No, Rip Van Winkle isn't alive and well in the person of guitarist Stan West; and don't let the slide guitar expert's long beard and "mountain man-like" appearance fool you. He's a rather astute observer of that four-letter word called life, as he conveys so well on "My Blues". West - who lists "God, Muddy Waters, and John Coltrane" as his inspirations - also pays tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan ("So Sad, So Sad") and laments the Johnny-Come-Latelys that have infiltrated his beloved Blues ("Overnight Bluesman"). If you're looking for the real deal, invest your time (and around ten bucks) in Mr. West. -Doug Deutsch (Happening)
Stan West My Blues (Res-o-nator Records) Stan West knows the blues. That's the first thing obvious when you hear this CD. The second is that Stan knows guitar sounds. Some of the tones on this CD are so sweet they almost made me melt into a puddle. I feel happy if I can get some of these sounds once a year on stage, let alone throughout an entire album recorded live, in one take. Things get hoppin' right away with the jump-boogie "Get Outta Dodge" (…in my Chevrolet). A great solo by guitarist Jeff Ross, a nasty harp solo by Jeff "Dutch" Masters, and a blistering slide solo by Stan propel this clever tune and gets the joint jumpin'. The guitar work throughout the entire album is masterful. Whether it's killer slide kicking off "Blue Heart Disease", some nice slow Blues from Jeff Ross in "Crazy, Crazy, Crazy", or gorgeous Delta-style bottleneck on the tribute to Robert Johnson "Delta King". The whole band is in fine form. Stan covers the slide work (and it's always excellent), plus plays National Hawaiian on the two Delta-style numbers. Jeff Ross plays lead and a National Style "O" guitar on the acoustic numbers. There are numerous fine harp solos by the aforementioned Mr. Masters, while the rhythm section of Dave Childers on guitar, Mike "Rocko" Occhiato on bass, and Mike Sessa on drums keep things moving the way they should be. Some other highlights include "Medfly Blues", which is a nice loud shuffle with fine solos all around and a punched turnaround that avoids all the familiar Blues clichés. The very sarcastic "Overnight Bluesman" takes a stab at the players who suddenly become Bluesmen when it looks like they might be able to make some money. It's pretty funny, with a punchline during the last verse which I can't repeat here. It also features a nice slide solo from West. There's other stuff worth hearing here, including a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan called "So Sad, So Sad", and a plea for a stop to gang violence, "Bullet Hole". Through it all, Stan's vocals really shine along with the fine work from the band. All in all, this is a fine CD. Most certainly the real deal. -John Heidt (VINTAGE GUITAR magazine)
Stan West recorded his 10 tunes all live first take in a studio in West Covina, California. he's a slide guitarist, and plays two of the tunes acoustic along with guitar player Jeff Ross and harmonica player Jeff "Dutch" Masters. "Get Outta Dodge (in my Chevrolet)" was a refreshing jump into boogie gear after the Kimbrough disc. Features yet another tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughn "So Sad, So Sad (for Stevie Ray)". These guys do play a mean boogie shuffle, and though Stan says "I Can't Take It No More", I can take some more. "Delta King" is about Robert Johnson and "Overnight Bluesman" is about some of the rockers converting now that Stevie Ray and Robert Cray have made it popular to play the blues. "Bullet Hole" is a lament about all the non-combatants caught in the crossfire these days in our cities. Some really fine slide playing, closing with "Big Bone" and some really fat tone.
Resonator Records 01CD
Get Outta Dodge/Blue Heart Disease/
So Sad, So Sad (For Stevie Ray)/ I
Just Can't Take It No More/ Delta
King/ Medfly Blues/ Overnight
Bluesman/Crazy, Crazy, Crazy/Bullet
Hole/ "Big Bone" (for Mr. Norris).
Stan West is apparently something of an institution on the Southern Californian blues scene, having been delighting the patrons of the area's blues clubs with his potent slide guitar riffs for around thirty years as well as opening for artists like Bo Diddley, Johnny Winter and Robben Ford, running his own guitar shop in Glendora and now releasing his first CD on his own Resonator Records label. "My Blues" is an apt title for the CD on which he pays tribute to the artists and styles that have influenced him over three decades and it reminds me of one of those 'lucky bags' you used to buy from the old corner shop, when you'd pay your sixpence and dip your hand in expectantly, never knowing what you were going to pull out; and so it is with this CD, each track displaying a different facet of the blues, with Stan's slide guitar being the only common factor. The CD opens with "Get Outta Dodge", a real Texas styled rocker,(despite Dodge being in Kansas), with plenty of hot slide and infectious harp courtesy of "Dutch" Masters and finishes with "Big Bone", a tribute to Bay harmonica virtuoso Patrick 'Big Bones' Norris, which sounds more like an Elmore James tribute with really wild slide on a number that reminds me of "Elmore's Contribution To Jazz". In between we get two acoustic numbers. "Delta King", dedicated to Robert Johnson and the topical drugs song "Bullet Hole", both of which contain some wonderful bottleneck from Jeff Ross on his National Style "O" guitar, chilling slide from Stan West on his National Hawaiian, and lovely acoustic harp from the talented Mr. Masters. "Overnight Bluesman" is an Elvin Bishop styled rocker, while "Medfly Blues" is a hot boogie slide showcase. But the two highlights are the slow, intense "So Sad, So Sad" a tribute to SRV that exudes real sorrow and "Crazy, Crazy, Crazy", a great T-Bone inspired blues on which Jeff Ross demonstrates his mastery of "Bones'" style and the harp player once again delights us with suitably sympathetic accompaniment. If you are a guitar freak who enjoys confounding his friends with CD's by obscure American blues guitarists, then this one's for you; a real "slide-o- maniacs" treasure trove. -Mick Rainsford (Blues & Rhythm - The Gospel Truth)