CD Review: Leslie West “Soundcheck”

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“Soundcheck”
Leslie West
Provogue
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Soundcheck” is the newest solo offering from legendary Mountain front man Leslie West. The album is the much anticipated follow up to West’s 2013 release “Still Climbing” which featured guest performances by Mark Tremonti, Jonny Lang and the late Johnny Winter. “Soundcheck” follows in the same suit as “Still Climbing” while taking things to the next level with brilliant performances on all 11 of the albums tracks by West and company.

From start to finish Mr. West and his assembled group of musicians are in top form as they blast through a variety musical styling’s covering everything from gritty rock ‘n’ roll to heart wrenching acoustic tinged ballads that echo to the inner most points of the listeners musical soul. The albums opening track “Left by the Roadside to Die” works perfect in its placement by setting the stage for what the listener is in store for. Mixed in with a handful of original tracks are a plethora of re-worked covers including Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” a rawkus rendition of Gretchen Wilson’s “Here For the Party” an eerie instrumental version of the Beatles track “Eleanor Rigby” and a one of a kind rendition of “You Are My Sunshine” featuring Peter Frampton. Other guest performers include Queen’s Brian May on the track “Goin’ Down” and the late great Jack Bruce on the live recording of “Spoonful” a recording which until now has never been released.

If you are a long time Mountain/Leslie West devotee then “Soundcheck” will fit perfectly in to your music collection. For the more casual listener you will be hard pressed to find a track on here you won’t like. The production on each of the 11 tracks is really on par and even though the last track is a live track recorded in 1988 it still sounds crisp and in line with the previous 10 tracks making this a great album to listen to over and over.

Track Listing:
1.) Left by the Roadside to Die
2.) Give Me One Reason
3.) Here for the Party
4.) You Are My Sunshine
5.) Empty Promises/Nothin’ Sacred
6.) A Stern Warning
7.) People Get Ready
8.) Goin’ Down
9.) Stand By Me
10.) Eleanor Rigby
11.) Spoonful

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