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Leslie West - Guitarded Review
by Kevin Wierzbicki

The guitar parts on Mountain's "Mississippi Queen" have been bringing joy to air guitarists for decades now. The instantly recognizable, completely unforgettable riff will forever be Leslie West's claim to fame, no matter whatever else he does. And while West occasionally takes Mountain out on the road, he also works as a solo artist. On Guitarded, his playing is superlative throughout and his singing is good, too. "Allergic" is a great piece of blues/rock with scorching guitar made all the saucier by lots of squonky sax while "Cross Cut Saw Blues" is a rhythmic Chicago-style blues. West does "Stormy Monday" with chunky chords that recall Mountain, dueling it out with guest guitarist Popa Chubby. West jams with a few other names here too; Gregg Allman and Joe Bonamassa play and sing on "If Heartaches Were Nickels," Joe Lynn Turner sings on "The Cell" and Ian Gillan takes the mic on "Hang Me Out to Dry." West's version of the Stones' "Honky Tonk Women" leaves a bit to be desired vocally but is redeemed by lots of tasty slide guitar. West also dusts off the Beatles' "Old Brown Shoe" and Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild." Overall, a surprisingly strong effort from a great axe man that many may have forgotten.

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