Tonight, Chicago guitarist Ladell McLin will be playing at the Nines in Collegetown. The most striking feature of McLin is his incredible resemblance to Jimi Hendrix. He looks exactly like him, down to Jimi’s eccentric wardrobe, blown-out hair and forlorn face. His voice tries hard to sound the same, and even the way McLin delivers is hauntingly similar to Hendrix’s strange mix of talking and singing.
The only problem is that McLin’s guitar playing and songwriting is nowhere near to the greatest rock star of all time. On his debut album, Stand Out, McLin’s first track presents nearly seven minutes of forgettable solo guitar – the man simply plays too many notes, a distraction Jimi was always cautious to avoid. This musicianship is echoed in McLin’s bandmates, who present an adequate but hardly substantial accompaniment. That said, other tracks are just psychedelic enough to warrant a trip to see him live. Though the lyrics can be trite, they can also be deeply personal and poetic. Reflected in his passionate singing, McLin may just remind us of rock and roll used to be like.
Archived article by Elliot Singer Sun Arts and Entertainment Editor and Jonnie Lieberman Associate Editor