Sammy Hagar – Sammy Hagar & Friends (2013)
Sammy Hagar & Friends
Frontiers Records, 2013
Sammy Hagar has a lot of very popular friends ranging in musical styles from blues to rock to country. He has been a part of some great bands—Montrose, HSAS, Van Halen, and Chickenfoot—and has had a very solid solo career. Calling on his friends and bandmates—both current and former—Hagar has come out with an album that should be an instant classic. Unfortunately, what should be and what is don’t always match up.
Hagar sang in 1981, “There’s Only One Way To Rock.” Much has changed in 32 years. The Red Rocker is mellower now, and seems more concerned with bragging about the beach and “Waboritaville” than making quality music. There are three cover songs here; two are very poor choices and the third is a ho-hum effort. Of the new songs, the best is “Bad On Fords And Chevrolets,” written by Ronnie Dunn (of Brooks & Dunn fame) and Ray Wylie Hubbard (who deserves more recognition among music fans). That said, the track sounds basically like any other uptempo mid-1990s country song.
While I am happy to see Hagar making music again with his former Montrose mates (Bill Church and Denny Carmassi) and with Neal Schon, the results are just not very impressive. I kept waiting for a song to really kick it into high gear, and thought Kid Rock might bring it in “Knockdown Dragout,” but it fell short as well. Perhaps Hagar just forgot that there is only one way to rock.
View a live performance of “Knockdown Dragout” (without Kid Rock and Joe Satriani) on The Tonight Show below:
1. Winding Down (with Taj Mahal)
2. Not Going Down (with Bill Church, Denny Carmassi)
3. Personal Jesus (with Neal Schon, Michael Anthony, Chad Smith)
4. Father Sun
5. Knockdown Dragout (with Kid Rock, Joe Satriani)
6. Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man
7. Bad On Fords And Chevrolets (with Ronnie Dunn)
8. Margaritaville (with Toby Keith)
9. All We Need Is An Island (with Nancy Wilson, Mickey Hart)
10. Going Down (Live In Studio-Take 1) (with Neal Schon, Michael Anthony, Chad Smith)