Advertise Here / 412-628-5048 - Joann Quinn-Smith   Positively Pittsburgh Live Magazine   Pittsburgh Calendar - Find out what's going on around you!  
 

Video Tutorial: What is a Page and how do I use it?
Video Tutorial: How do I view shows and listen to audios?


[Clean]
Publish date:04-03-2017 12:57:13
Blog Lou Lombardi Music
 

  Subscribe to this Page's Posts:
via Email
Subscribe via email | via RSS Right-click the orange icon and click 'Copy the Link Location' (Firefox) or 'Copy Shortcut' (IE). Then paste it into your Podcatcher

 

 
The Music Of Lou Lombardi
Archived Episodes
Publish Date: 04-28-2016 22:46:45
 
Steve Hill, known for his impressive one man band live show, brings this concept […]

 

steveSteve Hill, known for his impressive one man band live show, brings this concept to the studio once again on his latest release Solo Recordings Volume 3. His modus operandi is to perform all of the instruments at the same time but this isn't some novelty act. Steve writes, records, and performs very soulful blues based rock, and Americana in a serious way and unless you see him live or watch one of his videos, you would have no idea of his one man band mastery.

The album kicks off with a trio of excellent blues rockers. Damned and Dangerous are full of Hill's chunky guitar work and slap back drenched soulful rock belting. Still A Fool & A Rollin Stone is a hard driving slow blues rocker designed to melt your ear buds to the side of your head. Hill also has a softer, more folk and Americana side. On the the Neil Young inspired Slowly Slipping Away, Hill laments his time slipping away but feels young when with his lover, a sentiment reminiscent of Neil Young's Old Man. The acoustic numbers are a nice down shift to give the album some dynamics but he never lingers long in that vein and quickly get's back to the rock and roll. Tracks like Rhythm All Over and Smoking Hot Machine are stand outs among the barn burners. The latter features Hill tearing up some distorted harmonica as if playing guitar, bass, drums and singing wasn't enough.

With Hill playing the drums and bass at the same time as the guitar, don't expect any crazy drum fills or slap bass acrobatics. He puts his focus where it belongs. The guitar and vocal work arewonderfully hard driving on the rockers and appropriately vulnerable and heartfelt on the acoustic tracks. This JUNO winner does not disappoint. Solo Recordings Volume 3 is wildly enjoyable even if you have never seen Steve perform live, but do yourself a favor and check out his live show. Thisone man rock and roll machineis not to be missed.

The Review: 9/10

Can't Miss Tracks

Damage
Slowly Slipping Away
Rhythm All Over
Smoking Hot Machine
Dangerous

The Big Hit

Dangerous

 

Publish Date: 04-28-2016 22:41:52
 
Supersonic Blues Machine, formed by bassist and vocalist Fabrizio Grossi, and drummer Kenny Aronoff […]

 

supSupersonic Blues Machine, formed by bassist and vocalist Fabrizio Grossi, and drummer Kenny Aronoff with guitarist Lance Lopez, has just set out on their maiden voyage with their releaseWest Of Flushing South Of Frisco. In addition to the already stellar line up, the release features guest performances by Billy Gibbons, Walter Trout, Warren Haynes, Robben Ford, Eric Gales and Chris Duarte making this super group even more super.

If you are familiar with Lance Lopez's music then you know that this album is all about hard driving southern rock and blues based riffs. The album opens with the southern rock inflected Miracle Man. All the Lopez penned tracks are strong but here he shows off his knack for great hooks. In the right hands (or wrong hands depending on your point of view) the hooks are catchy enough to find a home on country radio. But don't be alarmed. He follows up with the minor key grooving I Ain't Falling Again and from that point on, the album just burns the entire farm to the ground.

The guest artists all put their unique stamp on their perspective tracks. Billy Gibbon's Running Whiskey could be a lost ZZ Top track and Remedy with Warren Haynes would sound at home on a Gov't Mule record. Both Chris Duarte and Eric Gales give empassioned performances. The ballad Let's Call It A Day is a perfect vehicle for the legendary Robben Ford and shows him at this melodic best. He and Lance even do a little harmony work on the intro as well as near the end of the track.

