Since their songs have such a sensual flow, no one's ever questioned whether or not Prince or Musiq are experienced. Some folks may not know they're also experienced — as in fans of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Prince and Musiq will both be featured on the Hendrix tribute album this fall, and they'll probably both be excited to hear there's another album of previously unreleased Jimi material on the way.
For the tribute disc, titled Power of Soul, the Minnesota native with a penchant for purple recorded a version of "Red House," which he's renamed "Purple House," and Musiq reinterpreted "Are You Experienced?" (see "Musiq Likely Joining Forces With Prince For Juslisen Follow-Up").
The Hendrix love fest also includes Santana covering "Spanish Castle Magic," Parliament/Funkadelic singer George Clinton and bassist Bootsy Collins funkin' up "Power of Soul," and Earth, Wind & Fire turning on the heat for "Voodoo Chile."
A couple of collaborations will appear on the album as well. Kid Rock's guitarist Kenny Olson joins Chaka Khan on "Little Wing," and guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck and pop/R&B singer Seal take on "The Wind Cries Mary."
Power of Soul will include one of the last recordings by the late John Lee Hooker, the disc's second version of "Red House." And former Hendrix alumni also chime in; Band of Gypsies drummer Buddy Miles plays on "Manic Depression" and bassist Billy Cox performs on "Machine Gun."
The tribute record was assembled over much of the past year by Jimi's half sister Janie Hendrix and her husband Sheldon Reynolds, who played guitar in Earth, Wind & Fire and the Commodores. The project was delayed when Jimi's dad, Al Hendrix, passed away last April.
The goals for Janie were to show how many artists Hendrix influenced and to expose a new audience to his timeless music.
"Jimi's music is really universal, and we wanted to express that," she said. "The songs [on the tribute record] all have their own feel. It's not just a recreation of Jimi. It is Jimi's music, but woven in is the talent of each individual artist."
The way the musicians vibed off Hendrix parallels the way Jimi was inspired by the bluesmen who motivated him to pick up a guitar, Janie said.
"He took Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and John Lee Hooker, and expanded upon what they were doing and then gave it back to a new generation."
Proceeds from Power of Soul will go to the United Negro College Fund.
When the mobile Hendrix museum Red House swings by their locale, many artists on the record will likely take the stage with the company's tribute band, but no all-star concert has been planned, Janie said.
The buzz from Power of Soul should nicely set the stage for a brand new Hendrix album. The guitar hero's estate has a few legal hurdles to clear, but by year's end it hopes to issue a disc of previously unreleased songs, outtakes and live material, Janie said. If its plan falls through, the foundation has a backup: a previously unheard complete concert recording.
"We're very proud of these things [Jimi did], and we can't wait to share them with people," she said.