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Review by Joe B.

The modern-day super group, Black Country Communion (BCC) has released their 5th album, aptly titled V.  BCC is a labor of love. Each member has other projects making a tour impossible. The band is comprised of Joe Bonamassa on guitar, Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals, Jason Bonham on drums and Derek Sherinian on keyboards. BCC’s 1st album was released in 2010 and, due to tensions between Bonamassa and Hughes, the band disbanded for a few years. Thankfully, they returned with a vengeance with the amazing BCC IV album, one of the best of 2017.

V is a very good album that doesn’t quite reach the excellence of BCCIV but is an enjoyable listen. The album starts off with “Enlighten”, a great opener with pounding riffs, great vocals by Hughes and a moving chorus. All the songs on the album are written by Hughes and Bonamassa except for “Stay Free”, the second song on the album, which was also the pre-released single and “Letting Go”. These are the two best tracks on the album.

“Stay Free” brings back the Deep Purple Come Taste the Band funkiness. Glenn Hughes loves playing “Getting Tighter” from that album and I see “Stay Free” as an extension of that. “Letting Go” is the 5th song on the album and penned by Hughes. It has a very cool sound and rhythm with great vocals and another awesome chorus. The best part of the song is hearing each individual instrument played in an aggressive manner. Other stand out tracks are the heavy riff-based “Red Sun”, “Skyway” and the heavy-meets-Zeppelin “You’re Not Alone”. Each member has  individual solos on the song. “Restless” is a slow, self-indulgent blues number, which proves to be the weakest track on the album.

Back to the band. It is interesting that the merchandise is all directed through Joe Bonamassa’s web site. Bonamassa is on his own solo tour. Jason Bonham is touring with Sammy Hagar and then with his Led Zeppelin Experience. Glenn Hughes continues to tour playing his era of Deep Purple songs (which is a great show). This all points to the fact that a BCC tour is not possible. There will most likely be one offs overseas and the occasional show on a rock cruise, but that is it. This is unfortunate because BCC is a great band with generational talent.

Black Country Communion V gets an 8 out of 10.


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