West of Flushing, South of Frisco is a total treat for the those of us who crave great hard driving blues based rock and ear frying guitar playing. The core of Supersonic Blues Machine of Lopez, Grossi, and Aronoff have nothing to prove. They could easly have carried the entire project themselves. The guest stars are just icing on an already very tasty cake.

The Review: 9.5/10

Can't Miss Tracks

Miracle Man
Running Whiskey
I Ain't Falling Again
Nightmares and Dreams
That's My Way

The Big Hit

Remedy

 

Publish Date: 04-28-2016 22:35:49
 
Honest Man is the latest release from singer songwriter Matt Andersen. In case you […]

 

matt1Honest Man is the latest release from singer songwriter Matt Andersen. In case you haven't heard of Mr. Andersen; hedoes over 200 dates a year worldwide and is a European Blues Award winner and a JUNO nominee. Andersen's soulful baritone is a gorgeous cross between Joe Cocker and Marc Cohn and yet that doesn't completely do it justice. Andersen's voice is pure greatness andHonest Man beautifully showcases histalents as a vocalist and a songwriter.

The first single, Let's Get Back has a Pat Green feel and a sweet brass solo that is a nice surprise in this country-ish track. Here Andersen muses about how his country as a nation has changed, but not for the better.On the heartbreaking ballad I'm Giving In, Andersen bears his soul about the seduction and allure of surrendering to another. This is one of the highlights of the album and has the potential to be a huge pop hit in the adult contemporary vein. Last Surrender is a great old school R&B slow dance in the vein of Otis Redding. All ten songs that make up the album explore both the political and personal sides of Matt Andersen. The title track with its tight Memphis groove and perfectly placed bari-sax kicks was inspired by a U.S. political cartoon, while All The Way takes a more personal approach as he sings about the decision to fully commit to a relationship.

If you're looking for serious guitar riffing or rocking gutiar solos then you will need to look elsewhere. Honest Man is about the song. Commissioner Gordon's (Amy Winehouse, Josh Stone) production and his use of some looped beats brilliantly serves the songs and Andersen's voice. With songs this well crafted, all any producer has to do is just get out of the way. Honest Man is an album full of transcendent musical moments. The Commissioner's light handed production approach to Andersen's songwriting and magical voice might just propel himfrom indie songwriter to world renowned success.

The Review: 9/10

Can't Miss Tracks

All The Way
Last Surrender
I'm Giving In
Honest Man
Let's Get Back

The Big Hit

Let's Get Back

 

Publish Date: 04-28-2016 22:29:23
 
Heal My Soul is the first album of new material in fifteen years from […]

 

jeff1Heal My Soul is the first album of new material in fifteen years from the late great Jeff Healey. A lot of posthumous releases leave me with the impression that there was a good reason why the artist never released this material. Naturally, I was nervous when I was asked to listen to Heal My Soul and write a review. I have been a Jeff Healey fan since his debut,See The Light. Was I going to have to give a bad review to one of my favorite artists of all time?

With the first blistering guitar strains of the opening track Daze Of The Night, I breathed an enormous sigh of relief and it gets better, too. Moodswing keeps us rocking hard with it's wah-wah soaked riffing and trippy-drippy vocal lines. I started to realize that this is no collection of b-sides and throwaways.The acoustic Baby Blue is a gorgeous ballad with harmonies that just bring a smile to your face. I Misunderstood shows what Jeff can do with a cleaner Strat-tone. Then it's back to hard driving blues rock riffing with Please. There isn't a bad song or even dull moment in the whole lot. In many ways this is some of Jeff's best work. Which begs the question, why did it take fifteen years to release?

Heal My Soulwas compiled with the participation and full approval of the Jeff Healey Estate to coincide with what would have been Healey's 50th birthday on March 25th, 2016. Jeff Healey is remembered as one of the most outstanding guitarists and performers of the past 30 years. This album reignited my passion for Jeff's music and I found myself digging into his back catalog. Heal My Soul is much more than just a fitting tribute. With it's superb song selection, fiery guitar work and very modern production, this album sounds like Jeff made it yesterday.

