Exploring Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Church concept

I’m not quite sure what first drew me to Jimi Hendrix’s Electric (Sky) Church concept. Maybe it’s the connection to astrology, or at least some sort of higher concept that bridges music to the earth. Or as Jimi put, when interviewed by Dick Cavett

“Everything, you know, is electrified nowadays. So, therefore, the belief comes in through electricity to the people, whatever…We’re playin’ for our sound to go inside the soul of the person, actually, you know. And see if they can awaken some kind of thing in their minds, you know. Because there are so many sleepin’ people.”

The almighty Wikipedia has a page for the concept, and it does define in 3 areas. For that, and for this page, I will attempt to outline the different artists that fit in each category.

What to do with these lists? I guess one could imagine how the Electric Church would be passed on. Those that are living and performing among them would definitely be keepers of the holy flame. I demarcate Day One of the Church as 10/29/1968, a jam session that involved Hendrix, Redding, Mitchell, Michaels.
The inspiration in performance for the Church may be realized from one or more artists from these lists performing or jamming together prior to 10/29/68. I’m on a search for those occurrences, as well as the many jams Jimi was part of.

The jams:
Jimi Hendrix (Curtis Knight and The Squires, Jimmy James & The Blue Flames, Band Of Gypsys)
Noel Redding (Fat Mattress, Road, Mountain)
Mitch Mitchell (Georgie Fame, Jack Bruce, Larry Coryell, Ramatam)
Lee Michaels (The Sentinals, The Family Tree)
Buddy Miles (Electric Flag, Buddy Miles Express, Band Of Gypsys, John McLaughlin, Santana, California Raisins)
Billy Cox* (Buddy Miles, Charlie Daniels, JJ Cale, Gov’t Mule)
Sharon Layne
Jim McCarty* (Cactus, Mitch Ryder, Detroit Wheels, Buddy Miles Express, Rockets, Mystery Train)
Larry Young (soul jazz, sideman for Joe Chambers, Miles Davis, Jimmy Forrest, Grant Green, Etta Jones, Gildo Mahones, John McLaughlin, Pony Poindexter, Booker Ervin, Woody Shaw, Thornel Schwartz, Bill Leslie, Buddy Terry, Tony Wiliams)
Dave Holland* (Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Circle, Anthony Braxton, Kenny Wheeler, Gateway, Steve Coleman, Chris Potter, Pat Metheny)
Roland Robinson (Buddy Mlles, Tav Falco, Ring Craft Posse, Larry McCray, Willie Cobbs, The Mar-Keys, Sandra Rhodes, New Cactus Band, Steel)
Rocky Isaac (Bux, Cherry People)
Al Marks
Devon Wilson
Emeretta Marks
Paul Caruso
Stephen Stills* (Buffalo Springfield, CSN[Y], Stills/Young, Manassas, The Rides, Judy Collins)
Jimmy Mayes* (Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes Smith, Robert Junior Lockwood, Marvin Gaye)
Kenny Pine (The Fugs)
Chris Wood (Shades Of Blue, Locomotive, Traffic, Mason Capaldi Wood and Frog, Dr. John, Ginger Baker’s Air Force)
Buzzy Linhart(Buffy Sainte-Marie, Eyes Of Blue, Richie Havens, Carly Simon, Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys)
Billy Armstrong

Chris Wood (see above)
Freddie Smith (The Serfs)
Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group, Michael Shrieve, Traffic, Blind Faith, Eric Clapton, Jim Capaldi, Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Phil Collins, Billy Joel)
Mike Finnigan (Joe Cocker, Etta James, Sam Moore, CSN, Dave Mason, Buddy Guy, Manhattan Transfer, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald, Maria Muldaur, Peter Frampton, Cher, Ringo Starr, Leonard Cohen, Tower Of Power, Rod Stewart, David Coverdale, Tracy Chapman, Los Lonely Boys, Bonnie Raitt, Saving Escape)
Al Kooper* (Mike Bloomfield, Blues Project, Blood Sweat & Tears, Bob Dylan, Royal Teens)
Dave Mason* (Traffic, Clapton, George Harrison, Derek & The Dominos, Fleetwood Mac, Cass Elliott, Rory Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Phoebe Snow, Leon Russell)
Jack Casady* (Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, Moonalice, SVT, Roky Erikson)
Larry Faucette
Brian Jones (Rolling Stones)
The Sweet Inspirations (Cissy Houston, Estelle Brown, Sylvia Shemwell, Myrna Smith,…. worked with Van Morrison, Drinkard Singers, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, T-Bone Walker, Esther Phillips, The Killers)

Larry Lee (Al Green, Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, The Impressions)
Juma Sultan (Sonny Simmons, Noah Howard, Archie Shepp)
Jerry Velez (Spyro Gyra, Bowie, Steely Dan, Martha Velez, Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, Duran Duran, Elton John, Jessica Simpson, Slash, Stevie Wonder, Chic, Nile Rodgers Haircut 100)

Unquestioningly there are parallels drawn to particular artists and bands from this long list, and especially those associated acts listed one degree of separation. Traffic, Ginger Baker, John McLaughlin, Stephen Stills, Eic Clapton among these.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s