Black Country Communion's

Afterglow

bcc3

 

The first public interplay between Joe Bonamassa and Glenn Hughes was at Guitar Center's, King of the Blues Finals, where they performed Medusa (Trapeze, 1970). It was Kevin Shirley, producer for Joe's solo career, who had the idea to form a band around these two musicians--a side project of sorts. And in 2009, a newly formed super-group consisted of Glenn Hughes vocals, bass; Joe Bonamassa vocals, guitar; Jason Bonham backing vocals, drums; and Derek Sherinian on keyboards.

Fresh out of the studio, where they had been recording their first album, the band played two songs, "Mistreated" and "One Last Soul," at Bonamassa’s solo gig on March 17, 2010 in Riverside, California. I recall watching Mistreated, and being utterly amazed by Glenn's scorching vocals and Joe's potent rock riffs! The band was tight, and sounded as though they'd been working together for years. They were high powered, yet controlled. There was that "spark" and "wow" factor inherent to rock 'n roll. I knew instantly, "I'm a fan."

Thus, it is the culmination of intense melodies, rolling and thunderous drum strikes, extended guitar solos and robust keyboard swells off "Black Country"(2010) or "2" (2011) which transport me back to the 70s for some head-on, pump-your-fist, angst rock 'n roll.

I recently had the privilege to preview "Afterglow." This is BCC's third album in three years, due out October 30, 2012.

Without interruption, I intently listened to the 11 tracks and jotted down my initial impressions. On the second play through, I got up and moved about my home to encounter the music differently. Today, after a one week hiatus, I've returned to this project to write the following:

Afterglow is a solid collection of compositions, with the lyrics to all, but two tracks, written by Glenn Hughes. The other two were co-written by Hughes and Jason Bonham. He has said his writing is based on personal experience and that rock fans are intelligent and want real life stories and not just a “guy and girl shagging.” He also stated there is a new mix here which “does not step outside the genre.” Bonamassa has remarked on how the previous recordings bordered on "heavy metal” and how the band wanted to get back to more of that 70s classic rock sound.

Nevertheless, I can't help but feel this particular recording comes across as more of a Glenn Hughes solo album (which, I’ve just learned after reading Classic Rock’s album review was the original direction for these songs) and less like Black Country Communion. On two numbers, I hear similarities to Hughes' 2005 solo project "Soul Mover", wherein Dave Navarro plays lead guitar.

For me, the divergence from heavier rock melodies heard on "Black Country," "Beggarman" or "The Great Divide" (to name a few) is too noticeable, and those key BCC nuances like Jason's thunderous drum work on "Crossfire" or Glenn's signature bass on "Beggarman" are missing. And where are Joe's EXTENDED, JAW-DROPPING guitar solos of "Song of Yesterday," "Save Me," or "I Can See Your Spirit?" Despite it all, I know I will come to love this album.

Afterglow

Produced by Kevin Shirley

Released on J&R Adventures, Mascot Music

October 30, 2012

Track by Track

Track 1: "Big Train." I was immediately struck by the dissimilarity to I and II, even though the track opens with an "in your face" rock riff. I found Glenn's vocals tempered, sounding too much like Sammy Hagar. Joe's guitar solo is dialed back.

Track 2: "This Is Your Time." The melody reminds me of Glenn's "Soul Mover.” It has a good groove. Joe's solo was solid and short.

Track 3: "Midnight Sun." The intro is strong with a definite Who keyboard and drum flavor. Joe's solo is reminiscent of "Beggarman" and a terrific number.

Track 4: "Confessor."  This is the first track where I feel BCC truly comes alive. It's strong, jamming, with solid guitar/keyboard solos. The band members have all commented about being fans of Paul Rodgers' band, Free. Joe has personally stated he models his singing and phrasing style after Paul's, discernible on The Battle for Hadrian's Wall and here on.

Track 5; "Cry Freedom." On webisode 4, fans can see Glenn and Joe share the microphone.  Joe's slide work is impressive on this standout piece.

