Nov 9 2010

It doesn’t take a dozen exceptional guitarists to extol the virtues of Jimi Hendrix. But having that many certainly makes for a great show, as was the case Sunday at the Orpheum with the “Experience Hendrix” concert.

Steve Vai, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Vernon Reid, Ernie Isley, Eric Johnson, Susan Tedeschi, Brad Whitford, Johnny Lang, Mato Nanji, and a triple dose of pedal steel players — Robert Randolph, Darick Campbell, and Chuck Campbell — produced a fiery three-hour show that explored all facets of Hendrix’s brief and brilliant career.

Isley, an early supporter of Hendrix, and bassist Billy Cox, who was in both the Experience and Band of Gypsys, brought historical heft as they teamed for the opening salvo of “Stone Free” and “Message to Love.” Cox reminded the packed house how Hendrix rested his unparalleled guitar architecture atop a steady foundation of blues and soul. Isley, best known as an R&B player, showed how Hendrix opened up new possibilities for guitarists, and he demonstrated with a mind-melting rendition of “Manic Depression.”

Read more at The Boston Globe.