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Jimi Hendrix Bassist Billy Cox Has the ‘Old School Blue Blues’ on His New Album

Billy Cox
Scott Wintrow, Getty Images

The only surviving member of both the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Band of Gypsys, Billy Cox is a genuine rock treasure — and although he turned 70 in October, the bassist is staying just as busy as ever.

Though his schedule of late has kept him on the road with the Experience Hendrix tribute band, Cox found time to resume his solo career with 2009′s ‘Last Gypsy Standing’ album, and he picked up right where he left off with his just-released latest CD, ‘Old School Blue Blues.’

“I keep saying it; that’s all Jimi Hendrix played,” Cox says of the album’s title. “It was nothing but loud blues. Music has lost its way; we need to get back to the fundamentals so that music can move forward again.”

In that spirit, ‘Old School Blue Blues’ finds Cox rocking the same Fender Precision bass he’s played since 1963 — including his sessions with Hendrix, as well as the countless gigs where Cox backed up rock, R&B, and soul legends like Charles Brown, Wilson Pickett, and Johnnie Taylor.

In Cox’s words, “It’s about real feel. The blues that we grew up with is a part of the fabric of our lives. This is a song about a people and the lives they lived on a day to day basis.”

Cox and Hendrix became friends and performing buddies during their early ’60s army stint together. They re-joined forces in 1969 to record the Band of Gypsys album, and Cox then took over Noel Redding’s spot in the Experience.

Read more about ‘Old School Blue Blues’ — or buy a copy for yourself — at Cox’s official site.

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