REVIEW: Leslie West ‘Unusual Suspects’ (feat. Steve Lukather, Billy Gibbons, Slash, Zakk Wylde and Joe Bonamassa)
The album features contributions from a hand picked line-up all, of which are guitar legends in their own right, including Steve Lukather, Billy Gibbons, Slash, Zakk Wylde and Joe Bonamassa.
The album itself is a mix of originals and covers of blues-rock and ballad songs which showcases West’s earthy vocals and characteristic playing.
The album opens up with One More Drink For The Road a great boogie track that rolls along and features some customary great guitar work from Steve Lukather.
The following track Mud Flap Momma keeps the great hard rocking vibe going with a very cool slide guitar riff based track that features Slash on guest guitar duties. Definitely a fave on the album for me.
Another album favourite is the cover of the blues classic Third Degree which rocks things up a little with West’s gritty vocals and great complimentary guitar work and vocals from Joe Bonamassa.
The song Standing On A Higher Ground was brought into the studio by Billy Gibbons, a long time friend of West’s, who met on ZZ Top’s first major tour when the Top got a big break opening for Mountain. The song was initially incomplete but working with West and producer Fabrizio Grossi they finalised the song and recorded it live together in the same Los Angeles studio.
I’m in total agreement with Leslie West who says “Only Billy Gibbons can come up with am intro that sounds like Hendrix and ZZ Top joined at the hip”. There’s no mistaking the great Billy Gibbons!
Zakk Wylde joins West on the rocking Nothing’s Changed, another album highlight. Zakk Wylde, like Slash, cites West as an influence, even affectionately referring to West as ‘Dad’, so it’s great to hear Zakk’s trademark style come through on this track. It sounds like they had great fun trading licks.
Unusual Suspects should appeal to fans of classic boogie-rock and is an enjoyable listen which shows again how great the marriage of rocking guitars and blues can be!
As West says “As a player, my motto is all about knowing how much to play without playing too much”.
Unusual Suspects is available now Provogue Records.
1. One More Drink for the Road (Featuring: Steve Lukather)
2. Mud Flap Momma (Featuring: Slash)
3. To the Moon
4. Standing on Higher Ground (Featuring: Billy Gibbons)
5. Third Degree (Featuring: Joe Bonamassa)
7. Nothing’s Changed (Featuring: Zakk Wylde)
8. I Feel Fine
9. Love You Forever
10. My Gravity
11. The Party’s Over (Featuring: Slash and Zakk Wylde)
12. I Don’t Know “The Beetlejuice Song” (Featuring: Richard Christy)
For Fans Of: Mountain, ZZ Top, Walter Trout, Black Country Communion, Hard Rocking Blues
Standout tracks: One More Drink For The Road, Mud Flap Momma, Third Degree and Nothing’s Changed
UK Release Date: Monday 19th September.