The Electric Church High Priests – Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, and Carlos Santana

Electric Church was a belief held by Jimi Hendrix’s knowledge that electric music (such as Jimi’s band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience created) brings out emotions, feelings and ideas in people as well as fosters spiritual maturity. In an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in 1969, Cavett asked Hendrix about the Electric Church. Hendrix replied by saying that he designed his music so that it would be able to go “inside the soul of the person, and awaken some kind of thing inside, because there are so many sleeping people”. I thought it might be interesting to review the three point intersection in the Electric Church shared by Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, and Carlos Santana.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix considered “Electric Church” his religion and based his third album Electric Ladyland on that inherent belief.

When asked why he didn’t name his then-new album “Electric Church” instead of “Electric Ladyland”, Jimi said that some ladies were electric too. (then he laughed as if he were embarassed.)

Buddy Miles appeared on two songs on the Hendrix album “Electric Ladyland.” When Hendrix disbanded the Jimi Hendrix Experience and replaced the British musicians with African-Americans, Buddy Miles joined Jimi in the Band of Gypsys along with Billy Cox on bass.

Copyright 1968 Eddie Kramer

On the last night of the 1960s, a New Year’s Eve show, they recorded Band of Gypsys, an album that included “Them Changes.” This was the epitome of the Electric Church in the most spiritual rock hall at that time, The Fillmore East. If only the walls of that building could talk. Fortunately that concert was preserved on DVD (or YouTube I am guessing…).

Buddy Miles

The Buddy Miles Express album, Electric Church was partly produced by Jimi Hendrix.  It bridged the gap between the late 60s psychedelic rock scene and Miles’ R&B roots. The album Electric Church had a looser, more jam-oriented vibe than the first album, Expressway to Your Skull. 

Carlos Santana

Buddy Miles and Carlos Santana joined their talents to further grow the Electric Church as a live concert setting which became the album for Columbia Records, Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles Live!                 They recorded this performance in the Diamond Head Crater an inactive volcano in Hawaii. Embed from Getty Images

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