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13 September 2017 2,227 views 6 Comments


The Return of Black Country Communion:


‘’There’s a lot of commitment from everybody – we have never had so much fun working on a BCC record ‘’

As Black Country Communion re- group for a fourth chapter, Dave Lewis catches up with Glenn Hughes

It was quite a surprise when news broke back in 2016 that Black Country Communion were re grouping to record a fourth album. The Anglo American supergroup comprising vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes , Jason Bonham on drums, Derek Sherinian on keyboards and guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa, had seemingly brought the curtain down somewhat acrimoniously after their Afterglow album in 2013. The initiative for this new album came from Joe Bonamassa, who contacted Glenn and the band members to see if they would be up for going back into the studio to write and record a fourth album. Past differences resolved, the end result is the excellent BBC IV. In this exclusive interview Glenn explains how they rekindled their desire to get right back out there.


A swelteringly hot Friday in London and over at the Arch Hotel the ever affable Glenn Hughes is on fine form. ‘’Hi bro, as you can see I thought I’d let my hair grow. ‘’ is the Voice of rock’s opening statement. It actually makes him look just a little younger which is no bad thing. We are here to talk about the comeback of Black Country Communion. The last time I met with Glenn back in 2103 he was about to launch his new band California Breed. To set the scene I first asked Glenn why that particular venture didn’t work out quite work out the way he had planned.

GH: I wasn’t sure about that really when I look back. I was 41 years older than the guitarist Andy Watt’s and as talented as he was, it just felt a little bit wrong for me. So no, it didn’t really work out. I moved on to the Resonator album and I was really pleased with the reaction to that. It was also a great tour.

DL: So down to the nitty gritty – who first suggested getting Black Country Communion back together?

GH: It was Joseph. When I was inducted into the Hall of Fame with Deep purple I had a call from Joe congratulating me, which was really nice. He said ‘’I’ve been listening to all our music and I want to make amends as we ended in such a strange way’’. So we met for dinner and we both agreed the world was ready for another BCC record. We got in touch with Jason and Derek and away we went.We got together in October last year and wrote the whole album We knew by track three we were going to have a great record. We all said we needed some really epic tracks this time out and we had them.

Unfortunately, I had to come back to England as my mum sadly passed away. Jason was of course upset for me what with his dad and everything. Everybody was, so the day before I left we worked on six tracks to get things really moving.

DL: Was was there an element that you had to wipe the slate clean of any past differences?

GH: I guess there was – but we made our amends quickly and it was easy to do because Joe is such a generous man. Maybe back in 2012 he had some stuff going on that affected him and it led to that bickering on social media. Looking back, as I did a lot of the interviews it was me taking the brunt of it all. So anyway, we all hugged it out and it felt great to do so.

DL: So does playing with these guys bring out the best of Glenn Hughes?

GH: No doubt about it. For a start when John Bonham fell in love with my band Trapeze when I was a teenager I was so touched – and now all these years later I’m playing in a band with his son. I know that God has put me in that place and if I’ve got a Bonham behind me, there’s a good chance I’m going to be in a great band. If I’ve got Joe Bonamassa writing with me, well then it’s the icing on the cake

DL: With Kevin Shirley back on board producing, it must have felt like it was old times again?

GH: Yes it did and it moved quickly. We wrote the demos at my house and we had about twenty songs to choose from. We took it all to Kevin in Malibu and narrowed it down to eleven. We had no preconceived idea of what we were going to write-  but we were aware we needed the certain Black Country Communion element and I think we captured it. Like I said we also wanted some epic things in there.

DL: How does this album differ from previous BCC albums?

GH: Well we didn’t want to create a new genre. It wasn’t say like what Zeppelin did on their third and fourth albums, where they kind of switched it a bit bringing in acoustic stuff. We have bought in some mandolins and fiddles but we still wanted to have that push and pull drama effect – that early 70s rock influence that we have.

DL: Final thoughts on the return of Black Country Communion?

GH: This has been the perfect time to make BCC IV – in this particular window. There’s a lot of commitment from everybody on this record and certainly from Joe. In fact, we have never had so much fun working on a BCC record and this really is the best time for us. It’s great to be back…

Dave Lewis interviewed Glenn Hughes on July 7, 2017. With thanks to Peter Noble

Extract from the TBL interview with Glenn Hughes for TBL. The full interview is one of the many highlights in the forthcoming TBL issue 43, due late autumn.

