Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” is an essential electric guitar track. The Electric Ladyland closer showcases his mastery of the instrument, turning a collection of wood and metal into something like a wailing human voice, moaning and shouting and nearly crashing apart into waves of distortion before soaring into an instantly recognizable set of choruses and solos.
Gayageum player Luna Lee, who we previously highlighted all the way back in the prehistoric fog of 2016, gave herself a pretty significant challenge by covering a track so fully connected with the guitar on another instrument. But, as you can see and hear in a video posted to YouTube, her approach absolutely rules.
Lee, wearing an appropriate Stevie Ray Vaughan T-shirt, follows the song’s guitar part pretty faithfully. The gayageum is filtered with a bit of fuzz and reverb and she’s accompanied by a bass and drum backing track, but otherwise, it’s just her and a traditional Korean instrument doing an exceptional job reinterpreting Hendrix’s vocal and guitar melodies.
This isn’t her first take on the song either. Lee first covered “Voodoo Child” in a 2013 video, which is similarly impressive but uses a pre-recorded electric guitar to bulk up the chorus and riffs on the track in a few notably different ways.
Lee’s channel is full of classic rock covers, running from Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin to CCR and other Hendrix staples if you want to check out more in this vein. She’s also got versions of other, somewhat more recent tracks, too, like Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out,” Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph,” and Nirvana’s “All Apologies.”
Basically, if you thought your day wouldn’t include hearing a killer gayageum cover of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” well, you were wrong.
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