Track 6: "Afterglow" is the centerpiece and showcases Glenn’s tender vocals, set against Joe's guitar swells, it's a wonderful arrangement.

Track 7: "Dandelion" opens with a driving drum/guitar intro and even though Joe's solo is shorter than desired, it's substantial.

Track 8: "The Circle." The guitar solo reminds me of Joe's dazzling work on "Save Me," "Cold" and "Song of Yesterday."

Track 9: "Common Man." This is very good, with multiple keyboard, drum and guitar solos.

Track 10: "The Giver."  I like this one a lot.

Track 11: The closing song, "The Crawl," is my favorite, with its massive amounts of Zeppelin-ish keyboard licks, wherein Derek really shines. It was recorded for BCC 2, but didn't make that album cut. It's nasty and dark, by far the most iron-clad, BCC-sounding number on the album.

To order the album click here.  

For more on Black Country Communion, you can preview this record on their website, click here.

Yours in music,

DebFromMaine

 

 

 

From Brooklyn based, indie electronic pop artists, OF CLOCKS AND CLOUDS.

Art music from this band was tweeted out to us last week. With a big 80's vibe and thoughtful, yet twisted, lyrics, can you say this music is for the birds?

We are obviously big fans of feathered creatures around here, we say, call the tune, ramble on, celebrate the freedom of music!

 ofclocksandclouds

After the Aftermath.

Released 17 January 2011

Music and Lyrics by Joe Salgo
Featuring Kira McCarthy

http://ofclocksandclouds.bandcamp.com/track/birds-featuring-kira-mccarthy

BIRDS

When you get to where you're going
Forgetting already where you've been.
And so the voices seem to tell
Exactly when and where to chime in.
To fulfill the absolute most,
And to stand out from the herd.
I'll try my best- but still
Those goddamn Birds.

Birds keep spinning around my head
And they're driving me insane- HELP ME BABY!!!
Birds keep swimming around my bed
And they're driving me in-sane!!!

So many notions to run full speed
into this human race of defeat.
Attempt to deliver on a consistent basis to society.
Try not to pay attention to the voices
Deep from within and above.
Live comfortably underneath your own limitations.
Cover yourself, if you can,
in the SHADOW of the ones you love.

Birds keep spinning around my head
And they're driving me insane- HELP ME BABY!!!
Birds keep swimming around my bed
And they're driving me in-sane!!!

Go above and beyond your nearest and dearest dreams and hopes.
Build a better, bigger life.
Develop your mind, your body, your spirit.
Don't size yourself up to other people!!
Breathe within yourself.
Challenges will always arise.
Be mindful of wearing your DISGUISE.

Birds keep spinning around my head
And they're driving me insane- HELP ME BABY!!!
Birds keep swimming around my bed
And they're driving me in-sane!!!

And in the end one might find that all these birds have unified in one bold beautiful formation soaring proudly across the sky above all of us- instantly unifying.
That the theories of yesteryear will all fade as we forge ahead into a glorious future.
Or so I've heard.
But until then...THOSE GODDAMN BIRDS.

Birds keep spinning around my head
And they're driving me insane- HELP ME BABY!!!
Birds keep swimming around my bed
And they're driving me in-sane!!!

From Toronto, Canada, Low Level Flight, hello to our neighbors, we hear you rockin'!

LOW LEVEL FLIGHT

Ryan Malcolm—Lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Hugh Allen—Lead guitar
James Rooke—Rhythm guitar
Brandon Merenick—Drums, percussion
Sebastien Duhaime—Bass

Excerpts from their biography~

Toronto-based quintet Low Level Flight (LLF) started in 2006. This band of hook-laden independent rockers have been carving a fresh path thanks to a common vision, an inimitable sound and some fiendishly fetching music. It's an accomplishment highlighted by their latest work, sophomore opus Through These Walls (Brave Rekords).

The band's debut effort Urgency (2007) saw Low Level Flight channel primary influences such as the lilting, atmospheric flare of Interpol and Muse's almost symphonic indie rock delivery into an entirely unique overture. Leading to three Top 10 videos and two Top 40 singles, their music spread across the United States, Canada and even an extensive tour of India.

