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More about Black Country from Hughes and Bonamassa

Glenn Hughes did an interview about his new band, Black Country, with the blog Rock Guitar Daily.

We’re as bombastic as The Who, and as bluesy as Free, but we are doing some different kinds of things in terms of structure, and tempo: 7/8, 6/8, even 5/8 time, so it’s not just a few chords and out. Joe’s just written a song that is just blowing me away. He sings a couple, I sing a bunch, and there’s a few where we’re both singing. We originally had figured mid 2011 for the release, but here we are we’ve got it written, we’ll have it tracked by the middle of March, around the 17th, and we should be done with vocals, and some overdubbing by April the 10th, just before Easter. So, it makes sense for it to come out sooner and now it should be out around September of this year.

In an interview with Dinosaur Rock Guitar, Joe Bonamassa also talks a bit about Black Country.

DRG: So tell me a bit about The Black Country.
JB: Oh yeah. Here’s the thing. My friend Glenn Hughes and I and Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian are all friends. Glenn and I have been talking about doing something together. What I didn’t want it to be was some half-hearted Bona-Hughes weekend blues record, you know. If we’re gonna do this let’s do it right and start a band. Kevin Shirley got involved. He was like, call Jason and see if he’s interested. We didn’t wanna do a power-trio because it’s been done before and we didn’t want people to think we were some Cream sort of thing. So, let’s get a keyboard player. So we got Sherinian and he’s fantastic. The whole thing really worked from start to finish. We have five tracks in the can right now and we’re gonns do another five in March. We’re gonna see how it goes. People ask when we’re gonna tour. I don’t know, we don’t have a record yet! What do you sound like? I don’t know, we don’t have a record yet. Everybody’s got a day job. Black Country is not something I’m doing 24/7. I mean I have commitments to the album I just made, commitments to 22 people that work with me on a regular basis. I have to maintain these commitments, and I have to write songs for The Black Country and we have a session booked in March. So, we’ll know in the next few months really where we stand. We’re gonna finish this thing in a few months, come hell or high water, and everybody’s committed to that, and we’ll see how it goes. What it’s NOT gonna be, is Zeppelin II, Burn and whatever Dream Theater you wanna pin it to, or whatever Joe Bonamassa record that might be worthy of pinning it to. It’s not gonna be that, it’s gonna be its own entity and it’s very heavy rock. It’s a heavy rock record, but it’s not gonna be done with cleaner guitars, it’s not done with tons of synths. It’s really organic and represents everybody’s inputs. It’s some really exciting songs and the cool thing it’s gonna be an all original record with the exception of maybe a couple of things we may do for fun. It’ll be its own entity and something we can be proud of. It’s no sense in rushing something out that we’re not proud of and all happy with.

DRG: Cool! So what’s your approach when recording this?
JB: I’m playing a Gibson Explorer and a Les Paul with a couple of old Super Leads, really stripped down approach. Nothing majestic. So what if the guitar stutters a bit in the solo, so what if it’s clean but it’s heavy? Heavy-handed old school, you know. Glenn’s the primary singer and I’m happy to let him do it, coz if you’ve got Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen cooking for you, why the hell would you wanna make the salad? He’s fucking brilliant! So, at the end of the day it’s like, I have no ego, I’d be happy to just play rhythms! I think people will be pleasantly surprised at the level of writing and the level of care going into it. I’m excited about it! I however don’t wanna over-hype it. I’m not that happy the rumour is out. My thing is more – here’s the record, enjoy it or not. There’s no pretence going on. It’s like the LA rumours – This is gonna be bigger than bread! No, it’s not. People still need bread, they don’t need this fucking record. So, calm down, let us be creative and let us do our jobs. It won’t come out if it sucks.

18 Comments to “More about Black Country from Hughes and Bonamassa”:

  1. 1
    Stevie D. says:

    Stop talkin and start recording music.
    So calm down, be creative and do your job.

  2. 2
    Jeffs says:

    With this pedigree, Black country promises something really special:)

  3. 3
    Peter says:

    I find myself actually getting excited about this project. Way to go Glenn! (I hope….)

  4. 4
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    The highlight of this interview IMO is this…..

    Joe says:
    “We’re gonna see how it goes. People ask when we’re gonna tour. I don’t know, we don’t have a record yet! What do you sound like? I don’t know, we don’t have a record yet.”

