Black Country Communion
The term ‘supergroup’ is used to describe a collection of musicians who are technically proficient at his or her craft, have vast knowledge about music and the field, and when combined unleash an incredible force of music unrivaled by many others in similar genres. Talented rock and blues musicians joined forces to create the exceptional supergroup Black Country Communion. The collection includes Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), John Bonham (Foreigner and Led Zeppelin Experience), Derek Sherinian (Planet X), and of course blues guitar icon, Joe Bonamassa.
The band came to fruition after Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa met at the 2006 large music trade event NAMM in Anaheim. After getting together, the collaboration seemed natural and talks about future progression began. Bonamassa’s producer Kevin Shirley suggested using drummer Jason Bonham who appeared on Bonamassa’s album You & Me and the talented Derek Sherinian on keyboards. Their debut performance occurred right after a Bonamassa show in 2010. Based on the warm reactions they received from the crowd, the band realized their great potential and went full speed into the recording studio.
Eight years after the band’s inception, Black Country Communion is exploding back on the scene with their fourth studio album set to release in in September this year. The resurgence of BCC establishes the notion that great Rock and Roll music is not dead and continues to thrive.
Now, let’s take a closer look into the sensationally talented musicians who make up Black Country Communion.
Glenn Hughes is a quintessential rock musician. He is always front and center on a stage, has great vocal capabilities, and is the life of every party. Hughes was born in Staffordshire, England in 1952. At a young age, Hughes gravitated toward music and found inspiration in many genres like RnB, Soul, Motown, and early British Rock. After unsuccessful ventures with various groups, Hughes help co-find the band Trapeze in 1969 when he was only seventeen years old. The group saw some commercial success and the members are now known as some of the pioneers of funk-rock music. His position in Trapeze helped to establish him in the mainstream music world as a talented singer and bassist. After recording three studio albums with the band, Hughes left in 1973 when he was asked to replace bassist Roger Glover in the widely popular rock band Deep Purple. This was his biggest claim to fame and helped propel him into the limelight. With the departure of both their guitarist and lead singer, the remaining members decided to continue with Hughes on bass and co-lead vocals with unknown heavy belter David Coverdale. Any doubt about the fate of Deep Purple was officially stomped out in 1974 with the release of Burn which still remains one of their best albums. After recording three studio albums, the members of Deep Purple decided to disband due to persistent drug issues, in 1976.
After Deep Purple’s breakup, Hughes decided to head out on his own and began a solo career, releasing his debut album in 1977. Throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s Hughes performed with his solo act as well as many other musicians. His next bigger break however, came in 1986 when he collaborated with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi on his album Seventh Star. The album was released as a Black Sabbath record due to contractual agreements with the record label.
Glenn had been suffering from addiction for many years which greatly affected his life in many ways. By 1991, he had dramatically turned his life around and was on the path to full sobriety. With a new and positive outlook on the future, he dove head first back into his music which acted as another form of therapy for him. Throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s, Hughes played with various artists and continued to compose many original songs. By the time he met Joe Bonamassa and formed Black Country Communion, the front man was back to full form and ready to continue his music career. Now, Hughes remains busy touring, recording, and writing in various groups and for his solo project. He was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the MKIII version of Deep Purple. After the five-year hiatus from BCC, he was more than excited to join forces with Joe and the gang again and revitalize pure classic rock music.
Our parents are usually our first heroes and we strive to be like them and follow in their footsteps. For Jason Bonham, he was always destined to be like his father and has honored him in many great ways. His dad of course was the legendary drummer of Led Zeppelin, John Bonham. Since the time when Jason was old enough to hold himself up and sit on a throne, his father was teaching him the basics of the drums and molding him into the successful musician he is today. Tragically, John Bonham passed away when his son was only fourteen years old. Jason idolized his father and was always meant to sit behind a drum kit just like him. He joined his first band at seventeen and by twenty-two, he was already jamming with his father’s old bandmates, appearing on tour with Jimmy Page and at a 40th Anniversary Concert for Atlantic Records. Throughout the years, Bonham has been the drummer for many various projects and musicians including a five-year stint with Foreigner, appearing on a few of their studio albums and on various tours. He has also played with musicians like Paul Rodgers, Slash, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, and many others!
Jason Bonham even began a Led Zeppelin Experience group that pays tribute to his father and the music-changing rock group Led Zeppelin. The shows are incredible, with non-stop great music and touching memories of his talented dad. Bonham brings his great skill and musicianship to Black Country Communion and is a great asset to have in the group.
Oftentimes, keyboardists in rock groups do not get the recognition they deserve and get cast aside as supporting members in the band. This surely isn’t the case with Black Country Communion’s Derek Sherinian. Born in 1966 in California, he started playing piano, like many kids do, at age 5, and quickly became enamored by music. He later went on to Berkley College where he met musicians who would go one to have successful careers. Sherinian had technical proficiency at the piano that not many rock keyboardists possessed. He began touring and recording with many musicians and revieved his first major opportunity with shock-rocker Alice Cooper in 1989. This later propelled him into the progressive metal band Dream Theater where he remained until 1999 and gave him many more opportunities.
Sherinian is eerily talented and a lot of fun to watch on stage. He utilizes the keyboard and its functions in amazing ways and has become “one of the most coveted keyboard artists in the industry.” He adapts to whatever situation he is in and helps push the music to new and unexplored levels. This is why he is the perfect individual for Black Country Communion. The raw and unrelenting talent of everyone involved sets them apart from any other rock group in the scene right now!