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The Van Halen Singer No One Ever Heard About

June 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 167

So Mitch Malloy has toured Europe, shared the stage with the likes of Vince Gill and Amy Grant... and yet very few know his name. Is there any reason they should? Aside from the fact that he was the lead vocalist for Van Halen for about 15 minutes (and a smokin' great choice at that) Malloy is one of the best singer/songwriters you've never heard of.

Hailing from the Boston area, Malloy's heroic tenor found its way into Eddie Van Halen's studio upon the departure of Sammy Hagar in 1996. Malloy had a quick audition and was brought into the existing VH fold precisely for the power vocals he showcased on his self-titled debut, 'Shine', 80's all-star line-up on Infinity, and the latest (as of this writing) 'Mitch Malloy II'. Malloy was more than just a tall, blonde, golden-voiced frontman though. The award-winning songwriter also had engineering and production chops and with his ability (and willingness) to cover both the Roth and Hagar-era VH material made him invaluable to Eddie's embattled camp.

Unfortunately, whether it was a management decision or just a whacky notion by the Van Halen brothers, appearing with David Lee Roth at the `96 MTV Music Awards had Malloy questioning whether his new gig would stall in the face of fan expectations. So off he went, back to being an excellent solo artist.

But that's not necessarily a bad thing! Mitch Malloy's latest offering (the aforementioned 'MMII') is a non-stop showcase of his incredible vocals. While the songwriting might be assailed by some as a throwback to big 80's sounds, Malloy sails over the top of incredible melodies, relentlessly memorable hooks and scorching instrumental turns to create a platter that is truly satisfying.

Check out the Journey-meets-Van Halen 'I'll Love You Still' or the soulful 'Take It All' for a taste of Malloy's incredible vocal range and emotive qualities. The supersonic singing on 'I'm the One' and 'Carry On' are a testament to a real missed opportunity in the Van Halen camp.

While Malloy's present vocal turns are a bit more restrained than some of the scorchers he kicked out 20 years ago, that restraint can easily be attributed to grown as both a vocalist and composer. It would be great to see Mitch Malloy get the kind of global exposure he so obviously deserves. But in the meantime, you can check out his work on YouTube and keep your eyes open for live dates at a venue near you.

If you like Mitch Malloy or Van Halen, check out Pickett's 80's rock sound at: http://www.m-overdrive.com/video.

Source: EzineArticles
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