By Gili Malinsky
By Bob Ruggiero
By Hilary Hughes
By Peter Gerstenzang
By David R. Adler
By Devon Maloney
By Brian McManus
By Jessica Hopper
Leslie West has been inventing a new hard-rock style for the past half-decade. Call it crabby bespectacled old-man power blooz metal and he's great at it. Last year, his cover of "Boom Boom" blew doors off hinges, and while that's not on the current set, Guitarded still delivers every heavy classic guitar lick worth hearing in around an hour of high volume.
First, bump 'n' grind axology, greasy horns, and a leather throat add up to "Allergic." Farther up the road, West growls for a woman to give him money. And while you know that's not going to happen, it sounds like the right thing to do under the circumstances of the rifferama, developed by hands with the most crushing attack in the business.
While no one gets better-looking in rock 'n' roll as they age, West is the exception to the rule, sidestepping it by never having been good-looking when he was young and Mountain climbing. Now the age of a statesman, he resembles someone who hangs people out the windows of high-rises by their feet.
And that's a fine look for a blues shouter doing loud-and-raunchy strong enough to creep out middle-class household members who've set aside their love of the "Goin' Down" riff and memories of standing in a pool of spilt beer in the Metroplex. Extra points awarded for the playing-guitar-while-in-a-wheelchair icon
Leslie West plays B.B. King Blues Club & Grill January 4.