Signing on Time Music, in conjunction with Bombay Rock Association and via sponsors including Rolling Stone India, Jim Beam, Hard Rock Cafe and the Canadian government, LLF brought their peerless sound to the likes of Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi, an experience Malcolm and crew revel in.

 

 

 

From Beacon, NY, THE TALL WEEDS are growing fast throughout the Hudson Valley.

Catch the Energy!

http://www.thetallweeds.com/#!music/c10tw

 

 

 

Meet Dr. Folkman: Folk and blues, alternative country, with a modern vocal quality that honors the Delta roots.

http://www.reverbnation.com/drfolkman

 From his biography~

Dr. Folkman - is the performance alias of Kevin Scott Feldman, a California grown product. His songwriting style reflects a mixture of influences, but is intended to mirror the depth of Dylan, the soul of Robert Johnson, and the individualism of the 90s music scene. Having played with a collection of musicians over the years, and while honing his craft as solo blues artist, he has regularly played such venues as the House of Blues, the Viper Room, The Good Hurt, and a cadre of other places in and around L.A.

Dr. Folkman is a collection of actual life experiences, communicated via the blues, wherein, our protagonist swears off his life as a doctor, in an existential moment, to chase a life as a blues songwriter.

Help contribute to the ideas that music is still a sacred place where artist's dream are realized, and good music still can be made for everyone to enjoy, check out and buy the album and truly help support the dream.

One Love and enjoy!!

From The Crew of Dr. Folkman

 

Meet Gallons to Ounces: Soulful popular rock, with vocals as smooth as Seal and Maxwell, highlighted by rockin guitar that builds.

From Their Biography:

Washington DC based, Gallons to Ounces, is made of Matt Cummings, Zach Miller and Tom Hatcher. With soul, jazz and rock riffs, they are the Hard Rock Cafe Rising, award winners of 2012. Influences and tributes include, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan and Tears For Fears.  

 

 

 

 

Stesha Cano

From her website:

Most often described as "the voice of Blue-Eyed Soul", singer-songwriter Stesha Cano's music is genre-bending. In her debut album, "Like a Bee", Cano shares her sorrows and victories. She invites the listener to share in her poignant love, subsequent heartache, and invariable triumph. Equally comfortable singing about love and devotion ("Glass Walls") and belting out you-done-me-wrong anthems ("Like a Bee", "I'm Sorry"), she evokes a range of emotion one can't help but be moved by. Like Stesha herself, her music is a dichotomy. Her lyrics are playful yet profound. For Like a Bee, Cano utilized the finest musicians to create complex layering and sophisticated progressions. Though the album features a full studio band including horns and auxiliary percussion, the songs are strong enough to resonate with live audiences when performed by Cano's powerhouse voice accompanied by only an acoustic guitar. From pubs to pavillions along the East Coast, Stesha Cano performs from her heart and sings from her soul.

GIRI RELEASES NEW ALBUM "FIDGET"

Excerpts from their press release:

The swedish rockband GIRI are now releasing their second album Fidget. The first single,  "Lost and Found," has already been on rotation throughout radiostations in Europe. Fidget is a twelve track album and the songs are written, produced and mastered by GIRI. The Girisound is a perfect mix of analog synthezisers, distorted Fender jaguar and sitar. This time the band involved sitar player Stian Grimstad to add that extra feeling to the sound. GIRI are based in Stockholm. Their debut album was released in the end of 2006 and the singles "Do it", "Save Me" and "Shadow of A Doubt," where on radio rotation in USA, Sweden and the rest of Europe. GIRI started as a solo project, but after a few very successful performances, they got the reputation of being a great live band. The singer Andreas Jayasekera Lindbergh, introduced some songs for the drummer, Hasse Sjölander and during the recordings of the debut album the guitarist Jonas Karlberg joined. When bass player Albin Johansson joined, the band was finally complete, and GIRI was born.

Visit their website here.

