CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Leslie West. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leslie West. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2015

Leslie West Presents Guitar To Paul Allen in NYC, Soundcheck Coming November 20





LESLIE WEST PRESENTS DEAN MISSISSIPPI QUEEN GUITAR
TO LONG-TIME FAN AND MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER PAUL ALLEN

WEST TO RELEASE SOUNDCHECK ON NOVEMBER 20
Album Features West Joined By Jack Bruce, Brian May, Peter Frampton,
Bonnie Bramlett, Max Middleton And Others
EPK:




New York, NY -- On Thursday evening at BB Kings in New York City, Leslie West welcomed long-time fan and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.  Pictured below are West and Allen, shortly after the guitarist presented one of his signature model guitars to the historical figure.  On November 20, Leslie West will release Soundcheck via Provogue / Mascot Label Group, his latest studio recording which features appearances from Jack Bruce, Brian May, Peter Frampton, Bonnie Bramlett, Max Middleton and others. West will celebrate his 70th birthday on October 22.




Provogue Records artist: Leslie West - Soundcheck - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (November 20, 2015), Soundcheck, from Leslie West, and it has a new flavor and hot riffs from the guitar ace. West's 16th release opens with Left By The Roadside To Die, a classic rocker augmented by David Biglin on synthesizer. West is really looking at multiple textures adding acoustic slide guitar, and powerful electric guitar riffs to his own rugged vocals making this a great opener. Tracy Chapman's Give Me One Reason gets a power rock rewrite with the vocals kept on the lower side and the guitar doing a nice response to his vocal call. Here For The Party is a straight ahead rocker with West leading the charge vocally. His classic distorted guitar tone and driving bottom makes this a great rocker. A real interesting minor key version of traditional ballad, You Are My Sunshine, with only basic keyboard setup and featuring Peter Frampton trading solos with West on slide. Very nice! AC/DC tribute, Empty Promises/Nothin' Sacred features some of West's best vocals and distorted guitar chords over snappy a guitar bottom. A Stern Warning, an instrumental acoustic guitar piece by West on 12 string shows an entirely different side of the man and possibly even with a little eastern influence. Very interesting. Curtis Mayfield's, People Get Ready, features West on guitar playing nice, melodic soloing to his own vocals, somewhat like the Beck/Stewart cover a number of years back but with a different intensity. Rev Jones lays in a real nice bass line giving the track another dimension as well. Don Nix's Goin' Down, another track done by Beck back in the 70's I think, gets a new boot in the butt joined by Brian May on guitar (after the first solo), Max Middleton on piano, Bobbie Whitlock on organ and Bonnie Bramlett on backing vocal. Excellent! Ariela Pizza joins West on lead vocals on Ben E King's classic, Stand By Me. Done as a tribute to King who died in April, West keeps it totally acoustic with a soft but tight arrangement. The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby is cool remake of the classic but on bass alone. A real nice track and well done by Rev Jones. Wrapping the release is Willie Dixon's Spoonful done Cream style. Featuring the incomparable Jack Bruce on vocal and bass, and Joe Franco on drums. West really does an excellent job laying his own riffs on this track that all classic rockers will know like the back of their hands. Excellent closer!

  View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn  

If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cleopatra Records artist: Eli Cook - Primitive Son - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (April 29, 2014), Primitive Son, from Eli Cook and it's a rockin, snarling blues guitar release. Opening with War Horse, Cook and gang (Wade Warfield on drums and Rob Richmond on bass) crank up a Led Zep feel with a southern twist. It has a mesmerizing groove and cool guitar riffs. Revelator has a bit more pop to it adding Vinny Appice (drums), Jorgen Carlsson (bass and B3) and Steffen Presley and Greg Hampton on backing vocals. Sweet Thang has a slinky sound and features Tinsley Ellis on additional guitar. High In The Morning, a southern influenced track features Sonny Landreth on some slick slide work. Reese Wynans adds some Vocals remind me quite a bit of Black Label Society. Won't Be Long is a real nice little acoustic ballad featuring Cook on acoustic slide and vocal. Motor Queen steps out with real attitude... a club swingin blues rocker with Leslie West joining on guitar. This track has a lot of attitude and is one of my favorites on the release. Be Your Fool, still with more of a rock blues swagger, features Rod Piazza on harp but certainly has more of the flavor of Led Zep, Skynyrd or G&R than the old masters but still quite entertaining. Swing A Little Harder is a stripped down track with only Cook on vocal, bass and guitar and Wade Warfield on drums. A blend of spoken lyrics and heavier rock gives it a different style sound. Again the closest thing that I can compare it to is BLS. With interesting guitar riffs and a solid beat... cool track. Shake The Devil Down is consistant with the bulk of the release with solid vocals and well executed guitar riffs over a solid bottom. Tall & Twisted is again accompanied by acoustic guitar and understated drums by Warfield and bass from Rob Richmond. Modern country blues. The Great Southern Love Kill has a hotter flame featuring Artimus Pyle on drums and Pat Travers on additional guitars. A more straight up blues rocker and an easier melody actually brings this track across a bit more crisply. Smokin hot guitar riffs on this track break the uneven but consistent drum rhythms. Amphetamine Saint has a real blues rock swagger. I like Cook's vocal style more on this track and guitar heavy Eric Gales adds nicely to the mix. Title track, Primitive Son, is more vocal heavy with instruments more in the back. A straight forward blues rocker, this track definitely demonstrates the relationship between blues and progressing metal. Wrapping the track is Burying Ground, a heavy blues rocker with interesting guitar work and a heavy drum beat. Cook is carving out a niche for himself in this heavy blues rock/metal sound and I'm certain he will find a strong audience.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Leslie West Re-Records Mountain Classic "Long Red" - NY Show On The Books

                                                                                                                              


LESLIE WEST RE-RECORDS "LONG RED" ON STILL CLIMBING, BRINGING HEAVIER FEEL TO ONE OF THE
MOST SAMPLED ROCK TRACKS IN THE HISTORY OF HIP HOP
Jay-Z. Kanye West, Common, Lana Del Rey, De La Soul, Nas, EPMD, Eric B. & Rakim, The Game, ASAP Rocky and Many More have Integrated Track 

WEST TO PERFORM AT NEW YORK'S IRIDIUM NOVEMBER 13

New York, NY -- Leslie West chose to re-track the classic Mountain hit "Long Red" for his October 29th solo release Still Climbing,  His motive, to reclaim as his own one of the most sampled rock tracks in the history of hip hop.  Originally released on Mountain (1969), the song has found a renewed relevance with consistent usage year after year on platinum recordings.  Some of the artists who have sampled the track include Jay-Z on 2003's The Black Album with "99 Problems," De La Soul with 2004's The Grind Date with "Verbal Clap," The Game's 2006 album Doctor's Advocate with "Wouldn't Get Far," and 2007's Finding Forever from Common with "The People."  Recently, Lana Del Rey samples West's voice saying "Louder" on the title track of Born to Die, while ASAP Rocky's massive hit "Ghetto Symphony" from Long Live ASAP samples "Long Red."  The wide usage is best presented via a sample map presented by Ethan Hein below.  Mascot Label Group has created a Spotify playlist exhibiting the usages, which can be streamed here: http://open.spotify.com/user/1144792171/playlist/7sEELycSN1h2Fuy82OYiHl.

On the steady usage of the track throughout the past two decades, and continued relevance today, West simply shares, "In 1969, when I wrote the song, there was no hip hop."

Leslie West released Still Climbing on October 29 via Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group.  On November 13, West will appear at New York City's Iridium for one-set at 8PM.  For more information: http://theiridium.com/events/1962/leslie-west-with-opener-arielle-verinis-one-set-only-800-pm/ Additional tour dates will be announced as they are confirmed.

Originality, excitement, honesty and survival are all part of what makes a legend, and those qualities ripple through every song on West’s upcoming release.  The disc is also a testimonial to the strength and durability of West’s artistry.  Born October 22, 1945, west recently celebrated his 68th birthday, West has packed some of the most soulful and searing vocal performances of his half-century career into these eleven tracks, and his guitar has never sounded more massive or riff-propelled.  On the re-recording of "Long Red," West is joined by his brother, and former Vagrants band mate, Larry on bass.  He shares, "It was time for me to let people hear that song the way I do it now.  I used a B-3 organ on it again, but this time it has a lot more balls."

Friday, October 11, 2013

Leslie West Announces Two Rare In-Store Appearances & NYC Show - Still Climbing Out 10/29



LESLIE WEST AND PROVOGUE RECORDS TO STAGE RARE IN-STORE APPEARANCES TO COINCIDE WITH STILL CLIMBING RELEASE
West Confirms 11/01 at NJ's Vintage Vinyl (7PM), 11/02 at Long Island, NY's
Looney Tunes (2PM), and Performance At New York City's Iridium on 11/13 


OCTOBER 29TH RELEASE SEES WEST LOOKING FORWARD JOINED BY JONNY LANG, JOHNNY WINTER, MARK TREMONTI AND DEE SNIDER

New York, NY -- Leslie West will stage two rare in-store appearances that coincide with the release of his upcoming studio album Still Climbing on October 29 via Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group.  The guitarist will appear at Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ on November 1 at 7PM (51 Lafayette Rd - 732-225-7717) and at Looney Tunes in West Babylon, NY on November 2 at 2PM (31 Brookvale Avenue - 631-587-7722).  West will host a question and answer with those assembled, and conduct a signing of Still Climbing.

On November 13, West will appear at New York City's Iridium for one-set at 8PM.  For more information: http://theiridium.com/events/1962/leslie-west-with-opener-arielle-verinis-one-set-only-800-pm/ or visit West's new web site that launches today with a premiere of the lyric video created for "Dyin' Since The Day I was Born": www.lesliewestofficial.com.

Originality, excitement, honesty and survival are all part of what makes a legend, and those qualities ripple through every song on West’s upcoming release.  The disc is also a testimonial to the strength and durability of West’s artistry.  Born October 22, 1945, as he approaches the age of 68, West has packed some of the most soulful and searing vocal performances of his half-century career into these eleven tracks, and his guitar has never sounded more massive or riff-propelled. 

Following the success of Unusual Suspects, he approached the new release with vision of tying the albums together.  “This record is a sequel to Unusual Suspects, where I had friends of mine that include Slash, Zakk Wylde, Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa and Billy Gibbons come to the studio and play,” West explains.  This time Jonny Lang, Johnny Winter, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Alter Bridge / Creed’s Mark Tremonti do the honors. “What’s different on Still Climbing is that I wanted my guitars to sound as big as I look. So I used four of my Dean signature model guitars with my Mountain of Tone humbucking pickups. I plugged them into my Blackstar amps — no pedals — and turned them up loud and raw, and what you hear is exactly what I did in the studio.  These Blackstar amps deliver everything I need without 'confidence' pedals.  I played one of the early tracks we recorded for Slash, and he said, ‘That is as heavy as it gets.’" 

West, who ascended rock’s Mt. Olympus with his band Mountain in a historic performance at 1969’s Woodstock festival, accomplished all of that despite a life threatening battle with diabetes that cost him most of his right leg in 2011, just after his previous Mascot Label Group release Unusual Suspects was recorded.  "I’m lucky it wasn’t one of my hands or I’d be screwed,” West says with his customary candor.  “It was a difficult struggle, and after the amputation I didn’t know whether I’d ever want to or be able to perform again.  But a month later I played at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp in New York City, and I heard my guitar on stage and that was it. I knew I had to keep going.”

West has been performing since 1965, when he fronted the soul-fired Vagrants in his native New York City.  Rolling Stone placed him at #66 on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists.”   His repertoire continues to be relevant with enduring appeal to this day as top selling rap recordings are built around samples from “Long Red,” which appeared on the Mountain album. Jay-Z tapped the tune for his 2004 mega-smash “99 Problems.” So did Kanye West, for  "Barry Bonds" and “The Glory," and Common’s “The People,” along with others.  Recently, Lana Del Rey sampled West's voice and features it in the beginning, middle and end of the worldwide smash "Born To Die."  For Still Climbing, , West re-recorded "Long Red" with his brother and former Vagrants-mate Larry West on bass.  He offers, “It was time for me to let people hear that song the way I do it now.  I used a B-3 organ on it again, but this time it has a lot more balls."

Balls, guts, heart — more words that are part of West’s legend and describe the roaring crescendos and deep emotional roots of Still Climbing — and West himself.  “You know, when it comes to talent, we don’t all move at the same rate of speed,” West muses. “Some people start at the top of their game and after 10 or 20 years you wonder what the hell happened to them. I like to joke that the older I get the better I used to be, but after giving up drugs and smoking, my voice can hit notes that I never could reach before.   I’m thankful for that.”


www.facebook.com/lesliewestmountain


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Provogue Records artist: Leslie West - Still Climbing - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (October 29, 2013), Still Climbing, from Leslie West and it has exactly what you listen to a Leslie West for.... gutsy vocals, a driving beat and flaming guitars! Opening with Dyin' Since The Day I Was Born, West is wide open on his amp, all volume controls and his vocals. With a strong metal influence, West shows all of the patience of a freight train with grinding riffs and pinched harmonics. Busted, Disgusted or Dead takes a more moderate pace with flashy sliding blues riffs from West and long time slideman Johnny Winter. Fade Into You is a 3/4 ballad with a solid melody giving West the opportunity to fire up his vocal chords and a wide open door to bust down with powerful fat guitar riffs. Real nice! Not Over You At All has a real cool intro with the smokin sound of an overdriven tube amp. Surprisingly a sax solo on this track takes a different direction than I would typically associate with West. A cool melodic guitar solo which I do think of with West is a prominent feature of this track. An acoustic track, Tales Of Woe is particularly strong. The opening, which appears to be played on nylon string guitar provides a nice backdrop for Wests rugged vocals and searing electric guitar soloing. On Feeling Good made famous by Traffic, celebrates Wests battle with cancer and diabetes with screaming guitar riffs and sharing vocals with Dee Snider (Twisted Sister). Classic Percy Sledge soul track, When A Man Loves A Woman, features guitar slinger and contemporary soul/blues singer Jonny Lang. This is a perfect track for these two guys to share the vocal lead as well as their love for the blues in smoking guitar riffs. Original Mountain classic Long Red has a fresh feel but the signature Mountain sound. You know it when you hear it. Don't Ever let Me Go again has a strong "metal" sound with driving drum work and searing lead work over melodic rhythm guitar. Rev Jones Time is a very cool interpretation of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow" on lower guitar frets or baritone guitar and I really like it. A suitable ending to an explosive release.

 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page. I use Facebook to spread the word about my blog (Now with translation in over 50 languages). I will not hit you with 50 posts a day. I will not relay senseless nonsense. I use it only to draw attention to some of the key posts on my blog each day. In this way I can get out the word on new talent, venues and blues happenings! - click Here Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Leslie West To Release Still Climbing October 29




LESLIE WEST TO RELEASE STILL CLIMBING ON OCTOBER 29 VIA PROVOGUE RECORDS / MASCOT LABEL GROUP
Legendary Guitarist Looks Forward Joined By Jonny Lang,
Johnny Winter, Mark Tremonti, and Dee Snider

New York, NY -- Leslie West will release Still Climbing on October 29 via Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group.  Originality, excitement, honesty and survival are all part of what makes a legend, and those qualities ripple through every song on West’s upcoming release.  The disc is also a testimonial to the strength and durability of West’s artistry.  Born October 22, 1945, as he approaches the age of 68, West has packed some of the most soulful and searing vocal performances of his half-century career into these eleven tracks, and his guitar has never sounded more massive or riff-propelled.
               
West, who ascended rock’s Mt. Olympus with his band Mountain in a historic performance at 1969’s Woodstock festival, accomplished all of that despite a life threatening battle with diabetes that cost him most of his right leg in 2011, just after his previous Mascot Label Group release Unusual Suspects was recorded.  "I’m lucky it wasn’t one of my hands or I’d be screwed,” West says with his customary candor.  “It was a difficult struggle, and after the amputation I didn’t know whether I’d ever want to or be able to perform again.  But a month later I played at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp in New York City, and I heard my guitar on stage and that was it. I knew I had to keep going.”

Following the success of Unusual Suspects, West approached the new release with vision of tying the albums together.  “This record is a sequel to Unusual Suspects, where I had friends of mine that include Slash, Zakk Wylde, Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa and Billy Gibbons come to the studio and play,” West explains.  This time Jonny Lang, Johnny Winter, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Alter Bridge / Creed’s Mark Tremonti do the honors. “What’s different on Still Climbing is that I wanted my guitars to sound as big as I look. So I used four of my Dean signature model guitars with my Mountain of Tone humbucking pickups. I plugged them into my Blackstar amps — no pedals — and turned them up loud and raw, and what you hear is exactly what I did in the studio.  These Blackstar amps deliver everything I need without 'confidence' pedals.  I played one of the early tracks we recorded for Slash, and he said, ‘That is as heavy as it gets.’" 

Still Climbing  is co-produced by West and Mike “Metal” Goldberg, who engineered all of the sessions.  Songs like “Dyin' Since The Day I Was Born,” “Hatfield or McCoy,” and “Busted, Disgusted or Dead” establish a new litmus test for “heavy.” The latter features West and Winter on dueling slide guitars. West also gave up smoking cigarettes and pot after a bout with bladder cancer, so it’s no wonder many of Still Climbing’s numbers explore the theme of survival and, ultimately, triumph.   To that end, West avows, “Not only am I lucky to be here, but because I stopped smoking my voice is now stronger than it’s ever been — as strong as my guitar playing."  His inclusion of “Feeling Good,” a song by British actor-musician Anthony Newley that was made famous by Steve Winwood’s group Traffic, is a testimonial to all of that.  Its lyrics celebrate a “new dawn for me” as West and his longtime buddy Dee Snider of Twisted Sister trade vocal lines.

The truth is, West has always been an outstanding vocalist, earning comparisons to soul legends like Otis Redding since his 1969 debut Mountain, which gave his historic band its name.  On Still Climbing West revisits the catalog of another classic soul man, Percy Sledge, with the enduring “When a Man Loves a Woman.”  He’s joined by now 32 year-old soul man Jonny Lang, who he met 15 years ago when Lang was a rising guitar prodigy.  West says they cut the tune side-by-side in the studio, their soaring guitars and voices twining to bring fresh blood and a blues-soaked arrangement to the song.

The tracks “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Never Let Me Go” and “Fade Into You” explore the theme of romance.  In 2009 West married his wife Jenni, who co-wrote many of Still Climbing’s songs with the guitar giant.  They exchanged vows on stage at the Woodstock 40th anniversary concert.  West credits her with saving his life — first with her love, and then by making the difficult decision to permit his doctors to amputate while he was in a coma.  West offers candidly, "Being in the band Mountain was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done in my professional life.  I became a musician, not just a guitar player.  Being in the group with Felix Pappalardi was an honor, who was so talented as a producer, arranger, bass player, guitar player, and all the things I aspired to be.  We had some great years together, and some rocky roads.  His wife Gail, who by the way shot and killed Felix, could suck the fun out of a clown.  It left a terrible taste in my mouth about working with my wife, Jenni. I did not want to risk going down that path where your wife was involved in every aspect of your musical life.  Jenni has become so good at expressing thoughts to paper, she has become my primary collaborator on the lyrical side of my new recordings."

West has been performing since 1965, when he fronted the soul-fired Vagrants in his native New York City.  Rolling Stone placed him at #66 on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists.”   His repertoire continues to be relevant with enduring appeal to this day as top selling rap recordings are built around samples from “Long Red,” which appeared on the Mountain album. Jay-Z tapped the tune for his 2004 mega-smash “99 Problems.” So did Kanye West, for  "Barry Bonds" and “The Glory," and Common’s “The People,” along with others.  Recently, Lana Del Rey sampled West's voice and features it in the beginning, middle and end of the worldwide smash "Born To Die."  For Still Climbing, , West re-recorded "Long Red" with his brother and former Vagrants-mate Larry West on bass.  He offers, “It was time for me to let people hear that song the way I do it now.  I used a B-3 organ on it again, but this time it has a lot more balls."

