Provogue /Mascot Group
Leslie West got his start with the hard rock band Mountain; if you have an hour to kill I recommend checking out his live version of “Nantucket Sleigh Ride.” But if you’re short on time you might look into this collection of covers that range from a rather odd “You Are My Sunshine” and the Beatle’s “Eleanor Rigby” to a butt-kicking “Give Me One reason” or the heart rending blues number “Left On The Roadside To Die.” Perhaps the best track on this collection is Freddie King’s “Goin’ Down.” This is electric blues at its finest; the sadness and dissolution of Mississippi blues is subsumed to sparking electric guitar work, energetic drums and West’s voice tanned by touring and somehow getting better with age.
Immediately following it we find a slow pop lament “Stand By Me”. Here West is still on electric guitar but aiming for a folk music acoustic sound. He makes it sound defiant underneath a bright female pop vocal. It’s a palate cleanser and soon enough we are back in the blues trenches with Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful.” Here the guitar howls in bursts, the drums keep a plodding rhythm, and West sounds every bit as thrilling as he did in 1969. This is a guy who’s been through all the bad stuff life can toss your way and he’s still one of the most engaging musicians you’ll hear today. Good stuff here from a great man. Dig it.