JUMP - David Lee Roth with the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band
JAMIE?S CRYIN? - David Lee Roth with the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band
I?LL WAIT - Blue Highway
RUNNIN? WITH THE DEVIL - The John Cowan Band (courtesy of Pinecastle Records)
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY - Mountain Heart
AIN?T TALKIN? ?BOUT LOVE - Iron Horse
HOT FOR TEACHER - David Grisman
FEEL YOUR LOVE TONIGHT - Tony Trischka, Dudley Connell, Marshall Wilborn, Dave McLaughlin
PANAMA - Cornbread Red
UNCHAINED - Iron Horse
ICE CREAM MAN - Larry Cordle
AND THE CRADLE WILL ROCK... - The John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band
COULD THIS BE MAGIC? - The Nashville Bluegrass Band (courtesy of Sugar Hill Records)
ERUPTION - Dennis Caplinger
JAMIE?S CRYIN?[RADIO EDIT] - David Lee Roth with the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band
From the get-go, Van Halen proved breathtaking and ballsy in equal measure. Perhaps that?s one of the reasons Strummin? with the Devil works so well. In its own hard-pickin? way, this collection offers a similar sense of m... more »usical discovery. Here are those same still-sharp rock gems we know and love retooled using a different sort of metal. Come to think about it, bluegrass and Van Halen have much in common?including an emphasis on exceptional instrumental prowess and timeless tales of everyday drama played out in great songs of haunting and enduring power. Having David Lee Roth, the Man himself, kick off this party celebrating the timeless music of which he was such an essential part is more than just thrilling?it?s downright moving. Could this be magic? Definitely.« less
From the get-go, Van Halen proved breathtaking and ballsy in equal measure. Perhaps that?s one of the reasons Strummin? with the Devil works so well. In its own hard-pickin? way, this collection offers a similar sense of musical discovery. Here are those same still-sharp rock gems we know and love retooled using a different sort of metal. Come to think about it, bluegrass and Van Halen have much in common?including an emphasis on exceptional instrumental prowess and timeless tales of everyday drama played out in great songs of haunting and enduring power. Having David Lee Roth, the Man himself, kick off this party celebrating the timeless music of which he was such an essential part is more than just thrilling?it?s downright moving. Could this be magic? Definitely.
"I just don't understand the negative reviews of this disc. If you loathe bluegrass music, then of course you're going to hate this album. If you're so fanatically devoted to Van Halen that you can't stand to hear their songs reinterpreted in a different genre, then of course you're going to hate this album. You have no one but yourselves to blame for running out and buying this when you should have known better, so quit whining and moaning about it.
As a casual fan of classic Van Halen (and a listener who's generally indifferent to bluegrass), I thought this disc was brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing familiar songs taken in new directions, and hearing Diamond Dave sing on a couple of them was a nice bonus. I was also very impressed with the excellent musicianship of the artists that contributed to this album: the arrangements and execution were great, and the players really captured the essence of many of these songs, breathing new life into them while reinventing them. It probably won't convert me to bluegrass, but this disc is definitely a keeper. Just maintain an open mind and there is much enjoyment to be had with this album."
BECAUSE DAVE CAN.
A. Vincentini | MI USA | 06/20/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the BEAUTY of David Lee Roth! If you are a true fan, you will appreciate and have fun with this Cd. ( at least the songs with Dave singing. ) ...And yes, it is something you can expect from him and his style... if you ever listen to some of the older VH/DLR songs. "Could this be magic", "Ice Cream Man", DLR's "Big Bad Bill". ( all those songs flirt with the style that is on this new album. ) David has such a wide range of style and doesn't shy away from musical expression. How rare is it that artists can do this. I must admit that I wish he sang all the songs on the album. I really don't care for the other vocals, but the music really is good. Jamie's Cryin' and Hot for teacher are the best on the album. Dave sounds great on the album. Really, this album is just another notch to add to his belt of accomplishments that he doesn't limit himself too. With that, you have to respect him and admire him. What an awesome entertainer he his and how cool that he can clown around with something like turning his classics into bluegrass. It shows his appreciation for music and that no matter what anyone thinks, he digs it, and that's all that matters ... and that's what everyone loves about Dave. :) Thumbs up !"
Some Good Moments, but mostly forgettable
T. Scott | Morehead, KY USA | 06/14/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This album would be a much better product if it wasn't for David Lee Roth's presence on it. He can't sing bluegrass. Some of the other tracks feel kind of forced as well. However this is the rare disc of "bluegrass covers" that actually features some quality Progressive Bluegrass acts contributing, not just session players putting "twang" in their voices.
Blue Highway and Mountain Heart do excellent jobs reinterperting "I'll Wait" and "Dance The Night Away". The John Cowan Band also shines on "Runnin' With the Devil". And David Grisman turns "Hot for Teacher" into a jazz swing instrumental that's on par with all his work.
This album could have been better."
Gotta have an open mind!
B. Whitt | Columbus, GA USA | 06/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just so you know my perspective going into this review... I am a forty-something who looooved Van Halen back in my teens and twenties, and I still enjoy them. I have several CDs of bluegrass covers of rock songs and really like them. I listen to bluegrass and newgrass but not country music, and I think the banjo is a complex and unique instrument (just ask Bela Fleck) that has gotten a bad rap.
Regarding this album... unlike, for example, the Led Zeppelin bluegrass tribute ("Whole Lotta Bluegrass"), most of these Van Halen songs don't sound as if they could have originally been bluegrass tunes; it's not a very smooth transition. But it is still an enjoyable collection because of the musical talent and lively arrangements. The banjo solo on "Eruption" is magnificent. My least favorite tunes on this collection are the ones sung by DLR; his rock voice stuck in a bluegrass arrangement is like a deuce in the punchbowl. However, he always seems to have had a sense of humor and I guess his participation in this album shows that.
These songs are fun, respectful, and musically respectable arrangements of the originals. Any fan of rock songs who listens to bluegrass renditions of them needs to have a open mind and sense of humor to start with or you'll be offended."
This is surprisingly solid as hell!
Biggie Man - savior of the universe | S.W. Pennsylvania | 04/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to put my two cents in, if nothing else than to support this CD from getting stomped so hard.
Listen you all, this disc is as solid as a bluegrass thing than VH ever did as a Rock and Roll band. No kidding.
I was a HUGE VH fan back in the day.
Maybe my tastes have expanded over the years (40+ yrs old)but these songs really work in this format.
I think that says a lot about the original songs and the level of songwriting!!!
Yes, you definitely have to go in with an open mind, but, really, check it out, this disc smokes!"