The Review: 9.5/10

Can't Miss Tracks

Daze of the Night
Please
Moodswing
Baby Blue
Temptation
Under A Stone

The Big Hit

Daze Of The Night

 

Publish Date: 04-28-2016 22:23:53
 
Hollowis the latest release from blues multi-instrumentalist, Trevor Sewell. OnHollow, Sewell covers vocals, guitars, […]

 

trevHollowis the latest release from blues multi-instrumentalist, Trevor Sewell. OnHollow, Sewell covers vocals, guitars, bass, mandolin, harmonica, and keys. For the U.K. portion of the record he worked with Trevor Brewis on drums and percussion, Anthony McNally on fiddle and Franky Gibbon on bass and piano. The U.S. portion features Paul Barrere on slide guitar, Linda Chorney and Mia Moravis on backing vocals and Brooke Nickerson as featured vocalist. All the tracks were written, arranged and produced by Trevor Sewell.

The world beat meets, Cajun blues Hollow Pt1 , opens the album. Trevor's gutsy voice, reminiscent of Chris Rea, gives the entire album an edginess even on mid tempo ballads like the second track, Shaky Ground. Here Sewell creates a melancholy atmosphere with a combination of soulful vocals, and wonderfully medolic guitar work. What You Say takes on yet another character with it's subtle, funk feel. While all the tracks are excellent some of the standouts are the hard driving acoustic shuffle of Small Change, the mandolin drenched ballad As Long As I Can Breathe, and the Little Feat inspired So Tired.  The latter is a horn kicking, gospel back up vocal, slide guitar affair that would have made Lowell George damn proud.

The entire record has a nice eclecticism. Every song is a little different but Sewell's voice and solid writing ground the entire project. This is a true feat considering that he uses two completely different band line ups from each side of the Atlantic.Hollowactually took a little time to grow on me, but now I cannot stop listening. It's the kind of record where you hear something new with each spin. It's a rich tapestry of sound and soul from one of the genre's most talented artists.

The Review: 9/10

Can't Miss Tracks

Small Change

As Long As I Can Breathe

Hollow Pt1

Hollow Pt2

Shaky Ground

So Tired

The Big Hit

So Tired

 

Publish Date: 04-28-2016 22:22:29
 
Time Has Come by singer/guitarist Ben Poole is the follow up full length studio […]

 

ben1Time Has Comeby singer/guitarist Ben Poole is the follow up full length studio release to 2014's Live At The Royal Albert Hall. Ben is still a relatively new artist on the blues scene. With his smooth tone, tenor voice and pop sensibilities, Ben has clear crossover potential. Time Has Comehas an official release date of April 1, 2016. WayneProctor is credited as the producer and guitarists Aynsley Lister, Henrik Freischlader and Todd Sharpville are guests.

The album opens with the hard rocking Lying To Me,  the most aggressive track on the record and then takes it down a few notches with I Think I Love You Too Much. Thisis a soulful number sporting a nice mid-tempo groove, John Mayer-esque vocals and guitar work right out of the Robben Ford soloing book. Next is the soulful 6/8 ballad, Longing For A Woman.  This is a tender piece with some nice organ and piano work. Ben picks it up a little more on If You Want To Play With My Heart, but brings it back down immediately with Time Might Never Come. The latter has a solo that is more than just a slight nod to David Gilmour's iconic solo on Comfortably Numb.

The Question Why with it's sweet '70s southern California vibe, rounds out the album.With the exception of the opening track, the entire record has a very mellow feel about it. Even the up-tempo Stay At Mine with it's spanky Telecaster work feels like it's just simmering and not really on full burn.

Time Has Come is a well made record. The songs are solid and Ben has a very nice voice in the pop/soul niche. There is also no deying his guitar cops. The notes seem to pop out of the mix and his phrasing will definitely tickle your ear. If you like some of the more current music from Jonny Lang and John Mayer, then Time Has Comeis right up your alley.

The Review: 9/10

Can't Miss Tracks

I Think I Love You Too Much

Time Might Never Come

Lying To Me

Longing For A Woman

The Big Hit

I Think I Love You Too Much

 

Publish Date: 01-17-2016 03:33:45
 
Let's step into Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine forFuture Nostalgiathe latest from Saskatoon's The Sheepdogs. […]

 

shLet's step into Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine forFuture Nostalgiathe latest from Saskatoon's The Sheepdogs. We will set the dial for the late 1960s to early '70s and just cruise, while The Sheepdogs straddle the difficult line between nostalgia and being original.

