Black Country Communion Biography
Black Country Communion is an English-American hard rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2009, the band is a supergroup composed of bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes, guitarist and vocalist Joe Bonamassa, drummer Jason Bonham and keyboardist Derek Sherinian. Originally formed by Hughes and Bonamassa with the help of producer Kevin Shirley, the group released its self-titled debut album in September 2010. Second album Black Country Communion 2 followed in June 2011, which was promoted on a European tour later in the year. The band released its third album Afterglow in October 2012.
Following an impromptu performance together in Los Angeles, Hughes and Bonamassa started the side project in November 2009, recruiting Bonham and Sherinian on the advice of Shirley to finalise the lineup of the band. The name Black Country Communion is derived from the term Black Country, which refers to the West Midlands area of England where Hughes and Bonham grew up. The group’s sound is intentionally reminiscent of popular classic rock groups of the 1970s, reflecting the previous work of frontman Hughes (in bands such as Trapeze and Deep Purple) as well as the link between Bonham and his father John’s band Led Zeppelin.
In March 2013, after months of public tensions, Bonamassa announced that he was no longer a member of Black Country Communion, with the question over whether the group would continue with another guitarist unclear. Days later, Hughes confirmed that the band was officially over, hinting that he would continue working with Bonham and Sherinian under a new collective name. Sherinian later joined Bonamassa’s touring band, while Hughes and Bonham formed California Breed with guitarist Andrew Watt. In April 2016, the band announced that it would be reuniting in 2017 after Hughes and Bonamassa reconciled, with a fourth album planned.
As a supergroup, Black Country Communion’s style is often described as a mix of various different sounds and influences. Particular significance is attributed to the band’s mix of blues rock (attributed primarily to Bonamassa’s work within the genre) and hard rock (originating from Hughes’s previous work with Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, and from Bonham’s tie with Led Zeppelin via his father John), with some critics going as far as to claim that the group’s sound is based on “the vintage Deep Purple template”. In reviews for the band’s second album, a number of critics compared the sound of the group to that of Led Zeppelin.
Traditionally, the writing processes for Black Country Communion’s albums have been led by Hughes, who wrote the majority of the lyrics for both Black Country Communion and Black Country Communion 2. The majority of the music on Black Country Communion was composed by Hughes and Bonamassa, with Shirley increasing his composition presence for the second album.Noting the extensive touring commitments of Bonamassa, Hughes has claimed that he was “left as the keeper of the keys to write [the band’s] albums”, noting that for each record – which have been continuations of their predecessors – he has had more and more time to write material (six weeks for Black Country Communion, four months for Black Country Communion 2, six months for Afterglow). Bonham has described the band’s writing style as “spur of the moment”.
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