Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Great Song - "Down Again" - Black Country Communion - 2010

Black Country Communion (CD/DVD)Black Country Communion was a safe bet as soon as it was announced. Rock and soul vocal powerhouse (and damn fine bassist), Glenn Hughes, turns about anything he touches into gold so the combination with Joe Bonamassa on guitar, Jason Bonham on drums and Dream Theater's Derek Sherinian on keys made Black Country Communion an instant supergroup among supergroups (a bumper crop of which were on the shelves when the first album landed among debut - and hopefully not final - efforts by Them Crooked Vultures and Chickenfoot).

The eponymous album provides, naturally, a vibe easily described as "Deep Zeppelin." But that's oversimplifying things and downplays how very real Black Country Communion are. There are solid songs from start to finish on this disc, all rich and rocking, and the cream of the crop showcasing the best of each of the band sits fourth in the lineup, "Down Again."

"Down Again" is a rhythm monster. Hughes' bass talents are on full display chugging alongside Bonham's indisputable DNA. Bonamassa grinds out a riff to propel this locomotive forward and then Hughes trots out his best vocals on the entire album, possibly some of the finest in his career. Joe gets a brief solo in at the three-minute mark and Shernian gets over a minute to carry us out of the song on some hypnotizing keyboards.

It would be easy to assemble (and, just as easily, to dismiss) a project such as Black Country Communion as a slapdash classic rock Frankenstein's monster.  But it works. There's a richness and vibrancy about the whole project that cannot be denied. The fact that a second volume is due in a month is promising and, as I have noted recently, the second record will be telling. The U.S. tour starts June 9 with international dates starting June 23. Based on one incredible record - and especially one great song - I'm going to drive 100 miles to check these guys out in the flesh. I cannot wait.

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