The eighth edition of the celebrated Experience Hendrix Tour is set to launch in March 2014. These special event performances represent an ongoing tribute to the music and legacy of Jimi Hendrix. Presented by BandFuse: Rock Legends, the month long tour, brings together a diverse group of musical greats paying homage to the abiding genius of Jimi Hendrix. This year's line-up ranges from blues icon Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the innovative Dweezil Zappa, left-handed blues rocker Eric Gales, Texas guitar gods Doyle Bramhall II and Eric Johnson, funk legend Bootsy Collins, Mato Nanji [Indigenous], and from Serbia by way of Memphis, Ana Popovic. The rhythm section, as always, includes bassist Billy Cox, the only player, apart from Jimi Hendrix himself, who was part of both the Band of Gypsys and the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Chris Layton, the drummer who, along with the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, was a founder of Double Trouble.
In terms of format, the tour offers multiple opportunities for performers and audiences to witness unique collaborations among the participating artists such as Dweezil Zappa with Billy Cox, Buddy Guy with Jonny Lang and will highlight these artists and the others performing their favorite Hendrix signature songs including "Little Wing," "Fire," "Purple Haze," and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)". As has been the case with previous Experience Hendrix outings, special guests are expected to sit in at many of the dates, making the concerts all that much more memorable for both new and veteran Hendrix fans. Past special guests have included Paul Rodgers, Joe Satriani, Hubert Sumlin, Steve Vai, Susan Tedeschi, Robert Randolph, Carlos Santana, Robby Krieger, and others.
Billy Cox, the legendary bassist whose relationship with Jimi Hendrix and his music dates back to the early 1960s when the two met while serving in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. The two bonded over their love of music and would later work together backing R&B acts on the "chitlin' circuit." They reunited when Cox was recruited to be part of the Jimi Hendrix Band of as well as the ultimate iteration of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, performing at such landmark festivals as Woodstock and the Isle of Wight. Cox, who has been part of all previous Experience Hendrix tours, notes, "It's always a great thrill and honor for me to play Jimi's music for audiences now just as it was in the 1960s. The Experience Hendrix tours have shown how timeless this music really is and is just wonderful that we've continued to get an infusion of new, very enthusiastic artists to participate and are able to offer the most wide-ranging Jimi Hendrix-related repertoire possible."
Apart, of course, from Billy Cox, Buddy Guy holds the distinction of having actually played with Jimi Hendrix. The two first met in 1967 and Guy remembers, "We became pretty close from that night on and every time I went through New York or somewhere he would show up and we would jam together. That's still kind of happening on the Experience Hendrix Tour."