David Lee Roth does bluegrass? Why not?
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  1. #1
    Light Up The Sky

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    Default David Lee Roth does bluegrass? Why not?

    Really, David Lee Roth and bluegrass together might make more sense than you'd think.

    If it seems weird on first blush, the former Van Halen front man's day-glow spandex alongside serious bluegrass heavies such as John Cowan, the singer offers a different picture: a Dennis the Menace-looking kid, growing up in rural New Castle, Ind., and learning flat-picked guitar from listening to bluegrass great Doc Watson.

    To Roth, contributing vocals to two songs on tribute disc "Strummin' With The Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen" made perfect sense. The recently released work features Cowan's band, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, virtuoso guitarist John Jorgenson's bluegrass band and others.

    Roth's rural roots certainly bore surprising fruit, though, in Van Halen's hyper-technical, over-the-top hard rock. So if you don't know the back-story, missing the link between Roth and the fiddle- and mandolin-heavy jaunts on "Strummin"' is understandable.

    Wondering how his audacious vocal style might fit with this kind of music is also understandable.

    Roth, for his part, figures he did OK with it.

    "My voice, much like Ray Charles', is a one-trick move," he says. "I've been singing the same song to you for 30 years, but you dig the song — kind of like AC/DC's been playing the same song for 40 years, but we love the song, no matter what they title it this year. And my voice fits with a number of different kinds of idioms — I can't sing country, but there's a definite black sound in my voice, simply growing up in that neighborhood. And that fits (with this music)."

    "Because you already know the material, you already know the songs, you know how it's supposed to go. And now it's kind of intriguing, like you modified it — it's a drag racer."

    Roth was surprised to find that some of his bluegrass-based collaborators already knew the songs, too.

    "Something I had not thought of," Roth says, "was that half of these players are under 30 years old. If you play a stringed instrument and you're under 60, don't tell me you don't know who (VH guitarist) Eddie Van (Halen) is."

    If you only knew the bright-and-shiny Van Halen side of David Lee Roth, though — and missed the rock-climbing outdoorsman, licensed EMT and helicopter pilot who speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese — he's OK with it.

    "Maybe I'm like acts of Congress or your favorite Chinese restaurant — you don't really want to know what's going on behind the door," says Roth, whose rapid-fire musings are known to occasionally veer into politically incorrect territory. "I'm a real study in contrast, I expect, looking from without. But it adds up to what you get on stage."


    -The Tennessean
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
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    Dave seems to be more humble lately. I think the radio show failure thing opened up his eyes a bit.
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  3. #3
    Runnin' With The Devil
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    I agree. That and the EMT job made him a real person who had to go to a real job. He saw how hard it is to be regular and realised what he has going on. I don't think he takes it so lightly anymore. He REALLY wants this to happen. I think they would be able to make it work, if Ed is ready.
    Lets just throw a pound of weed in the fire place, f@#% it!

    Proud owner: Purple Flame Ernie Ball Music Man Axis and a 5150 Combo Amp.

  4. #4
    Take Your Whiskey Home
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    Oh Lord it's hard to be humble

    Very, very cool interview!

  5. #5
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    Did Roth pay to make this cd or ws it all done by outside people like a tribute cd....

  6. #6
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    Wow there are people who've never heard of the Diamond One. That's mind blowing to me.

    He still da man tho.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One


    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

 

 

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