Sunday, 29 November 2015

Leslie West - Soundcheck, album review

West and Guests

Opener Left By The Roadside To Die is an interesting start, the song driven by a synth riff rather than West’s guitar. But it is the blues, and he plays slide on this one. It is followed by Give Me One Reason, and here it is West’s gruff, seasoned vocal that leads, the guitar punctuating with crisp whining clips. Third Here For The Party is what we’ve been waiting for, a hard-driving riff-thumping rock-blues and West continuing with his remarkably still-powerful vocal chops and more of those crisp licks. The party has begun.

The pace slows on fourth where Peter Frampton guests on the cover of You Are My Sunshine, strings soothing behind that huge vocal, guitar picking up the familiar melody beautifully, a snippet of dueting at the end. On fifth we return to the West singing scream – it is still wonderful – on Empty Promises/Nothin’ Sacred, a chugging blues with drums controlling the rhythm. Sixth A Stern Warning is a guitar instrumental of acoustic wizardry.

This is the excellent mix. Other guests and covers are People Get Ready, West at his empathetic emotive vocal best, guitar oozing the melody too; Brian May bluesy on the great Going Down [this is a rouser]; an acoustic Stand By Me with the Ariela Pizza on accompanying vocal duty; an instrumental work-out of Eleanor Rigby, and as a special closer a live recording of the late Jack Bruce and West playing the iconic [I think the word is appropriate here] Spoonful.

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