Mailboat/Membran [Release date 17.03.17]
Subtitled ‘Volume One’, this collection collates Sammy Hagar’s solo output from 1999’s ‘Red Voodoo’ through to 2005’s ‘Livin’ It Up’. For fans/collectors there are two new songs plus an outtake mix of ‘Shag’. His band throughout this period including keyboardist Jesse Harms and drummer David Lauser (also seen in melodic rockers Alliance).
These songs represent Sammy Hagar making the music he wanted to, not what a record label or band expected from him. So there are plenty of references to chilling out in the sun/coast and drinking (in moderation of course!).
Be it the laidback vibe of ‘Livin’ On A Coastline’ or the upbeat ‘One Sip’, Sammy Hagar and his top notch band get across the fun they had making this music through to the listener. Guesting Roy Rogers on ‘The Real Deal’ lets rip n some tasty slide guitar, one of four songs on here lifted off the ‘Ten 13’ album.
‘No Worries’, the first of two new songs on this collection, is another laidback number about having no cares and no job, home but having a good time singing songs. The other new song ‘Never Say Goodbye’ is a personal one dedicated to friends and family he has lost. With just an acoustic guitar and organ backing, it is a moving song and fitting tribute to those he never got to say goodbye to.
Those after the hard rocking Sammy Hagar of the Montrose years and his pre-Van Halen solo output won’t find much of that on here. He has moved on musically to a place where he is happy with his work and this is a fine place to start post-Van Halen. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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