TBL Exclusive Black Country Communion album review:

BCC IV – Modern day hard rock – nobody does it better…

So they are back for a fourth outing and as usual with this seasoned band of brothers, whilst their sound is utterly contemporary part of the fun is detecting the many familiar influences they bring to the table. That is evident from the very first tune up that precedes the opening track Collide. Jason clatters out a snare drum roll that is a ringer for the opening of D’yer Ma’ker. There’s also something of a semi accepella flavour to Glenn’s vocal ala Black Dog. Plainly though, this is the BCC sound with swirling keyboards from Derek and Joe at his most animated.

There’s a Bolanesque bent to remorseless riffing that opens the very radio friendly Over My Head. Glenn takes it all up a gear with a soaring falcetto chorus and Joe adds a very Clapton Cream era solo run.

The last Song For My Resting Place is new territory for BCC . Something of an epic written about the Titanic going down. It’s eight minute duration sees them switch periodically from light and shade with delicately picked mandolin and Celtic sounding violin set against some bombastic power chording. Through it all, Glenn relays the tale in a plaintive vocal manner. Full on archetypal Joe solo seals the deal

Sway grooves along on a Jason inspired Michael Jackson Smooth Criminal incessant riff. Glenn gets in some intricate bass lines before Derek take it out on a sweet piano coda. The Cove is a more down beat lurching affair with lyrics inspired by Glenn’s involvement in the Dolphin project. The Crow is more typical BCC with a frantic Glenn vocal. relentlessly powerful riff and percussion with a very Deep Purple like  bass solo and Hammond organ groove. Joe adding an Alvin Lee like speedfest of a solo.

Wamderlust is a mid tempo excursion with Denis again to the fore – his role here is more prominent than on past BCC outings. Love Remains has a Wanton Song like battering ram riff over which Glenn relays emotional lyrics inspired by the passing of his parents noting that ‘’When the last breath is taken only love remains’’

The final pair of songs again have echoes of Joe’s musical heroes. Awake has an inventive decending plangent riff that cases a ripple of delight every time it comes around. It reminds me of Rory Gallagher’s work with Taste – What’s Going On being a point of reference. Finally, When the Morning Comes opens with introspective piano leading into a Heartbreaker era Free affair. Accoustic guitar backed by harder riffs ring out.

Past differences have evidently been solved as throughout the album, they sound like a band genuinely enjoying themselves. Once again Kevin Shirley has captured it all in typically widescreen open sound with every instrument given space to breath. The may be highly derivative at times but BCC IV is a clear indicator that when it comes to modern day hard rock –nobody does it better…

Dave Lewis

BBC IV is released on September 22

BCC group photo above by  Neil Zlozower




More details:


Led Zeppelin News Update:
In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook.

Hello! Welcome to the 105th Led Zeppelin News email. We email out a summary of the week’s news every weekend so that you don’t miss anything.

Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page

Robert Plant

A cropped still from the official music video for Robert Plant’s new single “Bones Of Saints” (YouTube/Robert Plant)

Jason Bonham

Upcoming events:

September 22 – The new Black Country Communion album, which will feature Jason Bonham, is due to be released.
September 23 – AXS TV will air a day of Led Zeppelin-related programming starting from 1pm ET.
Early Autumn – The next issue of Led Zeppelin magazine Tight But Loose, issue #43, is scheduled to be released.
October 6 – Robert Plant will perform at BBC Radio 6 Music Live 2017 in London.
October 13 – Robert Plant’s new solo album “Carry Fire” will be released.
November 5 – “Yardbirds ’68” by The Yardbirds will be released.
November 16 – Robert Plant will perform in Plymouth.
November 17 – Robert Plant will perform in Bristol.
November 20 – Robert Plant will perform in Wolverhampton.
November 22 – Robert Plant will perform in Llandudno.
November 24 – Robert Plant will perform in Newcastle.
November 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Liverpool.
November 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Glasgow.
November 28 – Robert Plant will perform in Perth.
November 30 – Robert Plant will perform in Manchester.
December 2 – Robert Plant will perform in Belfast.
December 3 — Robert Plant will perform in Dublin.
December 6 – Robert Plant will perform in Sheffield.
December 8 – Robert Plant will perform in London.
December 11 – Robert Plant will perform in Portsmouth.
December 12 — Robert Plant will perform in Birmingham.

Many thanks to James Cook.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at


Virgil Howe:

Very sad to hear the passing of Yes guitarist Steve Howe’s son Virgil aged 41.

This via Planet Rock:

Yes have pulled the remaining dates of their US Yestival Tour following the tragic death of Steve Howe’s youngest son Virgil. He was 41.

