Friday, March 19, 2010

Jason Bonham joins new band for public debut, sans official name

Joe Bonamassa used his solo concert in Riverside, Calif., on March 17 to debut the band formerly known as Black Country, which also consists of singer/bassist Glenn Hughes, keyboardist Derek Sherinian and drummer Jason Bonham.

Their now-unnamed group -- the reasons why that is the case after the jump -- performed two songs at the guitarist's solo gig at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium.

One is titled "One Last Soul," and the other was the Deep Purple cover "Mistreated."

Coming this Monday on A preview of the latest solo offering from Joe Bonamassa, Black Rock, in stores Tuesday.
Why the Band Name Has Been Dropped

An article appearing in the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 17 had John Paul Jones complaining about the dearth of good band names that are still available. "Every other name is taken," he said in an interview. "Think of a great band name and Google it, and you'll find a French-Canadian jam band with a MySpace page."

Before he was involved with Them Crooked Vultures, whose name is meaningless and was nobody's first choice, Jones almost formed a band with Jason Bonham, and they would have faced trouble naming their band. That's what Bonham is experiencing now, since the band name decided upon for his new project was already claimed.

For one, Black Country is the name of an act in the southwest United Kingdom that has had a MySpace page since May 13, 2008.

There's also an indie rock group based out of the Washington, D.C., area that created a MySpace page on July 18, 2008.

Addressing the controversy in a Feb. 27 article published by Undercover in Australia is guitarist Joe Bonamassa. "There is a band already called Black Country and their legal representatives have already reminded us of that fact," said Bonamassa.

It is unclear whether or not either of the two Black Country bands on MySpace prompted Bonamassa's band to drop its name.

The now-nameless collaboration of Bonamassa, Bonham, Hughes and Sherinian has spent part of this month with producer Kevin Shirley completing the recording of their first disc.

They had picked the name "Black Country" because it is the name of the area in England from which both Bonham and Hughes hail.

The first public disclosure of their intended band name was in an article published by Spinner on Jan. 13. In the article, contributor Steve Baltin relays comments Jason Bonham made backstage at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. He discusses "a new project with a working title of Black Country" and mentions Bonamassa and Hughes by name. It's the first mention by any of the band members of their identities or any project title.

Within a week, Bonamassa's record label, J&R Adventures, issued a press release confirming the band name as Black Country.

Bonamassa now says this was all premature. From the Undercover article:
Bonamassa tells Undercover that the name was never have meant to have been made public when it was. "It jumped out of the gun. It got leaked inadvertently and it has spread like wildfire," he tells Undercover. "It wasn't anybody's fault, it just got leaked. Somebody overheard a conversation. The definition of overhearing a conversation is putting it online and acting if its fact."

It's unclear exactly how it was "leaked inadvertently" and who "overheard a conversation" in this situation. Spinner's Steve Baltin did not reply to requests from to comment on the matter.

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