Black Country! And the ‘New’ Old Marshall…

January 20, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

Have you heard about Black Country yet? This is the newly announced band with Joe Bonamassa (awesome chops and tone), Jason Bonham (awesome kabooming beats and tone), Glenn Hughes (awesome song magic) and Derek Sherinian (awesome augmentation, if you dig keys). Kevin Shirley is producing, and not only does he produce Joe but also has produced the Black Crowes, Aerosmith and the mighty Led Zep. Did I saw “awesome?”

I am hoping, and might even pray, for raw, minimally-produced, wide-open, classic, hit-you-in-the-chest-and-over-the-head rock and roll, in the spirit of – dare I say it – Zep.

C’mon guys! Give it to us!

I know, I know – it’s bad to project one’s personal musical and tonal desires on a group of arteests with their own things going on, but what the heck. Nothing ventured and all…and then there was that hopefully telling post by Joe on his forum….

But first, here’s the official skinny on the new band:

> “Black Country [takes] their name from the industrial area in England from which Bonham and Hughes both hail.”

> “The band is currently in the studio with producer Kevin Shirley cutting tracks for an upcoming album to be released in late 2010 or early 2011.” [Please not 2011! We just started 2010!]

> “The band already has six tracks cut. The next recording session will take place in March and the band hopes to finish recording in early April.”

> Kevin said the songs are all originals, and: “Jason Bonham is a totally unique drummer and a supreme, yet oh-so-tasty powerhouse. Derek Sherinian is super versatile, and is playing mostly overdriven Hammond organ [good!] and is the color on the palette. Glenn Hughes plays bass and sings with a range very, very few can even get close to. And Joe Bonamassa, perhaps the best blues-rock guitarist around, plays hard-riffing guitar as well as adding his signature vocals alongside Glenn.”

Kevin says later in the press release: “You’ll just have to wait– we’re planning to get this out late summer, and it’s promising to be phenomenal!”

Late summer? Summer is good, man!

The ‘Telling’ Marshall Post?

On Dec. 23 in his forum, Joe started a thread titled “gotta tell you about my new amp.” Bear in mind that this was before Black Country was even a rumor. Here is the post in its entirety, just cleaned up a little:

“So I am recording a ‘discrete project’ in early January (you will know eventually, but now you can’t…sorry). I needed to find a really killer Marshall. A clean-tone one, like Paul Kossoff’s or Eric Johnson’s. When I say a ‘clean-tone one’ – a 4-input model that when you turn to 6 or 7 is still not distorted but is loud and breaking up slightly.

“So my friends at Guitar Center Hollywood found me a slightly modded Super Bass 100-watt plexi-panel head. It has a master volume added in the back but does little to the original tone. I plugged it in and was so blown away it made me cry. I finally found the Kossoff tone. It is magic, and due to the demand of 100-watt heads being less than spectacular and given that the Guitar Center guys are uber nice, I got it pretty reasonable.

“Not since I’ve been a kid (a long time) have I been inspired to play by an amp or piece of gear. It is a magic one in non-collector clothing. It’s in my living room now with a Chandler Tube Driver and a Boss reverb. It’s the Tons of Sobs [Free’s first album] tone.  Even with the THD Hot Plate [volume attenuator] set at ‘neighbors,’ it is so good.

“Sorry I am gushing a bit. But you know… As for it seeing action live, not a chance. It’s my new favorite child right now.”

A 100-watt Super Bass plexi? Kossoff tones? Joe knows Free and early Zep backwards and forwards? Jason Bonham? Kevin Shirley?

I think my hopes would only be higher for a reunited Zep!

But no pressure, guys…! (Just like summer, pressure is gooooooood. I bet the album will be too. Can’t wait.)


> Glenn tweeted: “Haven’t been this excited since joinin’ Purple” [that’s Deep Purple in case you forgot] and “Joe and I had an amazin’ writin’ session – 3 songs were demo’d – this is a Real Rock Record.”

> Jason said in an interview with Spinner that “Joe just wanted to play guitar so with Glenn on bass and vocals, it’s a power trio,” so it appears that Derek was added later. If Derek serves a John Paul Jones keys role, sweet!

> None of this should be confused with Joe’s similarly named new album coming out in March: Black Rock.

> Some tunes below with Black Country members jamming, just to give you a flavor.

Joe and Glenn, ‘Mistreated,’ Hollywood, November ’09

Joe and Jason, ‘Tea for One’

Category: Boss/Roland, Chandler, Joe Bonamassa, Marshall, Paul Kossoff

Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. guitarnoize says:

    Black Country! woohoo, that's where I grew up so I'm an instant fan.

Leave a Reply