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Hear Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr cover soulful Leslie West rocker, Silver Paper

Charlie Starr and Leslie West Silver Paper cover
(Image credit: Jason Kempin / Larry Hulst / Getty)

Blackberry Smoke frontman and guitarist Charlie Starr has shared his interpretation of Leslie West song Silver Paper

The track is the second we’ve heard from Legacy, a star-studded tribute album to the late West, which arrives later this month (March 25).

Starr and West reportedly became friends before the guitar legend’s death in December 2020. However, far from mournful, Starr’s contribution (taken from Mountain’s 1970 debut album Climbing!) feels like a celebration – both of West as a person and the distinct blend of hefty riffing and soulful lead work inherent in his playing.

“The choice of track was an easy one. I love Silver Paper, and it’s got one of the coolest guitar licks of all time,” reflects the Blackberry Smoke frontman. 

“Leslie played exactly what the song needed; his timing was impeccable. He played way back in the pocket, and it was so nasty and so great – the kind of things that you aspire to. I’m very proud to be part of this project. God bless Leslie West.”

Starr is accompanied on the track by keyboardist Mike DiMeo, plus West’s former bassist Rev Jones and drummer Bobby Rondinelli, the latter of whom co-produced Legacy.

“Growing up as a Mountain fan, then playing with Leslie for the last eight years has been a dream come true,” says Rondinelli. “Silver Paper with Charlie Starr - I think you’ll agree Charlie nailed it, and it was a pleasure to work with. Rev Jones, Mike DiMeo and myself on drums, I think Leslie would approve.”

The single follows the first taster of the album, a cover of Blood Of The Sun by Zakk Wylde and a thunderous version of Theme For An Imaginary Western by Twisted Sister's Dee Snider and Eddie Ojeda, along with Rudy Sarzo and Mike Portnoy.

Elsewhere, Legacy is set to feature Robby Krieger, Slash, Yngwie Malmsteen, Randy Bachman, The Cars’ Elliot Easton, George Lynch, Marty Friedman, Steve Morse and Dirty Honey’s Mark Labelle, among others – the full tracklisting is below.

1. Blood of the Sun (feat. Zakk Wylde)
2. Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin) (feat. Joe Lynn Turner, Marty Friedman)
3. Theme for an Imaginary Western (feat. Dee Snider, Mike Portnoy)
4. For Yasgur's Farm (feat. Joe Lynn Turner, Martin Barre)
5. Why Dontcha (feat. Steve Morse, Ronnie Romero)
6. Sittin' On a Rainbow (feat. Elliot Easton, Ronnie Romero)
7. Never in My Life (feat. Dee Snider, George Lynch)
8. The Doctor (feat. Robby Krieger, Ronnie Romero)
9. Silver Paper (feat. Charlie Starr)
10. Money (Whatcha Gonna Do)/By the River – medley (feat. Randy Bachman & Tal Bachman)
11. Long Red (feat. Yngwie Malmsteen & Teddy Rondinelli)
12. Mississippi Queen (feat. Slash, Marc Labelle)

The cover of Legacy: A Tribute to Leslie West

(Image credit: Provogue/Mascot Label Group)

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.