RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Sammy Hagar – Sammy Hagar & Friends
Frontiers Records
http://www.frontiers.it/album/5162/

Rating: B

On September 27th…the eve of Sammy Hagar’s fourth decade in rock and roll, the Red Rocker will release a new album of tunes, some new, some remakes, with some of his most famous friends in the business. 

There are four new songs, the hardest rocking, and most bombastic of which is “Not Going Down.” The tune was written for Sammy by a cat named Jay Buchanan who is a member of one of the best new rock bands on the scene, Rival Sons.  Of the remakes, Bob Seger’s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” jumps off the disc and floods the air with some killer rock and roll grooves!

The guests on this sucker are as impressive as Sammy’s blonde locks and include Taj Mahal on “Winding Down” and Neal Schon, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith on the Depeche Mode song “Personal Jesus.”  Kid Rock and Joe Satriani join Sam on the original song “Knockdown Dragout,” while Nancy Wilson of Heart joins Sammy on the duet “All We Need is an Island.” 

Everyone has been waiting for Sammy to pay homage to the only guy in the world that works as hard, if not harder, than Sammy at being a beach bum. Yep, Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” gets reworked by Sammy, and his Oklahoma born brother from another mother, Toby Keith.  From the sounds of it, the boys were sampling some Cabo Wabo tequila during the recording of this tune, as there is fun and laughter had by all.

Sammy does things big…always has and always will and this collection of guests singing and playing with him is no exception.  Noticeably, only one member of Van Halen is on the album, I guess I should say former member.  Too bad neither Ed nor Alex could not have buried the hatchet, as this fun collection would have been a good way for them to jam once again.  At the end of the day, their presence, or lack of it, does not bother Sammy Hagar one little bit.  He’s too busy having fun and bringing his music to the masses to care…and, who knows, he may not have even invited them to the party!   

On Sammy Hagar & Friends, it’s not just the famous folks that come across feeling like Sammy’s buddies.  The listener, too, feels like one of Sammy’s friends. 

Long Live the Red Rocker!

Track Listing

1. Winding Down written by Sammy Hagar
Lead Vocals: Sammy Hagar & Taj Mahal
Electric, acoustic and dobro guitars: Dave Zirbel
2nd acoustic guitar: Sammy Hagar
Percussion: John Cuniberti
Backing Vocals: Mona Gnader & Vic Johnson

2. Not Going Down written by Jay Buchanan
Lead Vocal: Sammy Hagar
Guitars: Vic Johnson & Sammy Hagar
Bass: Bill Church
Lap Steel: Dave Zirbel
Drums: Denny Carmassi
Backing Vocals: Claytoven Richardson, Sandy Griffith & Omega Rae

3. Personal Jesus written by Martin Gore
Lead Vocal: Sammy Hagar
Guitar: Neal Schon
Bass: Michael Anthony
Drums: Chad Smith
Backing Vocals: Claytoven Richardson, Sandy Griffith & Omega Rae

4. Father Sun written by Sammy Hagar
Lead Vocal: Sammy Hagar
Guitars: Vic Johnson & Sammy Hagar
Lap Steel: Sammy Hagar
Bass: Mona Gnader
Accordion: Andre Thiery
Mandolin: James DePrato
Drums & percussion: Denny Carmassi
Backing Vocals: Sammy & Aaron Hagar, John and Erica Cuniberti

5. Knockdown Dragout written by Dennis Hill, Ken Livingston, Kyle Homme, Stephen
Garvy, Kevin Baldes, Sammy Hagar
Lead Vocals: Sammy Hagar & Kid Rock
Guitars: Vic Johnson & Sammy Hagar
Solo guitar: Joe Satriani
Drums: Denny Carmassi
Bass: Mona Gnader
Percussion: John Cuniberti
Lead Vocals: Sammy Hagar & Kid Rock
Backing Vocals: Everybody

6. Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man written by Bob Seger
Lead Vocals: Sammy Hagar
Guitars: Vic Johnson & Sammy Hagar
Solo guitar: Sammy Hagar
Drums: David Lauser
Bass: Mona Gnader
Organ: Susie Davis
Percussion: John Cuniberti
Lead Vocals: Sammy Hagar
Backing Vocals: Mona Gnader, Vic Johnson,
Claytoven Richardson, Sandy Griffith & Omega Rae

7. Bad On Fords and Chevrolets written by Ronnie Dunn, Ray Wylie Hubbard
Lead Vocals: Sammy Hagar & Ronnie Dunn
Guitars: Vic Johnson & Sammy Hagar
Lap Steel: Dave Zirbel
Drums: David Lauser
Bass: Mona Gnader
Piano: Audie Delone
Backing Vocals: Mona Gnader & Vic Johnson

8. Margaritaville written by Jimmy Buffett
Lead vocal: Sammy Hagar & Toby Keith
Percussion: Karl Perazza
Upright Bass: Ruth Davies
Drums: Paul Revelli
Guitar: William Kirchen
Electric Piano & accordion: Austin de Lone
Background vocals: Mona Gnader & Caroline de Lone

9. All We Need Is An Island written by Sammy Hagar
Vocals: Sammy Hagar & Nancy Wilson
Acoustic guitar: Sammy Hagar
Pedal Steel & Tahitian Ukulele: Dave Zirbel
Drums: Mickey Hart

10. Going Down (Live in Studio-Take 1) written by Don Nix
Lead Vocal: Sammy Hagar
Guitar: Neal Schon
Bass: Michael Anthony
Drums: Chad Smith

Bonus track on the deluxe edition only

Space Station #5 – Live from Ronnie Montrose Tribute Concert written by Sammy Hagar and Ronnie Montrose

Drums: Denny Carmassi
Bass: Bill Church
Guitar: Joe Satriani
Vocals: Sammy Hagar
From Ronnie Montrose Tribute Concert (4/27/2012), Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco

By Jeb Wright

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