Voodoo Chile Winter 2010 Tour Road Blog
Hi, MD readers, Keith LeBlanc here! I think this is probably the closest I will get to playing with Jimi Hendrix. I’m playing with two amazing players—the wonderful bass player T.M. Stevens and guitar monster Eric Gales. Both of these guys have a great sense of time, so playing with them is very comfortable and supportive. The shows on our tour are ninety minutes long—but we always end up playing an average of two and a half hours.
I’ve been playing drums professionally for over thirty years, and after all this time, walking to the stage to play always holds the same feeling of anticipation for me. Live music always has a life of its own. And it’s been fun for me to revisit my childhood through music on this tour. The Jimmy Hendrix experience was a great influence on me as a kid. Mitch Mitchell’s playing was my X-box at age seven. But as a child I was just trying to keep up with him and learn as many of his licks as possible. Before I did this gig I spent some time listening to all the old recordings again—and you know what? They sound just as good as I remember.
I wanted to break down what Mitch was doing in that famous trio. I found that Noel Redding held things down like a rock with the bass, and Mitch supported that. But he also kicked what Jimi was doing on guitar at the same time. I think Jaco Pastorius said it best: “You can play anything as long as you keep the groove going at the same time.” And that was the great thing about Mitch’s drum fills—they were always a big part of the groove. To me playing Hendrix tunes with Eric and T.M. is some of the most fun a drummer can have without getting arrested!
For more with Keith LeBlanc and L.S.G., go to www.blancrecords.com/klb/articles?category=News.