Country Throwback: David Lee Roth Turns Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ Into Country Song

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns

In this country throwback, David Lee Roth of Van Halen turned the band’s most popular song “Jump” into a bluegrass song. Roth appeared in 2006 on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Roth performed as part of the album Strummin’ with the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen, a country tribute to the rock band.

In the rendition, Roth traded in the electric guitar, keyboard, and drums for banjos, violins, and acoustic guitars. A group of musicians joined Roth on stage during the performance. Instead of an electric guitar solo, the rendition had a fiddler solo instead. Roth remained on vocals, giving a glance of what if Van Halen had been a country band instead.

Commenters continue to enjoy the video as the years go by. One user loved Roth’s energy in the performance. They wrote, “Between the weird arm movement, demented smile and vocals that sound like a pack of wild hogs going over the side of a cliff, this video was great!” Another commented, “Remember, Dave is the fun in Van Halen.”

Not everyone was a fan though. One person wrote, “THIS SONG MAKES ME WANT TO ‘JUMP’ OUT THE WINDOW!”

David Lee Roth recorded the song with Van Halen in 1983.

Roth was the lead singer for Van Halen from 1974 until 1985. He formed the band with brothers Alex and Eddie Van Halen and Michael Anthony. Known for his legendary guitar skills, Eddie Van Halen passed away recently on Oct. 6. He battled throat cancer since a 2001 diagnosis.

The band Van Halen recorded “Jump” in 1983. The song was included as part of their 1984 album. Featuring a keyboard melody, the rock anthem became the band’s most successful song. “Jump” went No.1 on the Billboard charts when it released.

In 1985, Roth left the band to pursue a solo career. Under new lead singer, Sammy Hagar, the band released several more successful albums together. In 2006, Roth returned to the band that made him famous. The band produced a new album called A Different Kind of Truth in 2012. They last toured together in 2015.