Watch One-Armed Guitarist’s Incredible Performance of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Child’
Most of us couldn't play a convincing rendition of a Jimi Hendrix song with two hands. Marc Swafford needs only one.
Swafford can be seen tearing his way through Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" in the video above, delivering what appears to be an impromptu performance during a street busking set. And as you can probably guess after watching just a few moments of the clip, this only scratches the surface of his ability.
Swafford's impressive résumé boasts an eclectic array of projects, including the "death thrash boogie" band Mahamawaldi, which he started with his brother, drummer Matt Swafford (they're described as "two brothers, three arms of doom"), as well as the acoustic ensemble Bitter Root Range. You can check out clips from Mahamawaldi performances below.
According to this profile piece, Swafford grew up in a musical family — both of his parents are multi-instrumentalists, as is his brother — which no doubt contributed to his determination to continue playing after losing an arm in a car accident. As the article puts it, "Physical therapy and tremendous internal spirit combined to create an amazingly brilliant lead guitar, bass guitar, dobro and banjo player."
Mahamawaldi is known in the Missoula, Mt., area for its improvisational, jam-heavy performances, which Swafford shrugged off as a matter of necessity during a 2003 interview with the Missoula Independent. "If we had the long-term memory to go with it, we’d be all right," he mused. "We can improvise all over the place, but we never seem to play anything the same way twice."
Based on these clips, we'd say Swafford's memory is just fine. After you watch them, check out more of his music at his ReverbNation page.
Watch Mahamawaldi Perform Live
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