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L.A. Beat

Wild T and the Spirit supply good vibes and the spirit of Jimi Hendrix

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Seeing Wild T and the Spirit live is the closest thing most of us will get to seeing Jimi Hendrix, and that’s not just because Toney Springer, aka Wild T, plays a lot of Hendrix as he did at the Slice, July 15.

He not only knows all of Hendrix’s licks, but has his moves down as well. It’s just a pity only about 20 people were therWild T and the Spirit spreading good vibes. Photo By Richard Amerye to see this Canadian treasure playing a small, intimate venue. He knows his way around a Stratocaster, and the audience could tell he would have been just as happy playing for 20 people as he would be 20,000 people.

He always puts on an entertaining show and he has guitar chops and showmanship to die for. He cracked jokes and broke in new drummer Trevor Bigham with countless time changes and psychedelic jams incorporating everything from the Flintstones theme to Christmas carols like “Good King Wenceslas,” which inspired him to wish everybody a Merry Christmas.

 He started off with an easygoing, extended instrumental before tearing into the Boogie Man, then played one of his own slower songs “I’ll Play the Blues For You.”

Then it was time for the first Hendrix song of the night as he played a unique version of “All Along the Watchtower,” as requested by one of the enthusiastic audience members.

 He was also in an easygoing reggae mood, playing several Bob Marley songs, which including jumping into the crowd to get three of the pretty girls in the audience to sing along with him. Even the reggae songs turned into extended jams incorporating snatches of several other tunes.

He also fit a couple of his excellent originals. A jam on “Life Goes On,” was exceptional and “My Next Ex-Wife,” was a crowd favourite.

Wild T gets some help with back-up vocalists in the audience. Photo by Richard Amery
 He ended his first set with Hendrix’s “Fire,” which not only incorporated a few bars of “Red Red Wine,” but another Bob Marley song as well as the Flintstones theme.

 He wasn’t done yet, though it was getting close to midnight, after a  brief break, he was back with more  guitar pyrotechnics.

 His Hendix version of the Star Spangled Banner was a big part of the set and just when you thought he couldn’t squeeze, chew or smack the strings with his dreadlocks for another gorgeous note out of his Stratocaster, he was called back for an encore of some electrified Flamenco music. That sequed into a long jam on Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe,” which included a few bars of everything from the White Stripes to Van Morrison.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 July 2012 12:10 )  
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