On their debut CD, Will Wallner & Vivien Vain have recruited some of hard rock’s finest musicians to help craft their songs. The end result is a remarkable hard rock CD that I can’t stop listening to. Will Wallner may not be a guitarist whose name you recognize. One listen to this CD, and I think he could possibly become an overnight sensation. Wallner delivers some of the best hard rock riffs I have heard in 2012, and that includes the recent works from Eddie Van Halen & Vinnie Moore (in UFO). Wallner’s style reminds me of a cross between Randy Rhoads & Jake E. Lee. That is pretty good company to be in, in my opinion.
Vivien Vain, where have you been hiding? Vain is easily one of the best new female hard rock vocalists that I have heard in quite some time. Her powerful pipes are a very good match for Wallner’s heavy riffs. Of course it doesn’t hurt when you attract the likes of Carmen Appice, Tony Franklin, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain, Tony Carey, Brian Tichy and Derek Sherinian to play on your songs. These hard rock legends help to craft some very cool tunes. I can’t begin to tell you how good it is to hear Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice (two-thirds of Blue Murder) playing on some songs together again. This is very cool stuff indeed!
The best songs on the CD are “Dreamstealer”, “Streets of Rage” & “Miles Ahead”, but there really isn’t a bad song in the bunch.
If you are a fan of 80’s hard rock, you ought to check out this CD. You won’t be disappointed!
Rating: Out of 10
- The Dream
- Streets Of Rage
- Fourteen Twenty Eight
- All That I Want
- Miles Ahead
- Soul Monster
Vivien Vain – Vocals
Will Wallner – Guitar
Tony Carey – Keys on Tracks 1, 2, 8, 9
Jimmy Bain – Bass on Track 2
Vinny Appice – Drums on Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6
Carmine Appice – Drums on Tracks 3, 5, 9
Tony Franklin – Bass on Tracks 3, 5, 7, 9
Rudy Sarzo – Bass on Tracks 4, 6
Brian Tichy – Drums on Track 7
Derek Sherinian – Keys on Track 7
Derek Sherinian’s new solo album ‘Oceana’ is released Monday September 5th by the Music Theories Recordings label via the Mascot Label Group.
If this were the 1970’s, the heyday of such keyboard titans as Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman and Jon Lord, Sherinian would be among that elite circle of players who were superstars back in the day when such talent was not only appreciated, but celebrated in popular music. This is, however, 2011, and in this age, Derek Sherinian is the premiere rock keyboardist of his generation, a member of the supergroup Black Country Communion, a former member of Dream Theater, and a solo artist in his own right.
Sherinian has played keyboards with artists including Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Yngwie Malmsteen and KISS. In addition to being a former member of Dream Theater, Sherinian was also a member of the prog rock band Platypus, and the founder of the progressive fusion metal band Planet X.
‘Oceana’ is mixed by legendary drummer Simon Phillips (whose drumming credits include Toto, The Who, Jeff Beck, 10CC, Roxy Music). Phillips also plays drums on the entire album.
Steve Lukather collaborates with Sherinian on ‘Mulholland’, ‘Euphoria’ and ‘Seven Sins’, while former Planet X guitarist Tony MacAlpine performs on ‘Five Elements’ and ‘Mercury 7’. Steve Stevens is featured on ‘Ghost Runner’ and the title track, while Black Country Communion band-mate Joe Bonamassa performs on ‘I Heard That’. Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake) performs on ‘El Camino Diablo’, and Jimmy Johnson plays bass on all tracks with the exception of ‘Ghost Runner’ and ‘Oceana’, which both feature Tony Franklin.
Favouring a guitar heavy rock based approach to fusion ala Jeff Beck, Sherinian’s music creates a certain energy that comes through the recordings, setting him apart from other jazz fusion artists. His music also appeals to fans of technical heavy metal. Thanks to his relentless touring schedule with a wide range of well-known artists, Sherinian easily adapts to ever changing musical genres, while always maintaining his signature style.
Black Country Communion invaded the over 100-year-old Murat Theater in downtown Indianapolis Wednesday night. It was an extra special treat to see the band perform right after their CD release. I have been listening to their CD’s a lot over the last few days, so it was extremely entertaining to see the songs performed live for my very first time.
I knew BCC was going to be good, but they absolutely blew me away. Each and every member of Black Country Communion is a master of their instrument, which makes this one exciting band to watch. The former Deep Purple bass player and vocalist, Glenn Hughes was on fire Wednesday night. His vocals were perfect, if not mind-blowing. I can’t believe he can still sting at this level after all of these years. Not only is he a great singer, but he is extremely animated while playing his beat up Nash Guitars bass . I really got a kick out of watching him perform.
