Saturday, September 4, 2010

Black Country Communion not afraid to jam on debut album

As the debut album from Black Country Communion is released later this month, fans will hear extensive jamming amid the 13 songs that span this 76-minute CD featuring Jason Bonham on drums. On a few of the tracks, the song sounds like it is about to end, but then somebody plays or sings something that pretty soon has everybody else jamming along, effectively giving the song a second life so that the track continues for another few minutes.

Glenn Hughes photo by Robert M. Knight
"This band is a live band, [and] the album was recorded live," said lead singer and bassist Glenn Hughes in an interview for Lemon Squeezings. "The reason why these songs sort of go on a little bit and there's that vibe of that, I don't know, psychedelia, whatever you want to call it -- it's just that we wanted to let it run ... like we used to do in the '70s. It was kind of that way, you know. We didn't want it wrapped up in a pretty little box. It wanted to be a little rough around the edges, so this is what we get."

One fine example of this is on a song called "Sista Jane." Hughes doesn't deny it sounds like your prototypical AC/DC song. He's stated before that he believes this disc will hold up well in CD collections against classics like Back in Black. When I even mention my AC/DC comparison on the phone to him, he gives me an "Oh, absolutely, yeah." I tell him his voice sounds like Sammy Hagar's on the same tune, that Joe Bonamassa's guitar first sounds like Randy Bachman on the Guess Who's "American Woman" and later sounds more long the lines of Cream's "Crossroads," and that the song ends just short of organist Derek Sherinian leading them into "Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who.

At my mention of this last comparison, Hughes interjects, "Yeah, I was a bit concerned about that. I said to Derek, 'That might be going a little too far.' But, you know, it's kind of a tip of the hat."

Hughes spoke about his relationship with the late John Bonham, who used to drive him to his gigs with the band Trapeze and would even sit in from time to time. In doing so, Bonham would drum on the Trapeze song "Medusa," which Black Country Communion re-recorded for the debut album. "It's kind of crazy now to have both Bonhams play on that track," says Hughes. "I've known Jason since he didn't remember me when he was two or three years old."

Black Country Communion's official YouTube channel features some behind-the-scenes footage from the recording of the album. Here's the making of their song "The Great Divide," beginning with Hughes suggesting what one part should sound like, followed by producer Kevin Shirley urging them to give it a try.

The U.K.'s Planet Rock radio station dedicates its 6:00 hour tonight to Black Country Communion, premiering a behind-the-scenes audio documentary with exclusive interviews with the band plus some tracks from the album. In addition, the hour will include some songs from the album, which is to be released Sept. 20 in the U.K. and Sept. 21 in the U.S. As if that's not enough reason to listen, Planet Rock's website says the hour will also include "a very (VERY) special announcement about the band during the special on Saturday." Listen online at 1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific by tuning in to If you miss it the first time, it repeats Thursday at 11 p.m. GMT/6 p.m. Eastern/3 p.m. Pacific.


  1. Gee Steve, What did you use to record the interview? A $20 dollar cassett recorder from Kmart with a ceramic Mic?


  2. It was a phone interview recorded using Google Voice.

  3. Dead right on Sista Jane - sounds like an amalgamation of What Do You Do For Money Honey/Have a Drink on Me/Givin' The Dog a Bone. Not a bad track though.


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