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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
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...
Published on April 4, 2007 by Grunt Hog

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Keep things in perspective
If you are a head banging, Van Halen, metalhead then you will hate this because you will think that this is sacreligous to your beloved tunes.

However, if you are an openminded music fan, than you will recognize that this is not such an illogical extention/progression/innovation of these songs.

As musicians age, they can either try to maintain the...
Published on January 23, 2011 by Scott B. Saul


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, April 4, 2007
By 
Grunt Hog (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen (Audio CD)
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gotta have an open mind!, June 3, 2007
This review is from: Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen (Audio CD)
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is surprisingly solid as hell!, April 19, 2008
This review is from: Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen (Audio CD)
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.

Loved em.

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!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mega Ditto Grunt Hog !!-!!, December 11, 2010
Seriously, how marvelous it must be to be so clueless about one's own musical taste. C'mon people, can't you detractors understand the value of broad interpretation and experimentation in ANY art form much less music? That's where rock and roll came from, duh, interpretations of current forms, in this case it was Scotch-Irish folk/mountain music speaking to "country" music, which in turn spoke to rock-a-billy, which in turn spoke to rock and roll. Sheesh....put the bong down already, get a life....
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you people are nuts!, February 13, 2007
By 
This review is from: Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen (Audio CD)
I was skeptical about this one, but as soon as I heard it, I dug it a lot.

Let's face it, this was a risky idea- on the one hand, it won't sell well to people who are VH purists or those who can't stand this style of music and on the other, there are those who love this style, but won't be able to get past Diamond Dave...it won't sell to them either. So it's a lose-lose situation. But for those who don't want to hear Dave singing, relax, he's only on 2 of the songs (3 tracks on the album).

If you're thinking about getting this CD, I would suggest listening to the samples and making a decision for yourself since people are either gonna love it or hate it. Don't let us influence your decision. I mean, "The Kritic" gave it 1 star, then admitted that the basis of that rating was from the one song he heard on the Tonight Show...how can you rate an album that you never heard? (*There are some reviewers that have valid reasons to dislike it).

Anyway, in my opinion, it's a great album- I listen to it all the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Keep things in perspective, January 23, 2011
This review is from: Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen (Audio CD)
If you are a head banging, Van Halen, metalhead then you will hate this because you will think that this is sacreligous to your beloved tunes.

However, if you are an openminded music fan, than you will recognize that this is not such an illogical extention/progression/innovation of these songs.

As musicians age, they can either try to maintain the original energy (which, with some kinds of music cannot be done. Look at how silly Roger Daltrey looks trying to sing those "Who" songs at his age) or somehow maintain their identity, yet take the songs in a different direction. A well over 50 year old man singing metal is totally embarrassing!

Just as Robert Plant has so successfuly done by remaining a relevant "artist" with his "Band of Joy" and the Allison Krauss collaboration, I find nothing wrong with these bluegrass re-interpretations. The songs easily are translated into believable bluegrass tunes and David Lee Roth's voice is well fitted for this genre. This is a smart direction for an aging acrobatic singer to take his music.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must check this out (I'm a hard-core VH fan)..., June 16, 2006
By 
Jeff Snavely (Alexandria, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen (Audio CD)
Worth buying for "Hot for Teacher" alone. This disc really shows how strong the classic VH material is - it's great to hear it interpreted in a different way. I'm no bluegrass fan, but this album really works.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just saw David and co. on TV, June 15, 2006
By 
Nmc (Stillwater, Oklahoma) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen (Audio CD)
Buying it today - they were great on tv!

(If you don't like lots of banjo, etc. - then you won't like it. It's definitely NOT what you think that David Lee Roth would ever do - but "I" really liked it!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just doesnt work, June 14, 2006
By 
Tommy (Saint Louis, MO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen (Audio CD)
I like a wider range of music than the average person. I drive my friends crazy because Ill have Young Jeezy and Johnny Cash on the same mix CD.

Being a huge fan of Van Halen, and David Lee Roth, I REALLY, REALLY wanted to like this CD; but I just couldnt. It doesnt flow well, it sounds forced, and just, doesnt work somehow.

You know that magic that Metallica captured with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra? Seemed like somewhat of an akward idea, but it clicked, and was very intense?

This CD is the opposite of that. It plain just sounds....not right for lack of a better term. Like that one time on the MTV Awards that C.C. Deville starting playing a different song than what the rest of Poison was....just one of those things that make you cringe and say "oh, not good".

Sorry Dave, you are the man, but plug the instruments back in or something ;)
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BECAUSE DAVE CAN., June 20, 2006
This review is from: Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen (Audio CD)
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 !
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