By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
I said it before, and I will say it again, I like supergroups. Members of different bands coming together to create an all-star group. One of my favorites, back in my college days, was a group called Black Country Communion. They are a band out of Los Angeles, Calif., that features members that come from all over the rock spectrum. The group consists of bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze), blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa, keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), and drummer Jason Bonham, son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham. This collective group brought some of the best mixtures of hard rock and blues rock, sounding like a band you would hear from the 1970s. They put out three studio albums between 2009 and 2013, before disbanding due to tensions between Bonamassa and Hughes. It shocked me, for I never saw them live, so I did not think that would ever happen. Then in 2016, they patched things up and are now releasing their new creation, BCC IV.
What I liked about this group was how Hughes’ soulful vocals went together nicely with Bonamassa’s heavy blues riff. From what I heard on BCC IV, the magic is still there. Starting with “Collide,” the band blasts off, with a hard rock boogie. Hughes sings with gusto, confident in his abilities that have earned him the nickname, ‘Mr. Rock ‘N’ Roll.’ Bonamassa is arguably one of the greatest blues rock guitarists out there. If it were not for his sick melodies and solos, I do not think Black Country Communion would be the same. It is like his guitar is on fire; white flames, filled with harmonies. Each of their songs filled a combination of blues, funk, soul, and hard rock; that classic rock sound, one would hear on the radio. Sherinian is like the Beethoven of the rock ‘n’ roll world, creating arrangements on the keyboards, that match the styles of Bonamassa guitar performance. In “Sway,” his composition matches up perfectly with the axe man’s riffs. Bonham is his father’s son, whamming on the drums with distinction and self-confidence. He can play with aggression and subtly.
All four of these proficient musicians nailed each tune with aptitude. They do an array of songs that range from radio oriented hits like “Over My Head” and “Sway,” to impromptu jam sessions you hear in “The Last Song for My Resting Place,” “Wanderlust,” and “When the Morning Comes.” My favorite is “Wanderlust” because the musicianship was full of wonder. I forgot to mention, that Hughes is a badass bass player, playing soulful riffs like I heard when he whipped up a bass solo on “The Crow.” Speaking of “The Crow,” that song features stellar solos by not only Hughes, but also Bonamassa and Sherinian.
As I said before, Black Country Communion still has the magic to make a superior album. BCC IV is an album that has it all, and then some. It was produced by their long-time producer Kevin Shirley, who has not missed a step, in crafting their perfect sound. Their album cover features a phoenix, which symbolizes rebirth. It makes sense because the band has risen from the ashes, ready to start anew. Rejoice, for Black Country Communion is back! To BCC, I salute you. Horns up!!! 10/10
2. Over My Head
3. The Last Song For My Resting Place
5. The Cove
6. The Crow
8. Love Remains
10. When The Morning Comes
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