RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Ronnie Montrose - 10X10
Rhino Entertainment

Rating B+

When guitarist Ronnie Montrose passed away in 2012 he was crafting this release and had been for several years. With bassist Ricky Phillips and drummer Eric Singer in tow Ronnie envisioned a ten track album featuring a different singer on each track. Around the time of his untimely passing Montrose only completed the rhythm tracks. Then time stood still.

Years later Phillips and Singer, with the guidance of Montrose’s widow Leighsa, have brought his vision to light…but with a twist. Since the leads were left incomplete the trio enlisted several guitarists along with guest vocalists to make this album come to fruition. An all-star list or rockers that not only makes this a whos who or rock but comes up as a tribute to one of rocks more influential guitarists.

The mid tempo rocker “Heavy Traffic” kicks this collection off featuring Mr. Big’s Eric Martin on vocals and Y&T’s Dave Meniketti on lead guitar. This is followed by two more legends on the track “Love Is An Art” in the form of vocalist Edgar Winter and guitarist Rick Derringer.

Others involved include Mark Farner (ex Grand Funk Railroad) pulling double duty on “Any Minute”, Tommy Shaw also pulling double duty on “Strong Enough” as well as guest spots from Gregg Rolie (Santana/Journey), Joe Bonamassa, Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), Glenn Hughes, Steve Lukather (Toto), Davey Pattison (Gamma/Robin Trower) and many more to mention. Yet I can’t leave out a guy named Sammy who used to sing in Ronnie’s band carrying his surname in the early 70’s. Mr. Hagar is featured on the single “Color Blind” and does Ronnie’s memory proud.

10 X10 is a good bookend to the career of a musician who took the two-lane blacktop to artistic freedom in lieu of the expressway to mass stardom. A man who’s guitar works graced recordings of everyone from Boz Scaggs to Van Morrison as well as his solo recordings and his work in Montrose.  A talent that influenced many other guitarists during his lifetime and left this world way too soon.

Album Tracks:
1. Heavy Traffic (Featuring Eric Martin & Dave Meniketti)
2. Love Is An Art (Featuring Edgar Winter & Rick Derringer)
3. Color Blind (Featuring Sammy Hagar & Steve Lukather)
4. Still Singin’ With The Band (Featuring Glenn Hughes, Phil Collen and Jimmy “Z” Zavala)
5. Strong Enough (Featuring Tommy Shaw)
6. Any Minute (Featuring Mark Farner & Ricky Phillips)
7. The Kingdom’s Come Undone (Featuring Ricky Phillips & Joe Bonamassa)
8. One Good Reason (Featuring Bruce Turgon & Brad Whitford)
9. Head on Straight (Featuring Davey Pattison & Marc Bonilla)
10. I’m Not Lying (Featuring Gregg Rolie, Tom Gimbel & Lawrence Gowan)

By Jay Horrocks Jr.