track
tapes by Kramer,
The mastered
Albums Collection
and
by Bernie
Grundman. While Hendrix

VINTAGE GUITAR	

aficionados own the
1970 album Band of
Gypsys and 1999's Live
At The Fillmore East,
Machine Gun features

Jimi Hendrix

Machine Gun: The
Fillmore East First Show
12/31/69
the band's first performance in its entirety.
The trio performed
four shows between
December 31, 1969 and
January 1, 1970 at the
Fillmore East. Songs
from the third and fourth
shows appear on Band of
Gypsys. "Hear My Train A
Comin'," "Changes," and

106	 February 2017

"Izabella" are the only
songs from the first show
to have been "officially"
released, appearing on
Live At The Fillmore East.
They are included on
this album with the rest
of the set; Machine Gun
marks the first time the
complete first show has
been officially available.
This album is continuity, flow, and the escalation of power within
11 songs. The band
overcomes minor hiccups
beginning with "Power
Of Soul," to synchronistic
Zen by "Hear My Train
A Comin'." The blues
unifies, catapulting the
band into an intense
synthesis of aggressive
drumming, deep bass,
and maximum strength
Chitlin' Circuit rock guitar.
The trio is rehearsed,
but not etched in granite.
Hendrix never played
the same way twice,
and the band obliges.
"Machine Gun" finally in
its unedited form, paints
the Vietnam War in
Technicolor and Univibe.
On the lesser-known
R&B cover "Stop," the
band goes places their
contemporaries would
fear to tread. The close
vocal harmonies, elastic
blues bending, and the
beautiful audacity of
Miles is sublime.
Machine Gun is issued
on CD, two-LP 180-gram
vinyl, high-resolution
SACD, and digitally.
The Band of Gypsys
never had the commercial
appeal of the Experience,
but that fleeting moment
in time was enough to
inspire a generation of
Hendrix fans to understand that with the
power of soul, anything is
possible. - Oscar Jordan

Jimi Hendrix: Allan Herr/EMP Museum/Authentic Hendrix.

HIT LIST REVIEWS


https://youtu.be/hvv--UkFfV8?list=PL53533538AA730B62

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