 

Kat Webb

From her website:

http://www.katwebbmusic.com/

SoundCloud Link: http://soundcloud.com/iampragency/i-am-pr-singles-kat-webb-waver

Kat Webb is an Austin, TX-born neo-soul and jazz singer. In May 2011, she released her debut album, "An Old Soul", a compilation of jazz standards and soul classics re-imagined for the modern listener, entirely in ANALOG. It was recorded in Brooklyn, NY where she has resided for the past several years. She has a degree in English from Yale University, where she also studied heavily in vocal music, earning top marks from Yale's School of Music and touring the world with Yale's youngest a cappella group, Shades (in which she became their Musical Director her junior year). She went on to become a member of the Singing Group Council her senior year, and a featured singer with the Yale Jazz Ensemble. Literally the same day of her graduation, she moved to NYC and began pursuing a career in entertainment. Her album release in 2011 also marked her debut as a solo performing artist, and since then she's been performing in venues all over the East coast, including the legendary Lenox Lounge, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, Drom, and many more. The release of her upcoming album, "A Better Picture", will mark the first time Kat presents to her audience her own original music. It's sure to be memorable with co-producers Christian Ver Halen and Jesse Fischer on board, and Grammy-winners involved in its production. Big things are coming for this Southern Songbird!

 

 

Hart Turned to Familiar Face on Solo Project
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Forty year-old songstress, Beth Hart, turned to familiar face on her upcoming solo project, Bang Bang Boom Boom. Kevin Shirley "Caveman" is popular amongst some of the world's finest rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Journey, and Dream Theater (to name a few). However, he is looked upon by the Joe Bonamassa fan community as "family." He has exclusively produced Joe since 2005, including all side projects with Black Country Communion and Beth Hart.

Beth came to know Joe around 2006 when she opened several of his shows in Europe.
In 2011, she provided vocals for the track, "No Love On The Street" on his album Dustbowl, and then collaborated on the full length record Don't Explain, a collection of old soul classics. It received high praise by the press, with subsequent nomination by Blues Music Awards for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2012.
 
Additionally, Hart guest appeared on Joe Bonamassa's Live From Beacon Theatre in 2011. Two numbers, "I'll Take Care of You" (Brook Benton) and "Sinner's Prayer" (Ray Charles), are definite show stoppers!!! The concert was filmed for DVD and is available at Joe Bonamassa's Official Website. What's more, "Sinner's Prayer" was included on Joe Bonamassa's "No Hits, No Hype, Just The Best," a twelve-track compilation CD released as part of special promotional package for the February 2012 edition of Classic Rock magazine.

The unofficial buzz word? 
 
Hart and Bonamassa are destined to work together on a follow up album in 2013. 
 
* * *     

Bang Bang Boom Boom is Beth's ninth album and set for release on October 8, 2012 in the UK. Distribution in the USA is planned in 2013. There are four episodes (webisodes) on the making of Bang Bang Boom Boom and one official music video. These videos give the listener a broad insight into the recording process and behind-the-scenes workings. Plus, mini interviews with Beth, Kevin and the hand-picked musicians on this project make it "must see" TV for avid music buffs.

Kevin Shirley says, "...it's gonna be a classic. A very special record." One of the key things for him when producing is, he's got to like the music! Shirley says Beth Hart, "explores a bunch of different styles. A little different for her musically."
There is a bit of vaudeville, jazz and hard rock influences in Beth's writing and singing. "I think it's a great album."
 
Also appearing are session musicians, Anton Fig on drums, Arlan Schauerbaum on keyboards, and Michael Rhodes on bass. These are three familiar faces on many of Joe Bonamassa's recordings.

From what I've seen and heard so far, Bang Bang Boom Boom is going to be a smash hit for Beth Hart!!! I don't think I can wait until 2013 to get the CD, so I might just have to buy an import.
 
Yours in music,
DebFromMaine

Please look for other Beth Hart articles by Bluebirdreviews here.
For more on Beth Hart visit her website here.
Beth Hart's Facebook page can be found here.
Beth and Joe can be found here.

Photo and video courtesy of Beth Hart et al.
 

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