Entertainment » Music

Sammy Hagar & Friends

by Steven Bergman
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Oct 8, 2013
Sammy Hagar & Friends

Sammy Hagar has been a presence on the rock scene for more than three decades, and his distinct vocals epitomize the whiskey-tinged blues rock sound that have made classics out of his early hits both solo and during his tumultuous, yet successful tenure with Van Halen in the 80's and 90's.

Since breaking ties with Van Halen, Hagar has reestablished himself as a high energy solo artist, while taking the occasional foray into forming other groups, most notably the band Chickenfoot, which featured the blazing talent of guitarist Joe Satriani, along with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith. All three musicians join Hagar on his latest project along with a slew of his friends on his first collaborations album, the appropriately titled, "Sammy Hagar & Friends."

The 10-song set is a combination of covers and original songs, but all are given Hagar's signature style. New arrangements of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" (featuring Journey's Neal Schon on Guitar, along with Anthony and Smith), Bob Seger's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," and Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville" (with country superstar Toby Keith joining Hagar on vocals) are mixed in with fresh new rockers, "Bad on Fords and Chevrolets" (written by and featuring Ronnie Dunn), "Knockdown Dragout" (with Kid Rock), and the blues tune, "Winding Down" (with Taj Mahal). A studio take of the Freddie King classic, "Goin' Down," concludes the mainstream release, with the Deluxe Edition containing a live performance of the Montrose tune, "Space Station #5," from the Ronnie Montrose Tribute Concert taped last year in San Francisco.

At only 36 minutes, the album is over before you know it, but what is here is a fun visit from the life of the party, and we hope he comes around again soon.

"Sammy Hagar & Friends"
Sammy Hagar
CD and digital formats
Frontiers Records

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.


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