This time around frontman Ewan Currie along with engineer Matt Ross-Spanghandled the production duties. The aptly titledFuture Nostalgiadelivers 18 classic rock inspired tracks. The signature guitar and vocal harmonies which have been a Sheepdog staple from the beginning remain firmly intact throughout.

It's hard to pick favorites on such a great record. The rocking opening track I'm Gonna Be Myself has a catchy lyrical hook and Jimmy Page-esque guitar work. The Sheepdogs follow up with the guitar harmony drenched chorus of I Really Wanna Be Your Man and each subsequent track opens new vistas of sound in theneo-classic rock arena. Finally there is suite of six tracks that close the album. These gems are strung together like side two ofAbbey Road. It's a fitting conclusion to an album that owes so much to the music of that era.

It's easy to listen to this album over and over. Each song has something of value; hooks that won't let you go and very warm production that beckons the listener to come back for seconds and thirds. Don't be shy. By all means, help yourself to as muchFuture Nostalgiaas you like.

The Review: 9.5/10

Can't Miss Tracks

I'm Gonna Be Myself
Back Down
Giving It Up For My Baby
Help Us All
I Really Wanna Be Your Man

The Big Hit

I Really Wanna Be Your Man

 

Publish Date: 01-17-2016 03:30:30
 
For those of you who have been lamenting that there is no good music […]

 

dsFor those of you who have been lamenting that there is no good music out there, let not your hearts be troubled. Dirty Streets are here to wipe away your tears. Their brand new record due out November, 2015 calledWhite Horseis a collection of 11 rock and roll tracks that will make you swear that you've been transported back to 1970. Get out your lava lamp, throw on your cleanest dirty tie dye and fire up some incense so the folks won't get a wiff.

White Horsefrom the Memphis power trio ofThomas Storz, Justin Toland, and Andrew Denham, feels like a natural progression from their last record,Blades of Grass, which had the boys experimentinga bit with keyboards and such. Here they just simply bust out the jams. They describe their sound as proto-punk but do not let that fool you. White Horseis some of the best rock and roll you will hear this year. The production is lean and mean. All the sounds are very warm and natural. The vocals and guitar work are soulful and the bass and drums lay down one tastey groove after another.

White Horseopens with the sing along Save Me and the boys keep things rocking hard until we get to the acoustic country-soul of The Voices. The only other a brief respite from the ear bleeding is the psychodelic and very melodic Dust where the Streets reference the Hey Joe bass line. The rest of the record is one catchy, grooving, guitar driven track after another.

While some may try to marginalize Dirty Streets as some sort of revival act, there is no denying the passion and excellent songwriting craft here. If you like your rock and roll down and dirty saddle up and take a ride on theWhite Horse.

The Review: 9/10

Can't Miss Tracks

Save Me
Looking For My Peace
White Horse
Think Twice
Good Pills

The Big Hit

Save Me

Review byLou Lombardi

 

Publish Date: 01-17-2016 03:25:15
 
Leslie West and Felix Pappalardi formed Mountain in 1969. Their fourth ever show was […]

 

lwLeslie West and Felix Pappalardi formed Mountain in 1969. Their fourth ever show was at Woodstock where they went on after the Grateful Dead. Those hippies were in for a big surprise to say the least. The group got its name from lead singer and guitarist Leslie West's imposing stage presence, which one British publication referred to as girth some.  Leslie West went on to form West, Bruce and Lang with Cream bassist Jack Bruce. He has been sampled by rap artists like Jay Z. He is also a frequent guest on the Howard Stern Show. He has just released his 16thsolo album called,Soundcheckand shows no sign of slowing down.

Leslie, you basically started your career at Woodstock. That is a pretty high bar to start at. You've been in the music business ever since, what are some of your favorite moments from your career so far?

Jimi Hendrix's agent, Ron Terry, was our agent, and I think he made them take us on that show. He said, if you want Jimi Hendrix, you have to take this new group down. So we got on that show, which was lucky for us. We weren't in the movie, I don't know what happened with my manager at the time, he probably didn't get enough money, who knows. We were on the Woodstock II album. They came out with a 40thanniversary box set six years ago. I got married the night we had the 40thanniversary reunion on stage with some of the acts. I got married right on stage to my beautiful wife, Jenny. Actually on YouTube, you can see Leslie West's wedding right in the middle of the show. The justice of the peace comes out in his blue robe and all the guys in my group grabbed my guitars and formed an arch and Jenny came out. We had 25,000 witnesses. They built an amphitheater where the actual original site used to be. It is a beautiful, beautiful amphitheater that big money built. It was a great night for us. I will never forget that night.

