27 November 2013

Jimi Hendrix Would Turn 71 Today

I rewatched Jimi Hendrix perform the currently definitive cover of The Star Spangled Banner in the original Woodstock (1970) documentary recently.

I wondered, would the high regard for Jimi's cover hold up over time? My money is on Jimi holding onto the lead regarding the national anthem. He shifted gears and, for those willing to take the ride, will continue to bring war back in a war poem.

Rest in peace, Jimi.

12 November 2013

Etta James: "I'd Rather Go Blind" (1968)

Etta James in 1960

I cut my teeth on Rod Stewart's 1972 cover of the soul classic I'd Rather Go Blind from his Never a Dull Moment album. Now I realize Etta James is responsible for creating the definitive version of this song four years earlier at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Indeed, Ms. James handed off her co-writing credit for the lyrics -- a collaboration with Ellington Jordan.

For anybody wondering why Stewart is a "white boy lost in the blues" compared to Etta James, here's my evidence: