Tag Archives: Stevie Ray Vaughan

Blue Monday

I’ve been going through a heavy Jimi Hendrix phase with the bookstore playlist, balanced off with additional Seventies-vintage Eno tracks as palette cleansers. For years I favored Are You Experienced over any other Hendrix album, but I’ve come to realize how badly I underrated Axis: Bold As Love. I’m particularly taken with “Little Wing,” and apparently I have plenty of company. Lots of musicians and groups have put their own spin on the Hendrix classic.

This one by the Corrs is the biggest surprise:

I guess it’s only to be expected that Steve Vai would have a version. While there’s no denying his musicianship, I find Vai’s music often comes up short in the soul department, particularly in this case:

Now this is more like it:

I have never liked Eric Clapton’s bombastic take on “Little Wing.” Part of the song’s charm is its offhanded feel. It sounds like something that popped into Hendrix’s head while he watched a woman walk past.  I invariably skip past the Claptonized version when I listen to the Layla album, but for some listeners it was their way into the Hendrix catalogue:

But why should they have all the fun? Here’s your chance to play it yourself:

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Blue Monday

Nobody does Hendrix like Eric Gales, as this clip shows: “Resurrection” and “Paralyzed” might as well be outtakes from Electric Ladyland, instead of lead-off cuts on Gales’ first and second albums. That’s older brother Eugene Gales on bass and vocals, but Eric owns the stage during the instrumental breaks. A highlight of Gales’ shows has long been his apocalyptic cover version of the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” but I haven’t been able to find a clip.

In this 2007 clip, Gales drops the Stevie Ray Vaughan haberdashery for the Huxtable look. We’ll give him points for nostalgia:

Though Gales plays his Strat upside down, just like You Know Who, he is not left-handed. Eugene Gales, who is left handed, taught him how to play and Gales never modified the technique.

Here is a clip from the 2008 Experience Hendrix tribute tour, playing “Waterfall” with Eric Johnson:

Unfortunately, Gales is currently doing time on drug and weapons charges:

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