"What is there left to say about Jimi Hendrix?" guitarist Mark Doyle inquires within Gypsy Blood's booklet. Indeed, what new can be added to all that's been said about this remarkable man's all too short life and career. But there's still much to tell, for decades after his death, Hendrix continues to impress and inspire young and old alike. For many musicians, Hendrix was what drove them to pick up an instrument in the first place, and now, for the second time, a coterie of those so inspired have come together to pay tribute to their hero.
Few will ever equal his skill on guitar, but that doesn't stop many from trying, slavishly imitating his style, although on this compilation a surprising number bring their own unique stamp to their song. Larry Coryell, for example, gives a startlingly avant-garde and jazzy reading of "Purple Haze," Arlen Roth takes "The Wind Cries Mary" deep down into the blues, Vic Vergeat pumps up "Rainy Day, Dream Away" with a wonderfully rolling R&B sound, Mike Onesko storms across "Freedom," "Ezy Ryder" wheels away at warp speed in Pat Travers' hands, while "Midnight" is metal time for Antonello Pudva.
The compilation ends with Hendrix himself speaking, courtesy of long-ago radio interviews, but his words, "This is why I like what we're doing, because people show some kind of enthusiasm, they really get into what we're trying to do...," perfectly sums up this set. People getting into what Hendrix did, showing their enthusiasm for it, and paying their own homage to one of the world's greatest guitarists.