Posting a photo of Virgil, who was the drummer for Nottingham based band Little Barrie, Yes confirmed that their shows in Moorhead, Cedar Rapids, London, Rochester, Boston and Huntington will understandably no longer be going ahead.

Yes wrote: “Due to the tragic, unexpected death of guitarist Steve Howe’s beloved younger son, Virgil, YES regrettably announces that the remaining dates of their Yestival Tour have been cancelled.

“Ticket refunds for the affected tour dates (in Moorhead, Cedar Rapids, London, Rochester, Boston and Huntington) will be available at point of purchase.

“YES — Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood — want to thank all their fans for their support and understanding at this time.

“Steve Howe and family ask for their privacy to be respected during this difficult time.”

Our thought go out to Steve,his family and friends.


Jimi Hendrix Remembered – 47 years gone… 

I can remember exactly where I was when the news of Jimi Hendrix death came through on September 18, 197 – 47 years ago next Monday. I was listening to the Tommy Vance Friday What’s New programme as I did most Fridays back then eager to hear the latest single releases. Around 5pm the announcement was made on the BBC Radio One news and Tommy went on to provide a fitting tribute to the guitar legend noting the inconsistencies of his performances over the past year.

Across the water the next day Led Zeppelin were performing two shows at Madison Square Garden and Robert Plant paid his respects in the evening show.

”Before we go any further …yesterday a rather uncomfortable thing happened for everybody and a great loss for the music world…and we’d like to think that you as well as us are very sorry that Jimi Hendrix went. I spoke to a close friend of his about half an hour ago and he said probably he would have preferred everybody to get on and have a good time rather than talk about it. So we’d like to get on and try and make everybody happy”.

I’m just listening to that extract of that speech on the bootleg of the evening show I have titled Shout That Loud. They go on to do an absolute steller version of That’s The Way with Plant’s vocals sounding absolutely incredible.  ‘’I wonder how we’re gonna tell you’’ he sings slightly changing the lyrics. Behind him Jimmy strums away sweetly and JPJ adds mandolin totally complimenting the mood. That’s The Way performed by  Led Zeppelin one day after the death of Jimi Hendrix is an awesome performance. They were on fire during that sixth US tour – you can read Mike Tremaglio’s tour log of that exciting summer of ‘70 period in the forthcoming TBL.

I also know exactly where I was on the sixth anniversary of Jimi Hendrix  death in 1976. That was the day we were pitched up in Hyde Park ready to watch the free concert featuring Queen. One of the flags in the crowd that day proclaimed ‘’Jimi Hendrix lives.’’

His music certainly does. I had a real Hendrix fascination around 1972-3 and brought a fair few of his albums. I went to see the Joe Boyd documentary film in London and loved the soundtrack. Have to say haven’t really played much Hendrix for a good while but Ill be picking out a few choice Jimi faves,  including the excellent Hendrix In The West live album in tribute to this 47th anniversary of his passing

Marc Bolan remembered – 40 years gone…

Bolan 2

Saturday marks the 4oth anniversary of the death of Marc Bolan. Another of my all time heroes and one of the naturally great looking rock stars. There will be plenty of T.Rex on the player here over the weekend  – every Marc/T.Rex  single of the early 70s was an event and they still sound so fresh. Here’s a pic of Marc with Robert Plant circa 1976.

Marc Bolan was the epitome of the word STAR – when I was a great coat wearing Zep head age 15, amongst all the teenyboppers Marc Bolan and T. Rex were still cool. His album Electric Warrior is amongst my all time favourites and his singles such as Telegram Sam, Metal Guru,Children Of The Revolution, 20th Century Boy etc always inspire great 1970s  memories.

At the Victoria Record Fair last week I could not resist the copy of the Tyrannosaurs Rex A Beard Of Stars album – this is the US issue on the Blue Thumb label that has the free single of Ride A White Swan – a lovely package indeed. Marc Bolan remains a Wizard and a True Star and he always will…



TBL Archive 1:

Led Zeppelin A Celebration book launch 26 years gone…

26 years ago this week, I was on a whirlwind tour of UK radio stations promoting my then just published Led Zeppelin A Celebration book. Publishers Omnibus Press arranged for me to be driven by their PR company rep to visit a host of UK radio stations in a four day span. It included stop-offs in Sheffield, Manchester, Shrewsbury, Bristol, Coventry, Northampton and  finally Nottingham. I also conducted a couple of interviews on something that was called a mobile phone. Oh yes from the comfort of the passenger seat I could relay my enthusiasm for the book to the radio interviewer. A wondrous device – this mobile phone was brick like in size – it was my first associationwith the world of the cell.

