It’s testament to the music of Jimi Hendrix that people still record it, and somewhat amazing that people like Steinar Gregertsen still find new ways to interpret it. This record features Gregertsen mostly on lap steel, with some guitar, and it works wonderfully.
His one-man string show starts with “I Don’t Live Today,” and it’s a good sign of things to come, starting as a country-blues played on acoustic lap before getting loud and nasty with ringing slide guitar. He does the same with the criminally ignored “Angel,” the Hendrix ballad that here gets the full treatment in an instrumental rendition that includes big, sweet-sounding lap steel that hints at the melody. His take on “Drifting” uses various guitars while creating the melody and soulful solo. About the only six-string he doesn’t handle is on “Remember,” where Tom Principato comes in with an almost chicken-pickin’ solo before Gregertsen finishes on lap steel. “Belly Button Window” becomes a stomping blues-rock tune that actually gets jazzy on the solo. Another guest, Espen Larsen, adds very nice acoustic soloing to “Pali Gap.” His soloing mixes with Marianne Rodvelt’s vocal and Gregertsen’s electric and lap steel to round out the song.
Gregertsen is a fine player and interpreter. It’s nice to hear someone focus on Hendrix as songwriter, not just his guitar skills.
This article originally appeared in VG’s Sept. ’10 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.