When Melbourne guitarist and Prince protégé Darren Hart (aka Harts) turned his hand to the music of Jimi Hendrix he quickly gathered support from The Hendrix Estate.
Harts played Hendrix in his first Harts Plays Hendrix performance at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Thursday (30 May).
The initial show was fairly low-key has Harts was basically trying out the concept on loyal fans, friends and Hendrix fans who gathered from the word of mouth for the performance.
The Hendrix family blessing came with an added bonus. Harts could use actual Jimi Hendrix vocals on some of the songs as his three-piece band performed the songs.
The setlist was the obvious. ‘Hey Joe’, ‘All Along The Watchtower’, ‘The Wind Cries Mary’, ‘Fire’, ‘Voodoo Chile’, ‘Purple Haze’ and ‘Foxey Lady’ were expected and welcome.
Harts added authenticity with the flipped over Fender Stratocaster mimicking the Hendrix guitar sound.
The set was simple with a backdrop simply stating ‘Harts plays Hendrix’ but Harts did mention that future versions of this show, if it goes ahead, would include images of Hendrix on the screen.
27-year old Harts is now the same age Jimi was when he died. Darren released his debut album ‘Daydreamer’ in 2014. His most recent album ‘Queens, Kings & All Big Things’ was released in 2018.
If the Melbourne Recital Centre show was a trial, then it was a success. This show could easily do the round across Australia playing venues like the Sydney Opera House.