Singer goes country with Van Halen tunes

June 6, 2006 at 8:38 AM

LOS ANGELES, June 6 (UPI) -- Former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth thinks a bit of twang suits his old band's music.

Roth is the driving force behind "Strummin' With the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen," a tribute album that features country and bluegrass versions of 14 Van Halen favorites including "Jump," "Jamie's Cryin'," "Panama" and "Runnin' With the Devil."

"I've been approached by a lot of people wanting to do Van Halen tributes, but it's usually in league with the kind of music it already is," explains Roth, who left the band in 1985, rejoining briefly in 1996. He sings two songs on the tribute album.

"What makes Van Halen kick in a great way is it's unpredictability. We were never co-opted by any one specific genre. We always took a left turn, so why not this (country direction)."

Roth was recently deposed by CBS Radio as one of Howard Stern's syndicated morning show replacements. He plans to make several TV appearances to promote "Strummin' With the Devil" and to mount his own concert tour this summer.

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