Ronnie Montrose returns to the record racks with the posthumous album release “10×10.”
The album was started before Ronnie’s untimely death in 2012 and since then has been the passion project of bassist Ricky Phillips (The Babys, Bad English, Styx) and drummer Eric Singer (KISS, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath). Both musicians were friends and sidemen of Ronnie’s and it is because of their love and dedication this album now exists.
The premise of this release was to have 10 songs with 10 different vocalists and that is what you get and more because this disc contains a who’s who of rock’n’roll royalty. The opening track features Mr. Big vocalist Eric Martin and guest guitarist Dave Meniketti from Y&T. The song kicks off with Martin wailing the name “Ronnie” and from there we get a perfect pop rock tune in the form of “Heavy Traffic.” Everything about this song is awesome and it really is the best song to open the album.
Next up is the straight up blue number called “Love Is An Art” featuring Edgar Winter on vocals and Rick Derringer on guitar. Rockers doing blues tunes is never my thing but this song hits every note perfectly.
Track three is “Color Blind” and features original Montrose vocalist Sammy Hagar with extra guitar support by Steve Lukather. This song is right in Sammy’s wheelhouse and this is a great reunion for Sammy and Ronnie. A cool tune that can sit along side anything on the two classic Montrose album they produced in the 70’s.
Now rock fans we are only 3 songs in and we haven’t yet heard from Tommy Shaw, Gregg Rolie, Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes, Phil Collen, Mark Farner, Brad Whitford and many many more!
So is “10×10” a 10 out of 10? The answer is no but there is something here for every rock fan and this serves as a fitting farewell tribute to the influential guitar work of Ronnie Montrose. As a side note, Rhino Records will continue honoring the legacy of Ronnie Montrose with the upcoming Deluxe reissues of 1973’s “Montrose” and 1974’s “Paper Money.”