Various Artists

Strummin' with the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen

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Strummin' with the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen Review

by James Christopher Monger

There must be some kind of collectors' appeal to the myriad of intricately packaged bluegrass tributes to rock bands, because like Beanie Babies, they just keep coming. One needs only to read the title Strummin with the Devil: The Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen to imagine the experience, but there's something "extra special" about this compilation. Not only do listeners get to realize their dream of hearing Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption" played on a banjo, they also get legendary frontman David Lee Roth handling lead vocals on "Jump" and "Jamie's Crying" -- the latter has been turned into a waltz. Roth has always been game for self-parody (money), and he rises to the occasion, providing just enough ham to keep things in "DAVE TV"-land. There is little reason to go in depth here, as the genre is as predictable as it is perfectly executed, and depending on one's tolerance for novelty, the results are either stupefyingly brilliant or harbingers of the end times.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band / David Lee Roth 04:34 Amazon
2 John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band / David Lee Roth 05:31 Amazon
3 Blue Highway 06:16 Amazon
4 John Cowan Band 03:38 Amazon
5 Mountain Heart 03:16 Amazon
6 Iron Horse 04:07 Amazon
7 David Grisman 04:42 Amazon
8 Dudley Connell / David McLaughlin / Tony Trischka / Marshall Wilborn 03:25 Amazon
9 Cornbread Red 03:55 Amazon
10 Iron Horse 03:56 Amazon
11 Larry Cordle / Lonesome Standard Time 03:35 Amazon
12 John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band 03:40 Amazon
13 The Nashville Bluegrass Band 02:51 Amazon
14 Dennis "Cannonball" Caplinger 01:50 Amazon
15 John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band / David Lee Roth 04:01 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick