Sammy Hagar's gone country with Kenny Chesney and LeAnn Rimes

If you haven't kept up with Sammy Hagar since his rockin' "I Can't Drive 55" days, you might find yourself alternately shocked, horrified, and amused by Hagar's recent plunge into country music. Then again, the public had more or less the same reaction in 1985 when Hagar was announced as David Lee Roth's replacement in Van Halen. And even going all the way back to his debut in Montrose, the Red Rocker's voice sounds more or less out of place in any style of music — which is to say that the man possesses one of the most distinctive, instantly recognizable sets of pipes to ever come down the pike. One could argue that the only reason listeners associate him so freely with arena rock is because that's more or less constituted the bulk of his career.

But given that Hagar's 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, it's really not much of a stretch to see him touring with Nashville country singer Kenny Chesney. In fact, go to Hagar's Web site,, 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, we're talking about a guy who ingratiated himself with Van Halen's 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 shouldn't 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 stone's throw from country anyway. They're already polished enough, so all they'd 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 doesn't have to go that route, as that's essentially what the songs on his 2006 album Livin' It Up already are. And though the album (and current tour) don't feature former VH bassist Michael Anthony, it might as well be him on those trademark vocal harmonies.

Sammy Hagar's gone country for Livin' It Up.
Sammy Hagar's gone country for Livin' It Up.


Sammy Hagar, Kenny Chesney, and LeAnn Rimes are scheduled to perform on Saturday, May 31.
University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale

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.

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Ref: �Hagar Twang�Author: Saby Reves-Kulkarni

As a long time Sammy Hagar fan (Redhead), I am so set aside by the comments indicated in this article that I must respond. For the author to indicate that Sammy is re-directly his Hall of Fame rock n roll career towards country is absolutely crazy. To indicate this based on the fact that Sammy is touring with Kenny Chesney doesn�t make you look all that knowledgeable on your subject. If you were, you would know these facts.

Sammy and Kenny are good friends since Kenny played with him, for three hours, at the Cabo Wabo for Sammys Birthday Bash in 2005. Second, Sammy does not have a set tour this year since he has been touring his rock n rock for the past three years straight. However, he still wants to deliver what he loves the most for his fans. His music.Third, he is not playing country at these concerts but rather his world famous rock. Fourth, if you go to his website ( more than once, you would notice that the cover picture changes with each log in. And as far as Sammys Nascar appearances having anything to do with his music direction is beyond me. If you think that by re producing the VAN HALEN song �Cabo Wabo� is a �stones throw away from country� you are sadly mistaken. Oh and hey, I�m surprised that you don�t think Sammy may be going hip hop since he plays with those folks as well!

I am not saying that country music is a bad thing. In fact, country has some of the finest artists and best looking fe-male performers out there. In many whys, if you listen to some country releases most carry a rock n roll back as some rock carries a country back which is why you are probably confused with Sammys �Livin it Up� CD.

By the way, I�m going to let all my highly successful friends know that they need to sell their GMC truck and stop drinking Budweiser before they are considered �middle America�. What ever that is!

In closing, understand and get the facts about your subject before you write an article. In case you didn�t get the clue from the above, Sammy Hagar is, and always will be, a rocker, he is an artist of a diverse music understanding and interest.

P.S. Michael Anthony was not with Sammy since he is in the studio recording. FACT!

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