The Fourth Communion

Bruce Von Stiers

Supergroups don't often come about. Some put together an album and concert tour and then fizzle out. But a select few have members who go on and do other things, then the group re-emerges even better than they were before. One supergroup that falls into the latter category is Black Country Communion. They recently released their fourth studio album. And it is fantastic.

The band formed nine years ago. It features Glenn Hughes on vocals and bass guitar. Joe Bonamassa does vocals and plays guitar. Jason Bonham is on drums and percussion. And Derek Sherinian is on keyboards. Glenn is known for doing lead vocals for Deep Purple and having been the front man for Black Sabbath for a bit. The son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, Jason has worked with a number of bands and artists over the years. He also has toured internationally with the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience. Derek has toured and recorded with a who's who of top rock artists including Alice Cooper, Billy Idol and Kiss. Opening for B.B. King at age 12, Joe has cut a swath through the music world, recording in excess of 15 solo albums over the last decade and a half. He has played alongside people such as Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy.

There is nothing fancy about the title for this new album by the group. As it is the fourth album, the title is BCCIV. It was produced by Kevin Shirley, whose previous credits including producing albums from Joe Satriani, Beth Hart, The Black Crows and Journey. Roy Weisman, who is has been around the music industry for quite a while, and is Joe Bonamassa's manager, was the executive producer for the album. It was engineered by Jared Kvitka, who also did the engineering on a recent Mindi Abair album that I reviewed. He was helped out by Bo Bodnar and Cramer Helton.

The album has ten songs and lasts a full hour. It was released by J &R Adventures, Joe Bonamassa's record label. All of the songs on the album were written by Joe Bonamassa and Glenn Hughes.

I received the physical CD version of the album. That brought an extra perk with it. The CD jewel case insert has the song lyrics. And, not only that, Glenn and Joe added notes for each song detailing where the ideas for it came from.

The first song, Collide, is a solid rock anthem. I can't say enough about the killer rock guitar in the song. And Glenn's vocals were pretty decent too.

A solid rock groove can be found in Over My Head. It is has a head bopping beat and slick vocals.

Probably my favorite song on the album is The Last Song For My Resting Place. It is a fantastic ballad with vocals by Joe and a guest appearance on fiddle by Gerry O'Connor. In the middle of the song is a super killer riff that is reminiscent of Glenn's Deep Purple days. Joe's inspiration for the song stemmed from the violinist and band leader for the Titanic who stayed on board and played for the other passengers as they departed the ship. As Joe wrote in his note for the song, these days you probably wouldn't have someone do that.

Another cool anthem is Sway. It has a slick guitar base.

Glenn's note on The Cove is about his love for dolphins and what horrific deaths they encounter. It is a tough ballad with solid guitar and almost aching vocals.

Things pick back up with The Crow. Fast paced guitar and cool drums.

Wanderlust is a song that has cool rock guitar and styling that made me think of a cross between U2 and The Police with some Deep Purple thrown in.

Love Remains is a nice ballad Glenn wrote in remembrance of his parents.

Awake begins fast and furious. It slows down a bit for a solid anthem styling with super cool guitar.

When The Morning Comes is the song that closes the album. It is a ballad with terrific guitar, great vocals, drums and key work.

The style and tone of rock music has changed over time. But some of the music of 70's and 80's rock has definitely had its influence on certain bands. And since Glenn Hughes played a part in some of the music from that era, it stands to reason that the music he writes and performs reflects those days. Throwing in top notch rockers like Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian makes this a great band. And adding in one of my favorite guitarists, Joe Bonamassa, gives this band one hell of an extra boost. The four members make up a rock supergroup that would be hard to duplicate. This new album, BCCIV, is a fantastic example that rock music is still alive and kicking.

The official site for Black Country Communion is www.bccommunion.com . They also have a band page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bccommunion/

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© 2018 Bruce E Von Stiers