Balls, guts, heart — more words that are part of West’s legend and describe the roaring crescendos and deep emotional roots of Still Climbing — and West himself.  “You know, when it comes to talent, we don’t all move at the same rate of speed,” West muses. “Some people start at the top of their game and after 10 or 20 years you wonder what the hell happened to them. I like to joke that the older I get the better I used to be, but after giving up drugs and smoking, my voice can hit notes that I never could reach before.   I’m thankful for that.”

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Leslie West to release new studio album "Still Climbing"


LESLIE WEST - STILL CLIMBING
Featuring guest appearances from Johnny Winter, Mark Tremonti
(Creed & Alter Bridge), Jonny Lang and Dee Snider (Twisted Sister)

click for hi res
THE NEW ALBUM RELEASED 28th OCTOBER 2013
PROVOGUE RECORDS / MASCOT LABEL GROUP

Leslie West is set to release his new album "Still Climbing" on 28th October 2013 via Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group. 
Originality, excitement, honesty and survival are all part of what makes a legend, and those qualities ripple through every song on West’s upcoming release. 
The new album is a testimonial to the strength and durability of West’s artistry. Born October 22, 1945, as he approaches his 68th birthday, West has packed some of the most soulful and searing vocal performances of his half-century career into these 11 tracks. His guitar has never sounded more massive or riff-orientated.

West, who ascended rock’s Mt. Olympus with Mountain in a historic performance at 1969’s Woodstock Festival, accomplished all of that despite a life threatening battle with diabetes that cost him most of his right leg in 2011, just after his previous Mascot Label Group release "Unusual Suspects" was recorded. 
"I’m lucky it wasn’t one of my hands or I’d be screwed," says West. "It was a difficult struggle, and after the amputation I didn’t know whether I’d ever want to or be able to perform again. But a month later I played at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp in New York City, and I heard my guitar on stage and that was it. I knew I had to keep going."
Following the success of "Unusual Suspects," West approached the new release with vision of tying the albums together. "The new album is a sequel to Unusual Suspects, where I had friends of mine that include Slash, Zakk Wylde, Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa and Billy Gibbons come to the studio and play," West explains.
This time Jonny Lang, Johnny Winter, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Alter Bridge and Creed’s Mark Tremonti do the honours. "What’s different on "Still Climbing" is that I wanted my guitars to sound as big as I look. So I used four of my Dean Signature model guitars with my Mountain of Tone humbucking pickups. I plugged them into my Blackstar amps - no pedals - and turned them up loud and raw, and what you hear is exactly what I did in the studio. These Blackstar amps deliver everything I need without 'confidence' pedals. I played one of the early tracks we recorded for Slash, and he said, ‘That is as heavy as it gets.’"
"Still Climbing" - Track Listing
01. Dyin’ Since The Day I Was Born (With special guest Mark Tremonti)
02. Busted, Disgusted or Dead (With special guest Johnny Winter)
03. Fade Into You
04. Not Over You At All
05. Tales Of Woe
06. Feeling Good (with special guest Dee Snider)
07. Hatfield or McCoy
08. When A Man Loves A Woman (With special guest Jonny Lang)
09. Long Red
10. Don’t Ever Let Me Go (With special guest Dylan Rose)
11. Rev Jones Time (Somewhere Over The Rainbow)
"Still Climbing" is co-produced by West and Mike "Metal" Goldberg, who engineered all of the sessions.  Songs like "Dyin' Since The Day I Was Born," "Hatfield or McCoy," and "Busted, Disgusted or Dead" establish a new litmus test for "heavy."
The latter features West and Johnny Winter on duelling slide guitars. West also gave up smoking cigarettes and pot after a bout with bladder cancer, so it’s no wonder many of Still Climbing’s numbers explore the theme of survival and, ultimately, triumph. To that end, West avows, "Not only am I lucky to be here, but because I stopped smoking my voice is now stronger than it’s ever been - as strong as my guitar playing."
His inclusion of "Feeling Good," a song by British actor-musician Anthony Newley that was made famous by Steve Winwood’s group Traffic, is a testimonial to all of that.  Its lyrics celebrate a "new dawn for me" as West and his long-time buddy Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) trade vocal lines.
West has always been an outstanding vocalist, earning comparisons to soul legends like Otis Redding since his 1969 debut Mountain, which gave his historic band its name. On "Still Climbing" West revisits the catalogue of another classic soul man, Percy Sledge, with the enduring "When a Man Loves a Woman."  He’s joined by now 32 year-old soul man Jonny Lang, who he met 15 years ago when Lang was a rising guitar prodigy. West says they cut the tune side-by-side in the studio, their soaring guitars and voices twining to bring fresh blood and a blues-soaked arrangement to the song.
"When a Man Loves a Woman," "Never Let Me Go" and "Fade Into You" explore a romantic theme.  In 2009 West married his wife Jenni, who co-wrote many of Still Climbing’s songs with the guitar giant.
They exchanged vows on stage at the Woodstock 40th Anniversary Concert. West credits her with saving his life - first with her love, and then by making the difficult decision to permit his doctors to amputate while he was in a coma.
"Being in Mountain was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done in my professional life," says West. "I became a musician, not just a guitar player."
"Being in Mountain with Felix Pappalardi was an honour. He was so talented as a producer, arranger, bass player, guitar player - all the things I aspired to be. We had some great years together, and some rocky roads. His wife Gail, who by the way shot and killed Felix, could suck the fun out of a clown. It left a terrible taste in my mouth about working with my wife, Jenni. I did not want to risk going down that path where your wife was involved in every aspect of your musical life. Jenni has become so good at expressing thoughts to paper. She has become my primary collaborator on the lyrical side of my new recordings."
West has been performing since 1965, when he fronted the soul-fired Vagrants in his native New York City. Rolling Stone placed him at #66 on their list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists."
His repertoire continues to be relevant with enduring appeal to this day as top selling rap recordings are built around samples from "Long Red," which appeared on the Mountain album. Jay-Z tapped the tune for his 2004 mega-smash "99 Problems." So did Kanye West, for "Barry Bonds" and "The Glory," and Common’s "The People," along with others.
Recently, Lana Del Rey sampled West's voice and features it in the beginning, middle and end of the worldwide smash "Born To Die." For "Still Climbing," West re-recorded "Long Red" with his brother and former Vagrants-mate Larry West on bass. He offers, "It was time for me to let people hear that song the way I do it now. I used a B-3 organ on it again, but this time it has a lot more balls."
Balls, guts, heart - more words that are part of West’s legend and describe the roaring crescendos and deep emotional roots of "Still Climbing" - and West himself.  "You know, when it comes to talent, we don’t all move at the same rate of speed," West muses. "Some people start at the top of their game and after 10 or 20 years you wonder what the hell happened to them. I like to joke that the older I get the better I used to be, but after giving up drugs and smoking, my voice can hit notes that I never could reach before. I’m thankful for that."

