Being asked to review Sammy Hagar’s newest release, Sammy Hagar & Friends (due for release Sept. 24th) is more than an honor, but really…what can I say that you already don’t know.
With 4 decades of being one of ROCK N ROLL’s top front men this release does not disappoint. It has a feeling that I’ve come to expect from the uber talented RED ROCKER. With collaborations of all kinds each song makes you feel like you’re sitting around and visiting with him.
Visions of sitting at the funnest house party dances through my head as I listen to it with a feeling of who I’m going to meet…or better yet, who’s Sammy gonna introduce me to next?
The first friend Sammy introduces us to is Taj Mahal with Winding Down. Winding Down has a bluesy guitar that compliments Sammy’s voice and the backing encouragement of Taj gets the party started.
Then we go on with Sammy hitting it a little harder with Not Going Down, which makes you feel the thud in your heart.
The boys in the band then start to show up, with Neal Schon (Journey) on guitar, Michael Anthony (Van Halen/ Chicken Foot) on bass and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers/ Chicken Foot) on drums, Sammy surprises you with the Depeche Mode cover Personal Jesus, a groovy, more accessible sound then the original.
Continuing his groove Sammy changes things up a bit with an almost blue grass feeling to his song Father Sun, you can hear the amazing sound of a steel guitar and see someone sitting with it in their lap strumming a long.
Then out of nowhere in walks KID ROCK, to help sing the new party anthem of Knockdown Dragout. Amping up with the party and what better to do it with then to cover Bob Seger’s Ramblin’ Gamblin Man making everyone sing along.
Continuing with Bad On Fords and Chevrolets you hit a real southern rock feeling and feel with writing of Ronnie Dunn and his assist in the singing gives you the bit of twang the song screams for.
And what’s a party without the infamous party song of all time?…Toby Keith helps Sammy out with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. As you of course sing along, it makes you feel as if you’re there with a drink in hand.
Feeling chilled and relaxed Sammy then introduces you to the wonderful Nancy Wilson (Heart), to sing his duet of All We Need Is An Island. Magical is the world to describe this whimsical song as you can see them with their feet in the sand and guitars in hand, and of course the incomparable Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead) in the background, banging on the drums.
Finally Sammy finishes you out hard with Going Down, it instantly takes you back to the Montrose days, with the great guitar playing of Neal Schon, it’s what you want out of the RED ROCKER.
I would have to say I loved this release. For me Sammy gives you what you want, a party of a realease, and this time he inttoduced you to all his friends to make it that much better. A true talent through and through.