A Jimi Hendrix tribute disc being spearheaded by the rock icon’s half-sister Janie Hendrix will feature a previously unreleased Stevie Ray Vaughan medley, as well as newly recorded covers from Prince, George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, Eric Clapton, Musiq and several others.
Titled "Power of Soul,” after Hendrix’s song of the same name, the disc will benefit the United Negro College Fund.
Due May 4 by Los Angeles-based Image Entertainment and in conjunction with Experience Hendrix, the album contains a 1983 live Vaughan medley of “Little Wing” and “Third Stone From the Sun,” Musiq’s cover of “Are You Experienced?,” Eric Gales doing “Foxy Lady” and Prince’s reimagination of “Red House” as “Purple House.”
There will also be tracks from Sting, Santana, John Lee Hooker, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Kahn with Kid Rock guitarist Kenny Olson, Sounds of Blackness, George Duke, Cee-Lo and Robert Randolph and the Family Band.
“Power of Soul” is certainly not the first Hendrix tribute. Aside from smaller, more independent celebrations, Warner Bros. in 1993 issued a high-profile Hendrix tribute, “Stone Free,” with covers from Soundgarden, the Cure, Clapton, Buddy Guy, Seal and Belly.
“A lot of the tribute albums that have come out have concentrated on Jimi’s rock side. This is really more of the soul, R&B feel,” Janie Hendrix told Billboard.com. She said it’s a project she’s envisioned all her life, noting that it was in R&B that Jimi really paid his dues. “He was in chitlin-circuit bands and playing with Diana Ross, the Isley Brothers, Little Richard, all them. So, I’m just trying to shed that light, too.”
All songs, with the exception of Hooker’s previously issued version of “Red House,” are new. Janie Hendrix said she had approached Hooker about recording a new cover, but he was physically unable to because of his declining health. He died in 2002.
She added that a major Hendrix DVD is in the works for late next year, but declined to give details.