Ronnie Montrose’s final album is set to be released posthumously this autumn.
Titled 10x10, the 10-track album features a different guest singers and guitarist on each track playing alongside Montrose, bassist Ricky Phillips and drummer Eric Singer. The first track to be released from the album, Color Blind, is available on Spotify now.
“Ronnie called me up with the idea one day,” says Ricky Phillips, who played with Ronnie Montrose in the 1990s and 2000s and who acted as the album’s executive producer. “He said: ‘I’m going to call Edgar Winter, Sammy Hagar, Eric Martin’ – people he knew and people he worked with.”
The album was pieced together over the next 10 years but remained unfinished at the time of Montrose’s death in April 2012. After organising a tribute concert to the guitarist, Phillips took on the task of finishing the album.
“We had the basic tracks and maybe six vocals that we had finished,” says Phillips. “I reached out to everyone after inheriting the project after Ronnie passed.”
Vocalists featured on the album include Eric Martin, Glenn Hughes, Edgar Winter and former Montrose bandmate Sammy Hagar, while Joe Bonamassa, Def Leppard’s Phil Collen and Toto’s Steve Lukather are among the guest guitarists.
“Those guys came in to finish off the parts that Ronnie didn’t get to finish,” says Phillips. “But I missed him loud and proud – I don’t want to forget that you’re listening to Ronnie.”
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Montrose rose to prominence in the early 70s as the guitarist in Van Morrison’s band and the Edgar Winter Group before forming his own eponymous outfit, which also included Sammy Hagar on vocals. He went on to form Gamma in the 1980s before pursuing a solo career. The final album to be released during his lifetime was 1999’s Bearings.
Montrose had been battling cancer for several years, but he committed suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Ronnie was a very up, happy guy,” says Phillips. “Most people would scratch their heads and go: ‘Ronnie? Depressed? No, there’s no way.’ But that’s why he did what he did.”
10x10 is released on September 29 via Rhino. Expanded two-CD versions of the first two Montrose albums, Montrose and Paper Money, are also released on October 13.
Pre-order links: Amazon | iTunes
10x10 track listing
- Heavy Traffic ft. Eric Martin (Mr Big) & Dave Meniketti (Y&T)
- Love Is An Art ft. Edgar Winter (Edgar Winter Group) & Rick Derringer
- Color Blind ft. Sammy Hagar & Steve Lukather (Toto)
- Still Singin’ With The Band ft. Glenn Hughes & Phil Collen (Def Leppard)
- Strong Enough ft. Tommy Shaw (Styx)
- Any Minute ft. Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
- The Kingdom’s Come Undone Feat. Ricky Phillips & Joe Bonamassa
- One Good Reason Feat. Bruce Turgon (Lou Gramm Band) & Brad Whitford (Aerosmith)
- Head On Straight Feat. Davey Pattison (Gamma) & Marc Bonilla (Guitar solo)
- I’m Not Lying Feat. Gregg Rolie (Journey) & Ricky Phillips