That is amazing, it is an anniversary show and you get married to the love of your life. I don't really know how you can top that. Let's shift gears a little wee bit. In the rock and roll business, there is always crazy stuff that happens. Other than getting married at the 40thanniversary show, just off the top of your head, what is the most wacky, insane thing that you ever saw go down at a show?

Well, the night before West, Bruce, and Laing signed a deal with Columbia, we were playing Carnegie Hall. We sold out two shows and we didn't even have an album out. It was just word of mouth. Right in the middle of the second show, all of sudden I see the house lights come up and paramedics come in with a stretcher and I thought, Oh no, please don't tell me  My brother O.D.'d in the fuckin' show. They carried him out on a stretcher. I said, How did I know when those lights came on  I remember the next day my mother was screaming at him, You couldn't keep yourself under control for one night and let Leslie enjoy his night at Carnegie Hall. God Dammit.  She was really mad at him. I will never forget that night man? He's recovered alright.

So let's talk a little bit about your new record. We will fast forward a little bit. You have 16 solo albums. You have been making music for a long time What keeps you going? You have a new record out,Soundcheck. It kicks ass. What keeps you still keep making this great music?

Mountain started in'69, but I was in a group called the Vagrants before that, but we never really made it. Felix happened to be our producer. The first cut on the new album is calledLeft by the Roadside to Die. When I lost my leg four years ago, I sort of felt that way, but everybody gets knocked down in life. It's how you choose to get up that is something else. I heard Lawrence Taylor, a great football player say that. Doing this album, I started with that song, which was the first song. I wanted to pick other songs, because I was going to do interpretations (I don't even like the word cover, because I am hoping when I do a song that you recognize it was someone else's song). So, I wanted to put everything together that fit with the new songs song and pick songs by other people. I was going to do that very blended. I think I did that with, especially,You are my Sunshine,that I did with Peter Frampton on this. It is a really dark sounding song. I was watchingSons of Anarchyand thought I heard somebody playing acoustic on the soundtrack. I hear acoustic guitar playing what I thought wasYou are my Sunshinebut in a minor key. So, I started fooling around with it and made an arrangement of it and recorded it. I played swag guitar on it and we put the bass of the drums, so I said to Peter because I know he was going to play on the album, Tell me what you think. He wrote me back by text right away. He said, Man, I can't believe how fantastic that sounds by changing the key and what you did to the arrangement man.  What we have is the finished product that Peter did and it's one of my favorite cuts on the album. He is a fantastic, underrated guitar player, Peter Frampton is.

There are a lot of great guests on this record. You collaborated with Peter Frampton, Bonnie Bramlett, Jack Bruce (rest in peace), and Brian May. You obviously have known these people for a long time. How did you and Peter get to be friends?

We toured together for years and we had the same agent, Premier Talent. In fact, a few years ago, Peter had this tour called Frampton's Guitar Circus and he invited guests to come out. So he asked me to come out and do some shows. He wanted to sing a couple of Mountain songs. He sang Theme for an Imaginary Western, which was great, and I sang the chorus. Between doing that, I think we did Mississippi Queen also. I said, Peter your manager is dead; my manager is dead; our agent is dead, what are we still doing here.  He walked over to the mic and he says, They can't take our money now mate.  I never recorded with him. I toured with him on Humble Pie and Frampton Comes Alive. He has made it in so different areas, but we never recorded together, so that was a great thrill to finally come up with a song that we could do. He's one of the sweetest guys I ever met and businessman. You don't even want to call him a businessman when you talk about Frampton. He is a big star. He used to be the biggest star in the world.

Frampton Comes Alive, who didn't have that record?

How much money he made from that because it was a live record? It is very inexpensive to record a live version as opposed to studio. Probably my favorite guitar song doing a jam is Going Down, and it was written by a guy named Don Nix. So, the guy that produced the album, John Tivet, called mad up and he said, Look, I'm doing an album with Don Nix, the guy who wrote GoingDown and I'd love you to play on it. I said, Who else is on it.  He said, Brian Mays is on it, Bonnie Bramlett, Max Middleton, the keyboard player/piano player with Jeff Beck who actually did the original version of it, and Bonnie Bramlett is singing background. I called John back up and said, I'd loved to do that man, Don Nix is the singer.  He said, But you have to sing it.  I said, How am I going to do that? Where are the files?  He says, I have them. I will send them to you tomorrow. Just go sing the song and remix it.  As we were working on it, it says BM on the tape. I said, Wait a minute, that's Brian Mays. You can't even hear him on the original.  So, we remixed it, I sang it and I'm playing the lead guitar from the beginning to about 2 minutes and 48 seconds in the song, somewhere in that range and then Brian Mays played the lead from there to the end of the song. After I did it I said, John, go ask Brian it's ok that I want to use it with me and him.  He said, Brian said he would be flattered if you do it.  I was thrilled man. Brian May doesn't do too many outside projects if you know what I'm saying.

That shows a lot of respect between you two guys. That is awesome.

I love that man, I really do.

Now you've said in the past that Jack Bruce was your favorite bass player. How did you guys become friends, and talk a little bit about the trackSpoonful.

Leslie West

Well, Cream is my favorite group. So, Felix Pappalardi, bass player of Mountain, all of a sudden one day, I'm looking at his album of Cream out and I see, Produced by Pappalardi. So I said to my brother Larry, I said, Is the same guy who produced us in the Vagrants (my first group). He said, Yeah,  I said, How come we don't sound like Cream. He said, Because we suck. We didn't practice enough.  He says to me, Let's go see Cream.  They were actually playing at what became the Filmore East. It was actually The Village Theater at that time. My brother said to me; let's take some acid before we go. So we took LSD and all of a sudden the curtain opens up and I hear them playing Sunshine and I see Eric Clapton and his buckskin jacket with a flash over his shoe like Daniel Boone. I said, Oh my God, we really suck.  After that, I started really practicing and practicing. One day after my first album came out; it's now called the Filmore East. Jack Bruce was headlining a show and then it was Mountain I was dying to me him, so Felix introduced me to Jack. We really hit it off good. In fact, John McLaughlin was playing with him at the time and he wanted me to talk to John about what kind of amps I was using to get that sound. Jack liked the sound. So, a few years go by and we go over to Jack Bruce's house in London. It was Mountain's first time over there and Felix was busy talking to Jack Bruce's wife, Janet. While he was busy bullshitting with Janet, I went upstairs and I'm jamming with Jack. He was playing on the grand piano and I was playing on the acoustic guitar and we got to know each other. When Mountain finally split up, Felix just didn't want to go on the road anymore, we flew over to England and he was the first guy I called, Jack, and luckily he said yeah. So, we had West, Bruce and Laing, and we did about 3 or 4 albums and then we broke up unfortunately about drugs and so on and so forth. Jack recently died last year and that track Spoonful, years ago I was recording an album upstate and Jack flew over and was playing bass. I guess someone in Poughkeepsie, New York heard we were recording and wanted to know if we wanted to do a set the next night, which was Saturday night. I knew Jack was going home Sunday, so Jack says, Yeah, let's do it.  So, Joe Franco, the drummer who was playing with me, and our engineer at the studio, Paul Orofino recorded the show on a stereo tape deck. I wanted to put this on the album as a tribute to Jack. We edited it down from 15 minutes to around 7 minutes. I get tears in my eyes when I listen to it because he's not here anymore. Although I must say his son, Malcolm, sounds uncannily like Jack on these songs. It's just that I put that song on there and I heard how much fire Jack has in his voice when we are playing. He knew what I was going to play before I played it, and I knew sometimes what he was going to play before he played it. I was just a great, great night and to have it on a record is fantastic.

You guys had a sort of unspoken connection when you were playing music.

That was what the magic was, man. Even though we broke up, we weren't talking for a while, who knows what happened. Believe me, you don't lose that. It's hard to lose. If you throw a football like Joe Namath, I bet he still knows how to throw the football.

So Jack Bruce was your favorite bass player. You guys had a great connection when you worked together. You influenced a lot of people. A lot of people grew up listening to the Mountain records and your subsequent projects, but who were some of your favorite guitarists?

