Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Leslie West Covers the Impressions, Willie Dixon and Tracy Chapman on New Album "Soundcheck"

On November 20, Leslie West will release his new studio album, Soundcheck, via Provogue Records.

West's sixteenth solo album, the new set features a number of member from rock royalty including Brian May of Queen, Peter Frampton, keyboard player Max Middleton of Jeff Beck's group, Bonnie Bramlett, and the late Jack Bruce with whom West had played in West, Bruce and Laing. The album was co-produced and engineered by Mike "Metal" Goldberg.

Along with the originals on the album are a few covers including the Impressions' People Get Ready (listen below), Tracy Chapman's Give Me One Reason, Willie Dixon's Spoonful, and the old chestnut You Are My Sunshine. Of the last tune, West said "First of all, I’ve got Peter Frampton playing guitar with me on this one. I watch the television show, Sons of Anarchy, and during one episode, a minor-key version of this song was playing in the background. I thought, Whoa…that sounds so different! I recorded it and sent it to Peter, and we trade solos and then play harmony lines together at the end. Also, I’m playing slide while he’s playing conventionally. His tone is phenomenal on this, with a warm sound and a really nice vibrato, and he loved the arrangement. To take a song you’ve heard all of your life and change it around like this is very cool."

Of course, any new release by Leslie West is a cause for celebration. In 2011, he had his lower right leg amputated due to diabetes but has fought back valiantly, releasing his first post-surgery album, Still Climbing, in 2013 and, now, Soundcheck.

The track list:

  • Left By The Roadside To Die
  • Give Me One Reason
  • Here For The Party
  • You Are My Sunshine
  • Empty Promises / Nothin’ Sacred
  • A Stern Warning
  • People Get Ready
  • Going Down
  • Stand By Me
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Spoonful