#shfl11: Jim Hendrix Experience – Gypsy Eyes

It seems quite apt that after James Brown, the next artists I should find as part of #shfl11 is Jim Hendrix. In many ways he’s been as influential as Brown, and is certainly as close to my heart as The Godfather of Soul.

On top of the fact that he rbought an entirely new dimension to rock in the late 60s, blending psychedelia, R&B and a type of guitar playing that left his peers dumb-struck (as did his chutzpah, including the time he opened a show, that Paul McCartney & George Harrison were attending, with a version of Sgt. Pepper’s, only days after it been released), he could almost be claimed as an honorary Englishman.

Arriving in London under the wing of Chas Chandler, Hendrix hooked up with two white Englishmen, Noel Redding & Mitch Mitchell (something that Wesley Snipes’ character refuses to accept in the movie White Men Can’t Jump) and preceded to set the world on fire. The track Gypsy Eyes, whilst not their finest work by any means, highlights why. The riff is insinuatingly addictive, the rhythm section kick up a joyful noise, that brings to mind the urban heartbeat that Crosstown Traffic so brilliantly depicted, and the whole thing blends every genre under the sun.

If, for some strange reason, you’ve never got into Hendrix (perhaps you were put off by the annoying use of Foxy Lady in Wayne’s World) then I’d suggest the The Essential Jimi Hendrix, which is how I first discovered the great man, and includes the classic as well as lesser known tracks such as Gypsy Eyes.

#shfl11 is a self-set challenge to write a post every day in 2011 about whatever song pops up 1st on shuffle on my iPod.

Gypsy by oliver on flickr

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