Leslie West - Facebook
www.facebook.com/lesliewestmountain  
 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Leslie West Performs for First Time Since Leg Amputation


Former Mountain guitarist Leslie West heroically rolled onto the stage of New York’s BB King Blues Club Tuesday night (Jan. 31) to perform in public for the first time since he was forced to have his lower right leg amputated as a result of diabetes complications.

West had recently been forced to cancel a tour because he didn’t have an automobile that could transport his wheelchair. But this show was able to go ahead as scheduled, thanks to the gift of an MV-1 automobile from the Vehicle Production Group.

According to the company, the MV-1 is “the only factory-built mode of transportation that meets or exceeds the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) direct from the factory.”

West, who performed while sitting in a wheelchair, opened the show with ‘People Get Ready’ — but was forced to pause halfway through after being overwhelmed with emotion, as the crowd responded with a standing ovation.

West certainly has maintained a positive attitude about the ordeal, recently telling New Jersey paper The Record: “Hey, thank God it wasn’t my arm.” He’s currently touring with Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker and is scheduled to perform tonight in Foxboro, Mass.
Write on our Facebook Wall or post your Photos of great blues events! ”LIKE”

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Leslie West to Return to Road


After being forced to have his lower right leg amputated as a result of diabetes complications last year, guitar legend Leslie West, 66, was forced to cancel a tour — not because he was unable to perform, but because he didn’t have transportation equipped for a wheelchair.

