But given that Hagars sound, image, and consciously blue-collar approach to delivering soundbites have practically made him synonymous with Middle America in all its GMC-truck-and-Budweiser glory, its really not much of a stretch to see him touring with Nashville country singer Kenny Chesney. In fact, go to Hagars Web site, redrocker.com, and there he is on the main page posing with famous NASCAR driver Kurt Busch. In essence, Hagar should be right in his element and he has the panache to pull it off. Again, were talking about a guy who ingratiated himself with Van Halens fan base in the most oh-shit case of frontman replacement in music history. So Hagar, with his everyman charm, should be just fine. And why shouldnt he use it to grace country music? After all, songs like Cabo Wabo and Finish What Ya Started, with their bluesy sass, may as well be a stones throw from country anyway. Theyre already polished enough, so all theyd require is a little tweaking from a chart-conscious Nashville producer and they could be recast as country hits. But although it would be amusing to hear old Van Hagar chestnuts get countrified in concert, Hagar doesnt have to go that route, as thats essentially what the songs on his 2006 album Livin It Up already are. And though the album (and current tour) dont feature former VH bassist Michael Anthony, it might as well be him on those trademark vocal harmonies.
And Hagar should jibe a lot better with Chesney who demonstrated his work ethic by continuing to perform after his foot was injured during the first song at a concert in April than he did on his infamously feud-plagued 2002 tour with David Lee Roth.
Sat., May 31, 3:30 p.m., 2008