Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Leslie West - Scrapomatic -- Jammin' Java - May 17 2010

Scrapomatic - This is a Brooklyn based duo, one guy sings, the other plays acoustic guitar and sings some harmony vocals. They are joined by an electric guitarist from Alabama which was a shrewd move. Musically, it is blues based with some good soulful, if not overly breathy, singing. There was a cover of a Mississippi John Hurt song, but most others were original I think. It is hard for this music to really knock my socks off as it pretty much stayed true to a overdone genre, but there was enough quality to make for an enjoyable set. And the electric guitarist was an excellent player and gave enough highlights that kept my focus on this band.


Leslie West - I first saw the Leslie West Band in high school (that is the 70s) and he played the classic rock set of the time. He was then touring with his own band and not his famous band, Mountain. He still plays out regularly with the one other living original member of Mountain. This show was a solo show I thought, but he did bring his bassist that he has worked with in Mountain in recent years. And that was good, as Rev Jones was worth a solo show in his own right. Although Jones looked like he was touring with Discharge and accidentally got on the wrong tour bus, he was an amazing player. He complemented well on his huge six string bass and also did an amazing solo of Wizard of Oz tunes and "I Can See Clearly Now" with a double slapping playing style that needs to be seen. But West still roared above this great bass playing. His guitar style still practically defines classic rock and he played it through his four cabinet amp set-up, so it roared. And I have always liked his vocals which are still very strong after all these years. He may be the only singer I have seen hit their 60s and not have a noticeable amount of restraint in their singing. He lays down a loud guitar, sings over the top and again, achieves the classic rock sound. His set featured lots of Mountain material from old and new. He did three numbers solo on acoustic guitar, although that guitar also screamed heavy rock the whole time--even while playing "Blowing in the Wind". My only criticism was that I really missed the drums on some songs. He avoided "Mississippi Queen" and some other Mountain songs possibly for that reason. He closed with my favorite, "Nantucket Sleigh Ride" which tore the house down nicely. So if you are even a moderate fan of Mountain and West, it is still well worth seeing him in 2010 and beyond. The only thing he has lost, is a whole lot of weight.
Quote of the Night: From the opener... "this song is about a night of drinking, kind of like that scene in Rosemary's Baby where she's getting raped by the devil with everyone standing around and watching." Kudos for not only the movie reference, but the strange analogy as well.


Anonymous said...

Excellent review! FYI, the last song was Never in My Life.

If you saw him, say, 5 years ago, he had lost MORE weight. He also played an electronic guitar and I wasn't that impressed. So this was a HUGE-ly satisfying evening. I also expected him to be solo- getting the bass was a great bonus. Having only 50-60 people there was a disappointment, not for me, but.... Thanks for the great review.

David Hintz said...

Thanks for the detailed comments. I saw him on a four band bill with Vanilla Fudge, Canned Heat and Pat Travers so it was a short odd set (and maybe 6 years ago), but still sounded good, although it was poor attendance that night, too (yes, I was expecting a bigger crowd tonight). Yes, it looked like he put on a bit more weight, but hopefully that will be it for him as if he plays this well, we want him healthy and playing for a few more years. The only thing that really looked really old about him was his right arm, oddly enough.