Sunday, May 5, 2013

Luna Lee transforms "Voodoo Child"

I treat Jimi Hendrix with a certain amount of reverence. As an electric blues guitarist, I am forever in awe of the sounds Hendrix coaxed from an off-the-rack Stratocaster with the help of volume, pedals, ace engineer Eddie Kramer, and (especially) a willingness to try anything. Then there was the raw emotional intensity of his unbridled solos, which bring to mind a skydiver free-falling out of an airplane, and the intricacy and care of his rhythm playing. Not to mention his soulful singing voice, original songwriting, grasp of the studio-as-an-instrument philosophy, and jet-fueled live performances. 

In 1993, I eagerly bought "Stone Free:  a Tribute to Jimi Hendrix" upon its release, but when I played the disc on my home stereo I was alternately indifferent to or aghast at the interpretations, other than the Jeff Beck/Seal version of "Manic Depression." 

I took "Stone Free" back to the music store that night for a return, but was told that profound disappointment and dishonoring the dead weren't sufficient grounds for a refund.

Since that time, Stevie Ray Vaughan's versions of "Little Wing" and "Voodoo Child" were the only Hendrix covers I've heard that pricked up my ears.

Until now. 

I was recently introduced to Luna Lee in my Facebook feed. Luna plays gayageum renditions of songs by American guitar virtuosos Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Stevie Ray Vaughan - and Jimi Hendrix.

Backed by a drum-and-bass track (and dashes of rhythm guitar and synth) Lee here breathes new, exotic life into one of the heaviest tunes ever recorded, "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)." 

Lee has also done intriguing covers of Hendrix's "Bold as Love" and Little Wing" (Stevie Ray Vaughan's version), and Vaughan's "Scuttle Buttin.'"

**Click here for Luna Lee's YouTube station   

1 comment:

  1. Dan,

    You are right this is truly special. A friend sent me the link a few months ago and I posted to Facebook, but have done so again. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant...