From the get-go, Van Halen proved breathtaking and ballsy in equal measure. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons Strummin’ with the Devil works so well. In its own hard-pickin’ way, this collection offers a similar sense of musical discovery. Here are those same still-sharp rock gems we know and love retooled using a different sort of metal. Come to think about it, bluegrass and Van Halen have much in common—including an emphasis on exceptional instrumental prowess and timeless tales of everyday drama played out in great songs of haunting and enduring power. Having David Lee Roth, the Man himself, kick off this party celebrating the timeless music of which he was such an essential part is more than just thrilling—it’s downright moving. Could this be magic? Definitely.
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