banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

SAMMY HAGAR – Sammy Hagar & Friends

| 29 September 2013 | Reply

Frontiers Records
23 September 2013
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Sammy Hagar & Friends CD


Originally published in X-Press Magazine’s 17th September 2013 issue – HERE 

Sammy Hagar’s 25th studio album kicks off with the dirty slide guitar of Windin’ Down – it’s the type of song The Red Rocker does effortlessly and encapsulates much about the man and this album in under 2 ½ minutes – it’s laid back, gloriously rough around the edges, carries a little bit of a message, but never lets that get in the way of the fun. It doesn’t hurt to have the legendary Taj Mahal helping out either.

The beach bum/ Big Lebowski persona Hagar plays up to the hilt is all about the fun, but it’s perhaps also why his catalogue is so full of high quality records without boasting a died-in-the-wool classic album as such (unless you want to count the first Montrose record).

…& Friends continues that tradition – there’s the neo-gospel rock of his unlikely cover version of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus, which works more than you’d think likely and features Neal Schon, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith; Father Sun taps into his Cosmic Universal Fashion hippyness with a grooving mandolin and a crunchy guitar alternating riffs; Knockdown Dragout turns the guitars up to eleven with some help from Kid Rock and Joe Satriani; the Southern fried Dixie of Bob Seger’s Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man shows him swaggering with the best of ’em; and Bad On Fords & Chevrolets continues the Skynyrd-like fun, country rocker Robbie Dunn stepping in to share the mic with Sammy.

It doesn’t get any more laid back than Jimmy Buffet’s 1977 classic Margaritaville, and Hagar’s version, featuring Toby Keith, is jamming-on-the-beach gold, mostly acoustic and irresistible. All We Need Is An Island takes the Hawaiian beachcomber vibe to the max with help from Heart’s lovely Nancy Wilson, and the record closes out with a live in the studio first take of Going Down featuring Schon, Anthony and Smith again, and it’s a searing, electric way to wrap things up.

Hagar has talked about wanting to get his Van Halen bandmates on board for a tune, and also approaching Metallica, both of which may have elevated Sammy Hagar & Friends a bit closer to that elusive ‘classic’ status, but you don’t get to where Hagar is without having a lot of business smarts and there’s something irresistible about his outwardly devil-may-care presence that makes this, like most of his records, pure enjoyment from start to finish.


Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad