Johnny Jones And The King Casuals – Purple Haze

9th March 2024 · 1960s, 1968, Music, Soul

This sweaty, soulful, stripped-back take on one of Jimi’s biggest tunes is by his first group – a few years after he left.

The King Kasuals were a rhythm and blues group formed in 1962 by Hendrix and bassist Billy Cox in Clarksville, Tennessee, after they were discharged from the US Army at the nearby Fort Campbell base.

Moving to Nashville, they became regular performers in clubs and bars and got a gig as the house band on a local TV show called Night Train.

When Hendrix left in 1964, they merged with another local band The Imperial Seven, led by local session musician Johnny Jones, a Tennessee native who had learned to play the blues with Junior Wells and Freddy King in Chicago.

Jones took over leadership of the slightly renamed outfit – Johnny Jones and the King Casuals – and it’s his twangy guitar and vocals you hear on this soulful tribute to their former guitarist, produced by Stax legend William Bell.