Sammy Hagar

Ten 13

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Released on the struggling Beyond record label in 2000, Ten 13 wasn't exactly a well-publicized release. An impressive list of artists joined Sammy Hagar around the turn of the century at Beyond only to release hefty musical but commercially non-viable recordings. Hagar fared better than most due to his solid fan base -- with which he managed to maintain a very close connection through touring, entertaining at his very popular bar and restaurant Cabo Wabo in Mexico, and by continuing to produce music generally true to his extremely popular '80s solo and Van Hagar material. After spending several post-Van Halen years creating a strange kind of populist party image for himself (something like a republican heavy metal Jimmy Buffet) Hagar delivered a fine offering that reinforced his eternally teenaged identity in Ten 13. Titled in honor of the singer's birthday, which is celebrated in historic proportion at Cabo Wabo each year, Ten 13 also features the "Waboritas" (Victor Johnson on guitar, Jesse Harms on keyboards, Mona on bass, and David Lauser on drums.) Highlights include the tight "Let Sally Drive," "A Little Bit More," and each of the wide open pop/rock cuts that fans of Van Hagar especially should get quite a large kick out of. Surprisingly even and strong, Ten 13 stands up with Hagar's best work of the '90s.

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