Right off the bat, it was Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Keith Richards. Now there are a bunch of new ones that came in, Joe Bonamassa and Joe Satriani, these are guys that I listen to, and Slash. Last year on the Rolling Stone, you know they had the top 100 list of greatest rock acts, greatest guitarists, so someone calls me up and says, You came in at #66 out of 100.  I said, Really.  I'm looking at the list and I see Slash came in at 65, I said come on, I think we should be a little higher up than that.  So, I called Slash on the phone and I said, Listen man, I came in #66 and you came in #65 on a Rolling Stone guitar poll. Slash says to me, He's lucky he's on any list.  That I was as good as he is very humbling because he is rock star from the minute he opens his eyes. He has that certain thing and he certainly he plays great. That is good list I just gave you.

On a little bit of a personal note, what is a typical day like for Leslie West?

It's different now that I lost my leg, but I typically wake up and I do what every other person does, go brush my teeth, have a cup of tea maybe, then look at my iPad and start fooling around. My wife wrote a couple of lyrics on the new album, and she is always sending me lyrics on the cloud. I wonder where the lyrics come from. She really is a great lyricist. I always check the cloud. I write songs, not necessarily what she just sent me which is why I keep them in a list. Some of the lyrics she comes up with are fantastic.

Do you have musical ideas swirling around all the time where you grab a guitar and start to put things together?

We live in a condo on a golf course and I don't play electric guitar in the house, not because I don't want to bother the neighbors or shit, but I play acoustic. It makes me play a certain way, then I can transfer to an electric guitar in the studio. I don't play the guitar everyday, sometimes I will go and give my head and my fingers a rest for a month and then finally I will pick up a guitar. I have quite a few guitars lying around the house. That way you can't avoid it. I get ideas for songs at all different times, never the same. I don't wake up with an idea although I remember writing a song in my dreams one night. I didn't have a guitar in my hand but I remembered everything in the morning.

Speaking of songwriting because there is an original on your new record called Stern Warning, tell us about that song.

I did a song a long time ago with Mountain for my friend, it was about Felix. It was an instrumental and Felix had this beautiful 12-string and he told me Clapton played it when they he was producing him. So he said, If you write a song, you can have it.  I said, No shit.  It must have been a 7 or 8 thousand dollar guitar. I said I'll write a song. So, I wrote to my friend. All of a sudden one day because I'm pretty friendly with Howard, he says to me (we email all the time), what did you have in mind when you wrote that, because it's such an off the track song, it sounds like an Irish Celtic dance, a Riverdance. So, I said I am going to write another one and have it in the same genre as that. I am going to call it Stern Warning because he reminded me about it. I listened to it and I couldn't believe I wrote that, so I wrote a new song and tried to emulate it together. My father used to tell me a stern warning. He used to say to me, I want to talk to you when a minute. Right now. Let that be a stern warning to you.  So it all worked out great, my stern warning.

What's coming up for you next, Leslie? Are you guys going to be on tour? Are you going to be on the Stern Show?

Two weeks ago we started at BB King's in New York. New weekend we are going up to play at Darryl Hall's. He has a club called Darryl's House and I'm going to Annapolis and Maryland. Two weeks ago at BB King's when we were playing, it was supposed to be the album release party as the album came out on November 20th. We were going to be at BB Kings, but my wife says to me two days before the show that we got a call from a security team. They want to come and scope out the exits and entrances for Paul Allen. Paul Allen is Bill Gates' partner. He's worth about 23 billion. I know Bill is worth about 67 billion. Anyway, we played at his Experience Museum in Seattle. Paul Allen is a real guitar freak and loves guitars. He built this great museum up there and he has a lot of Hendrix stuff there, so we played there. Paul wasn't there that night, but the staff asked if they could record the show so he can keep it for his archives and I said, Sure.  Now he wants to come see me in New York and I'm getting a little nervous. I said to my wife, Jenny, The place is sold out. It's standing room only. Where is he going to sit?  She says, He's sitting in the front row right in front of you.  So I see the bodyguard and sitting next to him there was this beautiful blonde lady, his date for the evening, and I am watching him enjoying the show and was eating sliders and having a great time. I had a meet and greet afterwards. There were quite a few people and it takes a while to do all that and they knew about it. The security team wanted to know if he could meet me before that because he didn't have that much time and he wanted to come back stage and meet me and so on and so forth. I said, Sure.  So right before our set ended, the bodyguards took him backstage with his lady friend, I go off stage now in the middle of the song. The last song we do is Willie Nelson's Turn out the Lights the Party's Over.  They took Paul backstage before the crowd got up and the lights came on. So I go backstage in the dressing room and I see two of the bodyguards outside of the room and the door to the dressing room is wide open. There is Paul sitting there with his girlfriend. He introduced me to his friend Monica, a really great looking woman. I walk into the room and what am I going to say to him. I pretend I'm Howard Stern. I said, My hero. I change guitar strings. You change the world.  I started to ask him questions about Microsoft, like how they came up with the name. He said he and Bill were just sitting around contemplating a name for the company, and Paul says he came up with it. He says we have something very small and it's also software, so why don't we call it Microsoft. Bill said ok, let's go with that. I said also know that, I read a lot about him and Bill, is it true that you talked Bill into quitting Harvard. He said, Yeah, his mother didn't talk to me for nine months.  They grew up together as kids, and he said Bill's mother was so mad at them. I had a ball talking to him. I have about five different models of Leslie West signature guitars and I was playing Mississippi queen. I gave it to him after the show as a present. I got a great picture of him and me. He was playing around and he played a B chord. He actually can play pretty good.

