Leslie West: Still Climbing

February 18, 2014

The best things in life are often the ones that don’t change much, and that applies to Leslie West, who still plays with incredible feel and tone, and sings like a mofo—pretty amazing for a guy who can say he played at Woodstock! His latest album features guest cameos by Johnny Winter, Mark Tremonti, Dee Snider, and Jonny Lang, but West puts much of the power and soul behind it, whether he’s wrenching badass tone from one of his signature Dean guitars on a heavier track like “Not Over You at All,” or playing wicked slide with Winter on “Busted, Disgusted, or Dead.” Included in the selection of well-crafted originals is a remake of “Long Red”—a song from West’s 1969 album, Mountain, which has become a sampling staple for a bunch of hip-hop artists— and there’s also a soulful rendition of Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman,” where West and Lang show a grasp for R&B that’s as deep south as Muscle Shoals. All in all, Still Climbing makes it abundantly clear that West is doing just that.

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