    Would have been great if ‘OTR’ had taken the same approach. Do it right. Put out a record FIRST of New Material. Then go out and tour it.

    This one I am really looking forward to. Maybe someday, OTR will man-up and go legit…


  5. 5
    T says:

    The key passage is:

    “It’s a heavy rock record, but it’s not gonna be done with cleaner guitars, it’s not done with tons of synths.”

  6. 6
    Nixwisser says:

    Hi Tracy,

    that will not happen. OTR is about money, BC is about music. And that’s a big difference.

    Sad but true

  7. 7
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I have to admit I kinda agree with you Tracy.

    I loved the show I witnessed and thought the OTR guys really delivered live based on several shows done with Tony Carey and Paul Morris.

    But OTR has been going for quite a while now and I wish by now recording proceedings would have been possible.

    I dont know what they are planning or doing right now.
    A few shows have been planned, again also overhere although a bit far away from me, and JLT is doing SOLO gigs as well.

    I dont know what to think of it.

    I thought ON STAGE the chemistry was there…..

    And chemistry is everything.
    Without THE BLOOD nothing will happen or succeed or just end in a hilarious and annoying scene.

    Right now Dutch Governmment are in the last phase and in FULL CRISIS
    Still trying to keep it together, afraid for elections maybe, they behave emberassingly.

    Talking about CHEMISTRY……

    Is the new album by DP something to look forward to ?
    All the SUGGESTED CHEMISTRY have not led to a abundance of mindblowing records.

    Gillan cant pull the hairs out of his skull in sheer desperation anymore.
    The long manes, like his opera like figure, are gone.
    Does he still have the strenght to do something REALLY POWERFULL or has he lost it like Samson?

    I suppose he had his teeth done, so nothing there to pull ….?

    What about that Lord remark that he might write something for them?
    They might as well ask Ritchie too!!!

    I m gonna try a course in burglary and steal all the left over material by Blackers
    All that potentially dangerous and exiting stuff is now rotting in his shed
    Meanwhile Mister Darkages with a touch of ABBA is still gone cuckoo glazing in the fires of Carols hell.

    Ritchie, WAKE UP!!!!!

    I have loads of sleep triggering music now.

    Thank you.

    Not worthy, yours truly……

    And greetings from my cave….


  8. 8
    Larry Toering says:

    Know any good labels ‘looking’ to sign ‘OTR’ Tracy? I think they’re in a pretty compromising position.

  9. 9
    purpelianpurist says:

    So, at last, like a prodigy child, ol’Glenn is back to plain simple rock’n’roll, which is what he does best since the Burn years. Just like Mr. Blackmore, look at’im… a great but spoiled funk guitar player. I mean, anything meaning Glenn coming back to r’n’r sounds great to me. It’s a bit of a paranoia trip but that’s the way it is. Mr. Lord, I dunno…. perhaps in his former life he was an orchestra director or something. Not bad what he does now…

  10. 10
    Mark Zutkoff says:

    When they say some musical group will be “bigger than bread”, I think they’re really saying it’ll be “bigger than the 70s group Bread”. Of course, the bar might not be all that high then, but the statement is liable to be true.

    I really wish they could post even a rough mix of one or two songs so we can get some notion of what they sound like.

    The name could use a bit of work, too. Don’t want to see it confused with “Big Country” or any of the other zillion bands that start with “Black”. Still, I wouldn’t want it to be BBHS or something like that. Maybe use the first names? DerGlJaJo?

  11. 11
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    Larry, I am not in the Biz, so I have no clue who is will to sign a Tribute Band. Had they started off as did ‘Black Country’ and went with Original stuff tied to their Rainbow Tribute, there may have been hope for a record deal, but at this point it would be pointless.

    Make a Record and see if a Record Company buys them. JLT puts out solo stuff with no problem, surely they would have bought into a Real band had he put it out there instead of just using Rainbow as the selling point for a tour. He doesn’t sell tickets on his own, but had he done the OTR thing as an original band First which the Rainbow Connection, I believe it would have flown, but ‘That Bird has Flown the Coup’. Now it is too late.


  12. 12
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Hi Tracy

    Do YOU sell tickets out on your own?

    IMO OTR still could do albums, why not?
    Why should they do it YOUR way?

