The festivities in honoring Jimi Hendrix's 71st birthday last Wed night, Nov 27. 2013 was appropriately psychedelic. Annie O'Neill was in the house and crooned making hearts melt. With the room's hue of purple balloons, and, of course, the presence of Jimi, this made for a remarkable night.
Jimi Hendrix's birthday party was held at at the VERA Project; Seattle Center in Seattle WA with live music tributes featuring: Leon Hendrix [Jimi's brother], Tina Hendrix [Jimi's niece], students of the Hendrix Academy, and Annie O'Neill who sang happy birthday to Jimi.
Tina [Hendrix] started up a music academy for kids/teens under the name of "Hendrix Music Academy" for at-risk youth since October, 2009.
After the students gave their amazing performances in nearly all music genres, Annie O'Neill sang a heartfelt "Happy Birthday" to Jimi Hendrix. She honored his musical gifts he gave to the world in her powerful song that brought tears to many.
It was "surreal" indeed, as Annie O'Neill described Jimi Hendrix's birthday party at the Seattle Center a few days later with Jenn Findley, your voice for live music in Seattle today.
Exclusive interview with Annie O’Neill on Monday Dec 2, 2013.
JF: How did you feel singing Happy Birthday to Jimi Hendrix on Wednesday night?
AO: It’s a huge honor. I felt honored to be there, it’s almost surreal, so much love in the room.
JF: You had such a powerful performance on Wednesday evening. Did you get a vibe of Jimi Hendrix's presence in the room while you sang?
AO: I did. I actually talked about that several times, with his family and friends. Tina’s [Hendrix] Dad, Leon [Hendrix] is great, I played music with them as well awhile back. Jimi is a huge inspiration.
JF: Yes, he is a huge inspiration. He inspired Tina Hendrix to open the Hendrix Music Academy. To what level is your involvement with the Hendrix Academy?
AO: I just got on board teaching and mentoring at Jimi Hendrix Music Academy. I was invited by Tina. It's a huge honor, just a handful of teachers/mentors there. Lot’s of teens come through and there is no cost to kids or their families to go [to the academy]. She [Tina] even provides a meal. She always has either a BBQ going on, or pizza.
It's great for the kids. There is a nice recording studio that she [Tina] has. The school has everything they [students] need.
JF: Annie, you definitely have a voice that is out of today’s standard genre. How would you classify your voice with your band, the "Danny Newcomb Band"?
AO: Danny Newcomb Band has original rock with some roots and a little blues. I do original material but with Danny it’s his deal. With us, that month that we opened for "Candlebox" [July 2013], was the first gig I had with them at the Moore. We have a lot of vocal harmonies now.
JF: Now, let’s talk more about the "Danny Newcomb Band". You opened for "Candlebox" last July, 2013. I was there. Now, I hear you are recording. How far are you in the process?
AO: Halfway done, Rick Friel as the bass, him and Danny played with many bands in Seattle from the 90’s on. Our drummer, Brett Baccus is amazing. I’ll be in the studio this week. We have an amazing person we are recording with, co-producer/engineer, Ian Moore. He has an amazing career engineering our project is also regular performing musican. Another phenomenal guitar player another element that’s been added to the band. We are really excited.
JF: I bet. I can't wait to hear. Does Danny write all of the the lyrics/music for the "Danny Newcomb Band"?
AO: Yes, it is really Danny's deal.
JF: Are there any rituals or superstitions that you feel you need to do before going onstage?
AO: I like to sprinkle pixie dust and make good wishes.
The "pixie dust and good wishes" must be Annie's secret to stellar performances.
To hear Annie O'Neill's music on reverbnation, visit: http://www.reverbnation.com/annieoneill
For more information about Tina Hendrix's music academy, visit: http://hendrixmusic.qwestoffice.net/15501.html
For the Danny Newcomb Band, visit: www.youtube.com/DannyNewcombBand