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28 June 2010 8,372 views 5 Comments

Black Country Communion pic by Marty Temme

Back in February Glenn Hughes explained to me that the album he was recording with Jason Bonham,  Joe Bonamassa and Derek Sherinian was ‘’A big rock statement’’.  He went on to say ‘’This is the real thing the right thing to do at the right time.’’

Having been afforded an exclusive preview of the Black Country Communion album due for release here via Mascot Records on September 20th, well Glenn has been true to his word.  The album is jam packed with quality rock songs and arrangements that collectively showcases each musician. The commitment and intent the band have brought to proceedings is evident from the off.

Opening track ‘’Black Country’’ kicks in at frantic ‘‘Kill The King’’ speed periodically stopping off for Glenn to soulfully inform ‘’I’m going back to the Black Country- I am a messenger’’. Joe comes in with some suitably high tempo riffola and soloing while  Jason’s all over the tom toms and tympani. A call and response episode and a torrid final Bonamassa blast brings to a close a most impressive opening track.

Other highlights:

‘’One Last Soul’’ carries a funky melodic edge with an effective Jason fill as it all kicks in. Joe’s lyrical soloing adds to the overall effect of a track that reminded me of early of 90’s UK melodic rockers Midnight Blue. Jason has the utmost regard for timekeeping on ‘’The Great Divide’’ keeping  it ticking tight throughout. There’s more precision axe work from Joe and Derek gets in a swirling organ. ‘’Down Again’’ is a riff led affair with upfront echo vocals from Glenn. This posseses a Bad Companyish swagger and another succulent Bonamassa solo. The effective coda has Jason pushing behind the beat in typically Black Country fashion.

A barrage of wah wah kick starts ‘’Beggerman’’, another Glenn Hughes rock’n’soul fest.  ”Song Of Yesterday” is a lengthy epic Bonamassa showcase with Joe on vocals. It commences in a bluesy style and winds up with a scat singing drawn out finale.  The remake of Trapeze’s ‘’Medusa’’ is an absolute triumph.  Opening with plangent chiming guitar effects (ala Page on Clarksdale’s ‘’When I Was A Child’’) before it burns and smoulders along with Glenn again outstanding.

Both ‘’Sista Jane’’ and the closing track ‘’Too Late For The Sun’’ have Joe and Glenn sharing vocals effectively – the former features Jason on those familiar Bonham patented bass drum couplets and an organ coda from Derek, while the latter at over eleven minutes develops into a drawn out jam that finds each of the musicians blowing out in a manner that was the custom on a plethora of 1970s rock albums.

But this is no exercise in mere retro rock.  This album  carries a definite contemporary edge aided considerably by Kevin Shirley’s wide screen production that allows each musician the space to breathe and contribute fully.  Yes there’s also a real groove to it but as Glenn said, with a Bonham involved that’s to be expected.  Jason puts in a performance that emphasises why he was such an integral part of the success of the Led Zeppelin 02 reunion show.

As Glenn revealed earlier in the year:  ‘’ It’s current not old or heritage.  It’s like Zep were called metal but they weren’t really metal. It’s that heavy and light and shade thing so we’ve got lot’s of groove on it. It’s really designed  to be a classic modern album. We are not wanting to be heritage.  I want to be clear here we are making a rock album. I get a chance to sing – really sing rock again rather than holding back.’’

Clearly  on the evidence of this album there’s no holding back with Black Country Communion. Get ready to join the faith come September.

Dave Lewis – June 28th  2010

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Dave Sircom said:

    I have been fortunate to hear the BCC album and all I can say is One Last Soul is a mega hit rock song. Glenn Hughes is the most amazing as he ever had been. His bass playing and soaring vocals are electric. Joe Bonamassa is the best electric guitarist on the planet. This guy’s playing is insane. No wonder Clapton champions him so much. John Bonham is amazing on drums and would make Jon proud. Derek Sherinian is a genius on the keys. Makes TCV sound like Three Dog Night. Essential, explosive and real.

  • Ledhed58 said:

    A BONHAM on drums can not be beat…I love Grohl but Page did not ask Grohl to fill in for Bonzo for the O2 show…Jason is about to come into his own and his dad would be proud..waiting for his tribute tour this fall in honour of the greatest drummer ever – John Henry Bonham Peace,Love and Rock and Roll….

  • Aris Roskam said:

    I’ve seen TCV 2 weeks ago in Amsterdam and t.m.o. it’ll be very hard for BCC to beat the rhythm-tandem Jones-Grohl. The concert was awesome..!! But I can’t wait for the BCC-album

  • Peter Aquino said:

    I CANNOT WAIT TO HEAR THE ALBUM!!! I still love JPJ, but this is going to blow TCV out of the water!

  • Nuvo911 said:

    What a strange looking band.
    A Mexican, A kid, An Old Man and a Red-Neck . . . .
    They probably sound great!

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