On top of being a software mogul, he is a guitar player, too.

He has one of the greatest guitar collections in the world. I think it's worth about 60 million dollars, all the guitars he has, which is chump change to me and you.

Is there anything else that you want to let the folks out there in the rock and roll world know about Leslie West, what is going on, or what is coming up?

I am really proud of this album because it sounds really good. Every album I do, I want to make that much better than the last one or have something about it flow better and I had some really good guests on the album. Usually when you have too many guests, it means you are not good enough to carry yourself. In this case, it was Peter Frampton, Brian May, Jack Bruce, and Bonnie Bramlett. That is a good bunch of people, most of them are going down, but I am really proud of how the album came out. I hope you enjoy it and I hope your listeners and readers enjoy it.

Interview byLou Lombardi

 

Publish Date: 01-17-2016 03:14:25
 
Balls Pricey is the fourth release from the Madison Wisconsin neo-classic rockers, The Family […]

 

fmBalls Pricey is the fourth release from the Madison Wisconsin neo-classic rockers, The Family Business. Over the years the boys have explored different genres from straight up heavy blues riffs on their debut Nightmares and Wildest Dreams,to the more Americana, Band-esque sound from the their last record Forefathers. On Balls Pricey we find T.F.B. cranking out a mix of straight up rock and roll as well as exploring a few other related genres.

Balls Priceyopens with the hard rocking The Problem. The band quickly shifts gears with the R&B grooving Make My Move followed by the boogie rock of You Never Know.  The entire record is a mini catalog of various feels and grooves and types of songs in the blues rock idiom. One of my favorites is the 6/8, psychedelic, Allman Brothers tinged Blue.  This is definitely one of the album highlights. The guys seem to be stretching their muscles a bit and they do quite well no matter what style they put their hands to. Ambient production, rock and roll attitude, and their love of the blueskeeps the record from sounding too eclectic. There is a definite sonic thread that The Familiy Business weaves through out the entire album. While it's obvious that they can play anything that they want and still sound authentic, great rock and roll is still what they do best. Tracks like Double Suite, Still Alive, and Big Red Button is where they seem most at home.

Singer and guitarist Alex White is a natural blues rock singer with enough bite to convince the even toughestrock is dead critic. Lead guitarist Eric Ziegler'stasteful solos create a powerful double guitar attack with White. T.F.B. meld rock and blues effortlessly. Both White and Ziegler benefit from the formidable rhythm section of Garrett Wartenweiler and Derek Hendrickson who keep Balls Pricey rocking hard from start to finish.

Ball Pricey, no matter what genre The Family Business is working with, has a very live feel. It's well produced but not slick. The guitars are warm and fat. The drums are loud and the vocals are ruff and soulful. This is the way that great rock and roll and great blues should always sound.

The Review: 9/10

Can't Miss Tracks

The Problem
Blue
Still Alive
The Double Suite

The Big Hit

Big Red Button

http://familybusinessband.bandcamp.com/album/balls-pricey