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Showing posts with label Still Climbing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Still Climbing. Show all posts

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.

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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