Get on the Chickenfoot

I like to think that I’m pretty much on top of new music insofar as the stuff that interests me. That’s why it totally took me by surprise when I read a couple of weeks ago about the latest supergroup, a band called Chickenfoot.

Chickenfoot, for those who haven’t heard, is the teaming of legendary rockers Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony, and Chad Smith. The band, as the members say, “kicks a donkey's ass six ways to Sunday and back again.”

Chickenfoot came together almost by accident, a result of jams held at Hagar’s club, Cabo Wabo Cantina, in Cabo San Lucas. “We were just having fun,” says Michael Anthony in the band bio. “After Sammy and I left Van Halen, we’d get together with musicians, and certain people seemed to really gel. Chad came down and we got on well with him. Gradually, we started talking about doing something more serious, but we needed a guitarist. Somebody smokin’ – somebody who could take us to the Promised Land.”

That somebody turned out to be Joe Satriani, who is happy to be part of a band. “I never mapped out a plan to be an instrumentalist,” he says. “I really wanted to be a part of a big vocal-oriented rock band. I had offers, but nothing seemed to fit. Everything seemed like a career move...until Chickenfoot.”

To me, this band fulfills what Hagar could – and should – have done during his tenure with Van Halen. In Satriani, Hagar has teamed with one of the few rock guitarists who can out-Van Halen Eddie Van Halen. If Van Halen would have kept rocking like this, instead of turning pop, maybe they could have kept their early reputation as rock gods.

“Soap on a Rope,” which I’m sampling for you tonight, is typical of the type of music Chickenfoot is putting out: Instead of playing woulda/coulda Sammy takes this band back to his days with Montrose. It’s great to hear him back with a band that wants to rock, and it’s also amazing to hear Joe Satriani in a band with a seasoned rock singer.

Soap on a Rope.mp3

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