LIVE: Dolly Dagger @ The Linda, 2/20/16
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Lets face it, Jimi Hendrix was a product of the blues embracing pop. Today’s generation is almost twice removed from when Hendrix died and the popular music of today – from hip-hop to country to roots to whatever-you-want-to-tag-it – is now almost two generations removed from the power-blues of Hendrix and some of his contemporaries. If you go to any existing record store these days, the blues category is almost a rat’s-hair sliver in the CD or record bins. The sixties are gone, and we’re in the midst of the twenty-teens. There’s a whole new music scene out there, and the importance of Jimi Hendrix is nearly forgotten within the contemporary musical spectrum.
Hendrix’s music isn’t played on the radio that much anymore; even college radio has forsaken it. Yet there is relevance in his influence and what he had to say. He used the over-amplified power of his electric notes to propel his words and thoughts to the young and vibrant generation of his time, and in the greater scheme of things his music is just as relevant today.
Take a song like “Machine Gun”… In case you forgot, we’re still, as a country, fighting in Afghanistan, making it the longest war in American history. The song captures the stupidity of war and the death it brings for our fellow countrymen. His songs about the civil rights movement back then could be anthems of today’s Black Lives Matter movement. Pardon the pun, but it’s the same song, just a different day.
“Dolly Dagger” is the name of a posthumously released Jimi Hendrix song. Dolly Dagger is also the name of a Massachusetts-based trio that pays homage to the master of the power guitar. In their Local 518 debut last weekend at The Linda, bandleader Arthur Holmes was not trying to be Hendrix, but he and his bandmates – drummer Brian Forfa and bassist John Worth – captured the spirit and essence of Hendrix with both their vocal approach and guitar pyrotechnics. The set list they played was more than a little taste of Hendrix’s music. Rather, it was more like a great meal to be digested long after the fans left the theater.
When Dolly Dagger comes around again, and you want to know what it was like to hear Hendrix live, check them out – just close your eyes and sit back and listen. They’re a unique commodity in the contemporary music scene filled with Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd clones. Very few have ventured out there playing Hendrix’s music, except for perhaps a tune or two. This band has the balls to do a full two-hour set. And they do it flawlessly…