Led Zeppelin A Celebration sitting proudly at number one – The author at the Virgin Megastore Oxford Street London, September 1991

The book tour had been delayed from early September as sadly my Dad had passed away in the late August so it was a difficult time, but once on the road it was a hugely enjoyable week- and on the Thursday there was a very memorable last stop off at  BBC RadioNottingham. On arrival  lo and behold lying in wait was the late Mick Hinton, loyal drum roadie of John Bonham – a man I had last seen on the Over Europe tour. Now residing in Nottingham, Mick had heard a trail of my appearance and decided to ring up and get in on the act. Unsurprisingly this was the most lively of the interviews as Mick relayed his tales of yore (or as clean a version as could be aired at 5pm). It was the beginning of several significant encounters with the former Zep insider – notably at the 1992 London Led Zeppelin Convention I co organised with Andy Adams and a trip to interview him for the TBL mag in Nottingham. Many of these stories I’m saving for my memoirs. By way of a preview I can reveal that Gary Foy’s first association with Mick was clearing up behind one of the Convention stalls after Mick had politely thrown up.

Then there was my trip to interview Mick in Nottingham.This included drinking a few cans of Tenant’s Extra strong lager at his place that ensured rather than stop off at Bedford on the train back, I found myself in St Pancras station London. Yes in my rather inebriated state I had slept right through!

Ahh sweet memories of 26 years back. By the way the A Celebration book is now long out of print though it does turn up frequently on eBay.


TBL Archive 2:

The Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Reunion Concert at the 02 Arena  – press announcement ten years gone…

Ten years ago this week on September 12 2007, I was in attendance at the official press conference to announce the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Led Zeppelin reunion concert. It was the beginning of what would be an incredible few months. Here is the TBL posting that appeared on the evening of September 12, 2007 – one of the most important announcements in the history of this website…

Led Zeppelin to reform for Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert:

Just back from an incredibly exciting afternoon at the official press conference to announce the reunion of Led Zeppelin.

Staged at the O2 View Cinema at just after 4pm, promoter Harvey Goldsmith unfolded the events that has

made this momentous announcement possible. Central to that of course is the late Ahmet Ertegun. This concert is a tribute to the lasting legacy of the much loved music mogul. ‘’For us’’ commented Robert Plant in the press release ‘’He WAS Atlantic -this performance stands alone as our tribute to the work and the life of our long standing friend’’

By way of introduction a few clips on the giant screen from the newly released DVD of Ahmet’s life

were screened. As the interview clips segued into Jimmy ’s White Summer solo from the Albert Hall through How Many More Times from the Danish TV and onto Achilles at Knebworth, I had shivers down the spine. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

This is what it was all about and it’s going to happen again.

Harvey went on to explain how he approached Jimmy, Robert and John earlier in the year to do this show. At first it was going to be a thirty minute slot but as Harvey explained ” They came back to me after the first rehearsals and said we don’t want to do thirty minutes…I thought ‘Oh no it’ll be one song’ – no they said… we want to do a full set…’’

Asked if this was the beginning of further reunion activity Harvey would not be drawn other that to say if they were happy within themselves then he would love to see it.

Other questions from the floor revealed that there were no plans as yet for the show to be filmed for a DVD release and that a ballot was felt to be the best way to give all fans a fair at obtaining tickets.

Throughout the proceedings, Harvey talked passionately and proudly of his past association with Zeppelin -and how honoured he was to be staging what he described as an unprecedented event.

I was able to remind Harvey Goldsmith the story of how he once asked me to take a pic with his camera of himself with Ahmet at the side of the stage before the Zep Frankfurt show in Europe 1980. He couldn’t recall if it came out (ah the curse of the Olympus Trip camera!) but hey it was a long time ago!.

Coming back across a sweltering London on the tube I could see the headline on one of the evening papers – It read ‘’Led Zep back with a whole lotta love‘’.

This is a day I and millions of others never thought possible.

Dave Lewis – September 12, 2007

So there it was – all of ten years gone – the excitement was already mounting…

As previously mentioned, I am aiming to mark the tenth anniversary of the 02 Reunion with a TBL meet in London on Sunday December 10. Nothing firmed up as yet but Julian Walker and I are looking it various options – more on this soon.


DL Diary Blog Update:

First off, can I just say a heartfelt thanks for all the amazing Birthday wishes, comments and thoughts that came my way last week – totally humbling and overwhelming. It made an old(er) man very happy…the party is over now and it’s back to work  on the forthcoming TBL issue 43 and a whole lot more… thanks again for your kindness- it’s truly an inspiration…

I was well pleased to finally take receipt of the Led Zeppelin Deus Ex Machina Seattle March 21 1975 soundboard 8 CD release – one of the all time great Zep performances – just had to have this one – so a birthday treat to myself… it will of course will be on the playlist over the next few days

Another birthday treat I was lucky enough to receive – the rare Brum Beat compilation album issued on the Dial label in 1964. I’ve been looking for this for ages – it features one of the earliest John Bonham performances on record. John is part of The Senators group who open the album with the track She’s A Mod. Many thanks to Cliff ( The Ticket Man) Hilliard for that one – thanks mate!

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn: At the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday, I was pleased to find the late great singer songwriter Lesley Duncan’s 1975 album Moon Bathing. I already have her superb Sing Children Sing and Earth Mother albums – I also could not leave the Steely Dan Reelin’ in The Years Very Best Of double album in the racks – every track a winner and a welcomed vinyl reminder of the genius of Walter and Donald. As John Lennon once wisely noted ‘’You don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it’’….thanks Darren Harte

And one final birthday treat: Another record player (you can never have too many record players in the house!) oh yes but one with a difference. This is an early 1980s Amstrad model 8060 – it looks like a normal beat box cassette and radio. The added twist is that it contains a flip down record player. I saw this in the local Mod Pod retro shop here and could not resist it.

And It sounds great…really full and punchy with clear sound separation between the close proximity of the speakers. Not something I will use for the top end items in the collection of course or 180grm vinyl, but the perfect outlet for spinning those vintage singles and albums of which I have a fair few.– fully portable so the good lady Janet can enjoy the authentic sounds of vintage vinyl if I move it into the living room!. The cassette player ( I still love cassettes) is pretty awesome too.Top result all round! Let the retro fun begin!

We had a fabulous time at  the excellent VIP Victoria Record Fair last Saturday. it was great to see Phil, Tom, Steve Livesley, Gary Foy, Ian Avey, Ian Saikia, Krys Jantzen and Cliff Hilliard. I also caught up with Ross Halfin who I had not seen for a good while. Records were purchased and a few beers drunk and many a record collecting tale told.

My best find of the day -I was very pleased to be flicking through one of the racks and see the Live Yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page album original copy on US Epic (yellow label cat number E36015 -soon to be reissued as Yardbirds ’68 via Jimmy”s website). The cover is a little worn but the record is very good – £12? I’ll take it..oh yes! The epitome of the joy of record collecting…



Here’s a pic of a very contended record collector after the excellent VIP Victoria Record Fair on Saturday: With three of my fave finds – Led Zeppelin II Canadian pressing, Live Yardbirds with Jimmy Page on US Epic and a US pressing of Led Zeppelin III – you can never have too many copies of these gems in the house…oh yes!

It’s been right back on it here this week as the party really is over. It’s now full on into completing the forthcoming issue TBL 43 – this week there’s been a lot of checking and text prep for the final few pages – still a bit of a way to go but we are getting there. As usual, there’s quite a bit of plate spinning going on here with the Evenings With book project also in need of constant attention – we are hoping to crack 1973 in the next week or so then it’s on into 1974 and 1975 and beyond. I have to say I am a little bogged down with the workload here right now with various issues to address. It’s going to be a very busy few months for sure.

Just back from the dentists where the offending rest of tooth that needed to come out has been well and truly removed. I am hoping it will not be too sore ahead as, (as many reading this know), I am not a man for keeping quiet for too long…

Dave Lewis  – September 13, 2017

Until next time –  have a great weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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YouTube clips:

Black Country Communion –  the making of BCC IV episode 1:

Black Country Communion –  the making of BCC IV episode 2:


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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:


  • Mark Williams said:

    Dave – the Hughes quote ” We’ve never had so much fun working on a BBC record ” . Shouldn’t that be a BCC record ?!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Dave!

  • Dave M said:

    A Celebration was a triumph, Dave.

    In those pre-internet days when Zep info was scarce, I read it, re-read it, and read it again!

    Looking forward to the next one.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Tiziana that’s a very nice comment!

  • Tiziana said:

    With ‘A Celebration’ it was love at first sight. I found a treasure.
    Many thanks, Dave

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