But now, thanks to an incredibly generous gift from The Vehicle Production Group, those worries are behind him.

The company, a new American car manufacturer that designs, engineers and distributes specialty vehicles, has given West a brand new MV-1 — described as “the only factory-built mode of transportation that meets or exceeds the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) direct from the factory.”

Fred Drasner, Chairman of The Vehicle Production Group, said, “From my days at Woodstock, to the release of [West's new album] ‘Unusual Suspects,’ I always thought Leslie was the best. When I heard his tour was cancelled because of a lack of accessible transportation, I was thrilled to be in a position to help him get back on the road.”

For his part, West is overwhelmed, saying, “This is nicer than any guitar I have ever owned, and I’ve had some pretty incredible instruments … I was speechless. People would be proud to own this vehicle. [This gesture is the] most generous I have experienced in my life.”

Leslie West is, of course, revered as a guitar god by artists and fans alike. His performance with his band Mountain at the Woodstock Festival launched him into historical lore, and his new release ‘Unusual Suspects’ features other guitar greats like Billy Gibbons and Slash.

Want to see him on tour? Thanks to his tricked-out new ride, you can. Here are a few upcoming dates:

Leslie West 2012 Tour Dates:

1/31 – New York, NY
2/01 – Foxborough, MA
2/03 – Sellersville, PA
2/04 – Sayreville, NJ

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Leslie West is Back - 1st Public Appearance


Leslie lit up faces around the world when he made his scheduled appearance at the Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp at Gibson Studios on August 13, 2011 in New York, just 2 months after losing his leg in a near fatal medical emergency. Here's a raucous Leslie West inspiring not only this small group of fine musicians, but in fact the world over.

Friday, October 7, 2011

If Heartaches Were Nickels - Leslie West


I'm sorry that I can't find a video for this but I think it is terrific! Leslie West has made a number of great blues albums over the past few years and this is a fine example. (And we wish Les well with his current health issues. Best to you pal!)

Listen up!

Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Unusual Suspects - Leslie West - New release review


I just received a copy of Leslie Wests new recording, Unusual Suspects. The release is well put together and has all the pyrotechnics expected from a Leslie West recording. I don't know how many of you have been keeping up with West's recent releases but his last 4 or 5 releases have been primarily blues recordings and really spectacular. West has a great voice for blues and of course then there's his guitar tone!! Alas no videos from these releases so I'm happy to be able to finally present you with some real footage!!

This release is more rock in nature but still has the blues overtones and plenty of guitar to go around.

Leslie West, Legendary guitarist and the founder of one of rocks most influential bands, Mountain, will release a brand new solo album, 'Unusual Suspects', on Monday September 19th.
The album features West alongside a hand-picked line-up of the world's finest guitar players; including Slash, blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa, Black Label Society front man and ex-Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Toto's Steve Lukather.

Released by ProvogueRecords, the album follows the shocking news that, in late June, West underwent life-saving surgery, when his leg was amputated above the knee. While such an ordeal would surely deter lesser artists, West insisted on honoring the 'Unusual Suspects' album’s September release date and is gearing up for a US tour in October.

"These guys don't just show up to play on everybody's albums," says West on his special guests and the album's title. "They're all stars in their own right, and fantastic players - everyone with their own sound and style, about as far from the usual suspects as it gets."

If you like your blues with a flavor of rock you'll wanna give this a listen and if you want hot nasty blues that screams make sure that you catch one of his most recent releases. They are all killer!
Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Leslie West... Just a Rocker...Think Again!!

Everyone knows Leslie West is the guitar player behind Mountain who screamed out Mississippi Queen on his Les Paul Jr. (Yeah, that's why they're collectible). leslie has reduced from his mammoth size of a young man and has been back on the scene as a blues man of great breadth with terrific chops. I have been picking up his newer cd's and they are mind blowing if you are a guitar blues freak like me. Although most of his newer albums have a number of cover tunes, Leslie never fails to blow the doors off. This is a redo of one of his own tracks Theme For an Imaginary Western. Like I said, blues comes in many forms... enjoy!!
Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE