Everyone knows that The Isley Brothers and Jimi Hendrix are national treasures—that’s a given. What most people don’t know is that Jimi was actually in The Isley Brothers for a brief period. Yeah it’s true, the person most associated with the guitar in human history cut his teeth backing up soul bands in the early ‘60s. The crazy part was that his talent was his downfall—he was so good, he stuck out like a sore thumb. I could cite several examples of him stealing the show, but let’s just focus on this song for now.
First of all, this song has a sort of ceremonial vibe to it, which is excellent. I imagine Ron Isley getting out into the crowd, doing some sort of old, fired-up preacher thing, possibly even baptizing people. The problem was that Jimi’s guitar playing was so otherworldly, it overshadowed everything else going on in the song. Testify is yet another example of what probably happened to him a million times. He was just too good. Not long after this was recorded, Ron kicked Jimi out of the group, because god forbid anyone should be mistaken, this was The Isley Brothers (featuring Jimi Hendrix)—not the other way around. Excellent song though. Hope you enjoy it!
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