By the late '90s, former Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding had not issued a solo studio album for decades. But that didn't mean that Redding had retired from the music biz entirely, as he was spotted doing sporadic live appearances worldwide -- hence, the 2004 release West Cork Tuning by Redding backed by the San Francisco quintet 3:05 AM. Comprised of highlights from performances during 1998 and 1999 in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, West Cork Tuning features a covers-only set list, including Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away," the Beatles' "Rain," and Bob Dylan's "She Belongs to Me," among others. And as expected, a few Jimi Hendrix covers find their way onto the album, including "Can You See Me" and "Stone Free." That said, it's a bit puzzling why Redding wouldn't have also included renditions of the tracks he penned for the Experience, "She's So Fine" and "Little Miss Strange" -- after all, since this was a Redding show, it certainly would have made sense. Although not a groundbreaking live effort, it's good to know that Redding was playing in front of audiences right toward the very end (Redding passed away four years after the last recording on this set took place).
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato