Friday, October 29, 2010


Well, it's been a week of weeks, if not years, musically for El Fishing Musician so far.

My discovery of ALOE BLACC: GOOD THINGS was the highlight of some years. I excitedly was telling Billy Ray about the Aloe stuff I've heard so far, and I've been youtubing and listening while working and what a great bass player Aloe has. Truly inspiring to listen to him, he somewhat reminds me of the bassist for WAR back on great tunes like Spill The Wine and Slipping into Darkness and I sure wish I could play bass guitar just. like. that. Of course, it's nice that the artist/producer/etc who controls such thing put him fairly up front in the mix for a bassist. It's to their credit because the man can play that bass guitar.

Here's the website for Black Country Communion, a new band featuring Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham, all longtime favorites of mine, have teamed together in what seems to be a promising venture. The guitar of Bonamassa, the drums of Bonham and the savvy of Hughes on bass and vocals with Sherinian providing great keyboard backing from a variety of influences and genres. Hughes does have "THAT VOICE" of rock and roll, so this is going to be good and far better than the average "supergrouping" efforts we've seen in recent years I think.

I find out about this great rocking band from Billy Ray this week. After I tell Billy Ray about "discovering" Aloe Blacc (who has been around a long while, btw, so "discovering" him this week just means I'm out of touch with good new music and need to be looking more for it), Billy Ray tells me about a fantastic new group, a supergroup if you will, that seems to have enormous potential called Black Country Communion. Per his instructions, I go to their site and get absolutely enthralled in their music. WHO KNEW JOE BONAMASSA had such a hard rockin' streak in him?

I sure am glad he does, because it's been the first time in many, many years that I've heard a true bluesman guitarist really rock out.

Billy Ray more or less has just recently discovered Joe Bonamassa as a blues rock guitar power to be dealt with. I've been telling Billy Ray about him for at least ten years but sometimes things just float in and out of that boy's haid without latching onto anything. So back in 2002 when I was trying to get Billy Ray to latch onto some of Bonamassa's playing, he just wasnt' interested. But now he is, and I'll be taking a nice double live CD of Bonamassa and his rocking band for Billy Ray to listen to and learn some guitar licks off of.

In any event, a longtime Houston guitarslinger friend, the Bartman, introduced me to Bonamassa and his hard working, hard playing style sometime early in the last decade. My friend that gave me the Bonamassa CD's to listen to later became a bandleader for me for a year or so in a great band, and was no slouch of a long time blues rock guitarist himself. So when he told me this guy Bonamassa could play, I listened.

I've never seen Bonamassa live but have several CD's and he's a great guitarist. My kind of blues rock guitarist. Out of the current crop of younger players living the blues rock guitar band lifestyle, which requires much road time in concert to make a living, I really like Bonamassa along with Doyle Bramhall III.

So along with Joe Bonamassa on guitar is the legendary Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple on bass and as frontman. I'm a big Deep Purple fan, since my teens, and went back and got their early album (EL FISHO RECOMMENDATION: LISTEN TO DEEP PURPLE'S VERSION OF HEY JOE SOMETIME because, although a bit keyboardish in only that way that Brit keyboardists could be in the 60's and 70's, it rocks hard. Here's what wiki says: The hard rock band Deep Purple recorded a version of the song and included it on their first album, Shades of Deep Purple in 1968. Original pressings of the album mistakenly credited Deep Purple as the songwriters. As was typical of early Deep Purple cover songs, the band added a lengthy intro and musical interludes, bringing the song's running time to over seven and a half minutes.) and I became a longtime fan.

I've also kept up with some of the sideman and solo work that Hughes has done in the last ten years, and I'm glad to see him with such august gentleman as are in this outfit.

Jason Bonham is on drums. I've long been a fan of his late father, and Jason's work on Outrider in the late 1980's with Page as well as his touring with Foreigner and the legendary Led Zeppelin reunion several years ago (which I've only seen snippets and crowd cam videos of so far...where is that live DVD? Do they not think they will sell everyone they make?). There was brief talk of a World Tour but Plant began new projects and although apparently some talk was made of replacing him, that would prove to be impossible.

So it's good to see Jason moving on. Although liking some of his work, there's other bands he played with I didn't care much for, but I've done a sampling of listening to recordings where he played drums simply because his work on Outrider was so excellent.

I haven't listened to much of what Black Country Communion has done, just the two songs on their website, which both rock quite well. Very enjoyable drumming by Mr. Bonham, and I'm very impressed. His father is, I am sure, looking down from above and is very proud of him. I think most drummers like myself who have studied not only the playing but the back story of John Bonham's life knows too well how Jason was a prodigy but feels sorry he got deprived of more time with his dad than he got.

So I've always been rooting for Jason to find the right drumming situation where his voice comes out, and here in the two songs, I heard exciting Bonham drumming, perhaps the most exciting I'd heard since Outrider in like 1988. Been a long time since a rock and rolla.

I got all excited about Chickenfoot the recent supergroup band, but really didn't care for the stuff I heard. Great playing but it didn't get me to want to join the fan club. I totally had the underdog thing going for great bassist Michael Anthony, unceremoniously replaced by Van Halen's teen son Wolfgang in the band. I'd been a longtime fan of Sammy Hagar since the 70's and have been buying various things he's been on since then. Chad Smith is a great drummer and I'm a big fan of his. Big fan. You can't deny the guitar power of Joe Satriani either. But I just didn't think it meshed like I'm hearing Black Country Communion mesh on these two songs.

I'll write more when I hear some more. It does, however, upon first examination, appear to be rocking.

On the other hand, having been a BIG FAN of both Bonamassa and Hughes over the years, and witnessing some recent work this past decade that Hughes did on some solo stuff and playing with others, the deck is a little more stacked in the favor of this outfit in terms of my liking them.

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