    Ofcourse I d be A BIT dissappointed if they dont do albums but hey…..In the meantime I saw the band in great form and espescially JLT!!!!

    DP MK 8 are like you agreed dissappointing in output as well, but they have started with Morse 16 Years ago!!!!!

    Times are different as well and people like OTR have less money than the Purps to realise an album.
    Or not?
    Times in that perspect have changed a long time ago as well.

    Unlike in ancient times almost evryone can record good quality in limited situations.

    You cant force people into buying ofcourse.

    Cheers, Mark

  13. 13
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    Mark I don’t sell tickets….I don’t go out on tour…

    You seem so stubborn regarding ignoring simple points. JLT puts out Solo records….(even Covers Records….hence “Under Cover and Under Cover 2). Why didn’t he do that with OTR? Because he thought he could just cash in on the Rainbow Covers Tribute act instead, that’s why. Please don’t compare them to Purple…..that’s when you become irrational. Yeah I know, OTR do a great job with those covers. As they should. I’ve listened to some quality boots and admit they are doing a great Tribute. Again, I can listen to old Rainbow shows or the studio versions. What would be respectful and definitely would be a big deal in the Purple circuit would be for them to release and LP.

    I would love to see that.


  14. 14
    beardawg says:

    I just wish Ian Gillian and Tony Iommi would do and album together agian….This time have Roger Glover on bass also!….But I am looking foward to Black Country! Can’t wait! I love Glenn Hughes music and especially Joe Bonnamassa; I have 5 cd’s of his music! It will be a heck of a cd!

  15. 15
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Again the same old discussion.

    But ok, here we go again…..

    Comparing with DP is NOT irrational because that outfit lacks MAIN FOUNDERS Blackmore and Lord whereas OTR consists of 4 ex members of Rainbow exl Ritchie.

    Both play mainly OLD material.

    OTR has just started and misses the GREAT BRAIN of COMPOSER Blackmore.

    DP has severely dissappointed both pro and anti Morse people by producing a small number of studio albums in 16 years!!!!!

    Its appearantly difficult to do more albums WITHOUT the Man In Black.
    How many good ideas they have, its not enough to produce enough ace material ON THEIR OWN.
    And on the other hand, they have kept on relying on OLD MATERIAL on stage.

    2 I love to see an OTR album as well but its nonsense to use that as the old stick again and again.

    Again, why would they do it your way?!


    JLT did more than solo albums.
    He also did a KILLER album with Malmsteen 3 cds with Mothers Army and guested with great vocals on the Brazen Abbot albums.

    Why dont you go out on tour?

  16. 16
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:


    I don’t go out on tour because I don’t pretend to be what I am not. I was in a covers band that played Pubs and Bars for a Hobby while I had a Real Job for my lifestyle. Never pretended to be anything else. I do love music and have been a Purple fan for over 40 years. Though music is my passion, besides hunting and fishing, I love to listen, watch and learn. I also indulge in doing it myself, but for self gratification. Not to the point whereby I am thinking about a future in it. Too late for that.

    But, when I see those that had their moment and keep on living in it while it has left the stage, I have only to express myself as the backseat quarterback whom knows about the crash that is awaiting around the corner….Like a Death Alley Driver…..


  17. 17
    Bert says:

    It will be an average album that noones buys and after that a few gigs. A few months later the “band” will desintegrate in a puff of smoke.
    As always with anything GH….lots of words but what really comes?
    How do you all fall for this man still…..I never get it.

  18. 18
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 17

    I do not where you come from.

    Your name reminds me of 2 people I know with the same name.

    Could it be a case of sour grapes or am I confusing you with someone else?

    Anyway, TASTE is ofcourse always an issue.
    You r free to dislike Glenn musically in whatever degree or feel personally angry from the viewpoint he fucked up Deep Purple way back.

    Maybe you could despise him because of his drug but thats way in the past, well I certainly hope so?

    IMHO the mans talents are not that questionable as you suggest.

    The only real frustration lies in the fact that he overindulges in “the shrieking department”.

    Apart from that the man shows the ability to make versatile music in a way which ought to be “something” for every DP fan to respect and like.

    One of the main traits of DP was and is that they educated and triggered me to explore vast horizons of music.
    This complemented my thirst for knowledge in other areas.

    Get the FUNK out and ROCK on!!!!

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