Leslie West And Corky Laing In NYC - by J. Blake

Posted on 7/06/2010 by J. Blake

(New York, NY)

Whether it is his personality, his legacy as a pioneer of early heavy-metal, his guitar playing, the blues-inspired rock riffs he has written, his singing voice, his appearances as a semi-regular guest on the Howard Stern Show, his wedding on the stage of Woodstock’s 40th anniversary concert or even his physical stature, there are few things about Leslie West that are not larger than life. Even the name of his band, Mountain, implies enormity.

Last week, Leslie West brought his ‘larger than life’ musical presence to New York City as he took the stage on two consecutive nights at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill in Time Square. Both West and drummer Corky Laing took a stroll down memory lane as they revisited two different incarnations of their past musical careers. On Wednesday June 30th, 2010, the festivities began with the current line-up of Mountain blowing the doors off of the venue with their signature brand of heavy blues-rock. From the very first notes played, the audience was sonically assaulted with (possibly) the most ‘badass’ blues-guitar riffs ever written, as the band launched into the now classic “Never In My Life”.

The set continued with other Mountain hits that included “Nantucket Sleigh Ride”, “Blood Of The Sun” and solo acoustic versions of “For Yasgur’s Farm” and “Long Red”. Aside from the typical Mountain-fare, one of the evening’s definite highlights came in the form of a touching solo acoustic performance of a song called “The Cell”; from West’s 2005 album (unfortunately) titled GUITARDED. According to West, the lyrics were sent to him in the form of a poem from a prison inmate who accidentally committed murder during a robbery. The poem was written as an apology addressed to the inmate’s mother, for committing the crimes. At the inmate’s request, West put the words to music and that night, his delivery of the song was both passionate and moving.

The set closed with Corky Laing and Mountain’s current bassist, the energetic Rev Jones (whose main piece of stage performance shtick consists of him swinging his head in a circular motion, causing long braids on the top of his head to twirl around like propellers on a helicopter) once again taking the stage with West and hammering out thunderous electrified rock and roll.

After a brief intermission, West and Laing returned to the stage with Jack Bruce’s son Malcolm on bass. With Malcolm filling in for his father, the trio ran through the bulk (if not all) of (the 70s super-group) West, Bruce and Laing’s most notable material; including “Why Dontcha”, “The Doctor”, “Love Is Worth The Blues” and “Play With Fire” as well as recognizable hits like Cream’s “Politician” and “Crossroads” and Mountain’s (Jack Bruce-penned) “Theme From An Imaginary Western”. Despite the fact that Malcolm Bruce seemed slightly out of his element, the trio delivered a set a music that was certainly on par with, if not better than the one that preceded it.

The evening came to a close with both Rev Jones and Malcolm Bruce playing bass on a hard-rocking (and crowd pleasing) encore of Leslie West’s most famous composition, “Mississippi Queen”.

Despite West’s frequent need to rest on a stool while playing, he continues to prove why he is considered by many to be one of rock’s most underrated guitarists. His tone is ferocious and his voice is arguably better now than it was 20 years ago. Corky Laing is also still in fine form and remains one of rock’s most entertaining drummers to watch. Both Rev Jones and Malcolm Bruce bring an element of contemporary youthfulness to material originally recorded 35-40 years ago and each, in their own way, displays a unique virtuosity on their instrument; making for an interesting juxtaposition when seen and heard side by side, like it was last week.

All in all, it was a fantastic night of music and performances by either line-up are recommended to guitar-junkies, early-metal heads, late-60s rock lovers and fans of the ‘power trio’ sound.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy: Electric Chubbyland Concert Review

Thanks and keep reading American Blues News!!!

NYC blues fans, make sure you check out Jack Bruce & Joey Molland live at B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill on August 10th and John Mayall on the 13th!!!

Copyright © 2010 - J. Blake. All Rights Reserved
*Photos: Copyright © 2010 - Nelson G. Onofre. All Rights Reserved.

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
Chef Jimi.

And of course, we will surprise you sometimes!

Internet Marketingdata recovery