Leslie West: Soundcheck Review

For his sixteenth solo album, Soundcheck, Leslie West, gives us his take on some of the coolest blues, rock, country, and traditional music from the past one hundred years. This well chosen set demonstrates that Leslie West’s monstrous guitar tone and crushing voice are still going strong. Soundcheck is raw and ballsy and a fun listen from start to finish.

The record opens with the slide guitar drenched blues rocker “Left By the Roadside to Die.” This sets the tone (pun intended) for what’s to come. Other highlights include West’s lick trading with Queen’s Brian May on the rowdy standard “Goin’ Down” (which also features Bonnie Bramlett and Bobby Whitlock).  Also of note is the acoustic guitar instrumental “Stern Warning,” an original that he penned for his longtime friend Howard Stern. One of the real surprises on this record is the Leslie West/Peter Frampton collaboration on the singalong  “You Are My Sunshine.” They replace the familiar major key sing-songy melody and give it a minor key treatment. This ends up being one of the most interesting tracks on the record. Other fun covers include the Gretchen Wilson hit “Here for the Party” and the Willie Dixon penned “Spoonful” featuring the late Jack Bruce on vocals and bass. Also of note is an instrumental take on the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” that’s played by band bassist Rev Jones.

Considering a career that dates back to the Vagrants in the late 1960s, hard rock titans Mountain during the 1970s, and a legendary solo career that has spanned five decades, Soundcheck is an excellent addition to the Leslie West catalog and legend. If you haven’t checked out what Leslie has been up to lately this Soundcheck is a great place to start.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Goin’ Down
– You Are My Sunshine
– Spoonful
– Here For The Party
-Left By The Roadside To Die
The Big Hit

-Left By The Roadside To Die

Review by Lou Lombardi

Buy the album: Amazon

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