Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Veteran Blues Singer Leslie West at N.J. Festival

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Veteran Blues Singer Leslie West at N.J. Festival

Article excerpt

MUSIC

WHO: Leslie West, performing at the Fifth Annual Rock, Ribs and Ridges Festival.

WHAT: Rock and blues.

WHEN: 5 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta; 973- 882-8240 or rockribsandridges.com.

HOW MUCH: The festival runs from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Single-day passes are $40 in advance, $45 at the gate, children ages 4 to 12 $15, children ages 3 and under free. Weekend pass is $70 in advance, $80 at the gate, children ages 4 to 12 $30, children ages 3 and under free.

Leslie West is best known for his former band Mountain's rock classic "Mississippi Queen," which has been covered by several artists and featured in television commercials. But a lesser-known Mountain song dwarfs "Mississippi Queen" when it comes to reuse.

" 'Long Red' has been sampled by over 320 hip-hop acts," West said by phone from his Englewood home. "It's unbelievable. In 1969 when I wrote the song there was no hip-hop." According to the website whosampled.com, vocal and instrumental portions of "Long Red" have appeared in songs and remixes by Jay-Z, Common, Nas, Kanye West and Eminem, among others.

West, who performs on Saturday at the Rock, Ribs and Ridges Festival in Augusta, laid down an updated version of "Long Red" for his latest album, "Still Climbing" (2013). The rerecording is heavier than the original and features West's brother, Larry West Weinstein, on bass. The brothers played together in Leslie West's first band, The Vagrants.

"So many people have sampled 'Long Red,' so I figured why not sample it myself," West said. "I've always offered my brother the invitation to play on my albums, and this time he said yes."

Larry West Weinstein is one of several guests on "Still Climbing," which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Blues Chart. The disc features blues maestros Johnny Winter on "Busted, Disgusted or Dead" and Jonny Lang on "When a Man Loves a Woman." Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider appears on "Feeling Good" and Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti lays down licks on "Dyin' Since the Day I Was Born."

West's thunderous guitar riffs and howling solos pack a wallop throughout the album, and his vocal performance is equally impressive. …

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