It has been over a decade since I have seen Derek Sherinian play live, but he never disappoints. He is a master of the Hammond B3 Organ, and Korg keyboard. His playing Wednesday night gave me goose bumps. He is a truly amazing musician.
It was really good to see Jason Bonham play drums again. I haven’t seen him since he played drums in his band Bonham. I thought for sure that Jason Bonham would have an extended drum solo at some point during the show, but surprisingly he did not. He did however get to strut his stuff on several of Black Country Communion’s tunes. In my ears, Jason is a chip off of the old block. John Bonham would be so proud of his son if he were still alive. He is a great drummer.
This was the first time I have seen Joe Bonamassa play. For those of you that are not familiar with Joe, he is huge in the Blues rock world. He has been cranking out quality albums nonstop since 2000. Black Country Communion is his first foray in a hard rock band.
I was extremely impressed with Joe Bonamassa’s playing. He may just be one of the top 10 guitar players I have seen live. He was really THAT good! His solos were super tight, and very fun to watch. At times his guitar tones reminded me a lot of David Gilmour’s from Pink Floyd. I realize there is a fine line between blues & hard rock, but Bonamassa was far better than I expected him to be. I was also surprised to see him use a Theremin during the show. The use of the Theremin is nothing new in rock, but Joe is only the second guitar player I have seen to use it live, and use it well. (The first was Frank Hannon from Tesla.) I also have to mention that Bonamassa is pretty good singer. His vocal style reminds me a lot of former Bad Company front man Paul Rodgers.
I thought Black Country Communion was going to rattle the plaster off of the walls with their heavy tunes which included (in no certain order), “Black Country”, “One Last Soul”, “Crossfire”, “Save Me”, “The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall”, “Beggerman”, “Faithless”, “Song of Yesterday”, “Smokestack Woman”, “The Outsider” “Cold” , The Joe Bonamassa classic” The Ballad of John Henry”and the Encore of “Man in the Middle” and Deep Purple’s “Burn”.
There was some type of contest going on during this show where fans were allowed to bring in their video cameras, and tape the show. I am expecting a lot of this concert to turn up on youtube before long. While we didn’t videos at this show, we did take plenty of pictures. Check them out below!
Be sure to check out Black Country Communion if they come to your town, and pick up their new album “2” which is in stores now!
When Black Country Communion released their debut album last fall, they sent many rock critics into a frenzy, and much praise was received for their first effort. I was not as enamored with BCC’s debut as my peers, but I thought to myself, “Man, if these guys stick together, they could release something really special”. I just didn’t expect it to happen THIS fast.
Black Country Communion’s new CD “2”, is far better than the debut. Everything has improved on “2”. The song writing, the music, and the vocals are absolutely fantastic. Black Country Communion quickly prove they are here to rock. The album begins with the face-melting anthem, “The Outsider”. The hard-driving riffs of Joe Bonamassa paired with the amazing rhythm section of Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham is absolutely superb. Glenn Hughes vocals are at the same high level as his days with Deep Purple. To think he sing like this at age “59” is simply amazing. Hard rock music just doesn’t get BETTER than this.
“Man in the Middle” is another riff heavy rocker that does a good job at keeping the pace of the album going. It is a catchy rocker that grows on you with multiple listens. (Check out “Man in the Middle” in the video below.)
To my ears, the best song on 2 might just be “The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall”. This acoustic number not only shows off the fret work of Bonamassa, but features his vocals as well. The first time I heard this song, it brought Led Zeppelin to mind. I don’t know if Bonamassa is influenced by Jimmy Page or not, but there is definitely a Zeppelinesque feel to this amazing song.
Was Paul Rodgers a stand in on “Ordinary Son” ? This song has a Bad Company like feel to it, although it somewhat heavier than most of Bad Company’s music. Bonamassa and Hughes both share the vocal duties on this impressive tune. I can only imagine that song is an intoxicating experience live.
“Smokestack Woman” is a rockin’ number that should have been released as the first single. This is better tune overall than “Man in the Middle”, and has tons of radio potential.
I am a sucker for good bluesy rock, and Joe Bonamassa’s playing on “Little Secret” is pure blues brilliance. Bonamassa truly shines on this song.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with “2”, and feel it is a much better album than the debut. Black Country Communion shows to the world what the title “supergroup” is supposed to mean. The band has put together an amazing effort with their sophomore release, and is one of the best rock records of 2011. I highly recommend picking up “2”. You won’t be disappointed!
“2” was released in UK via Mascot Records today, and will be released on Tuesday in the US by J&R Adventures. Don’t miss this!!
Rating: Out of 10
1. The Outsider
2. Man In The Middle
3. The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall
4. Save Me
5. Smokestack Woman
7. An Ordinary Son
8. I Can See Your Spirit
9. Little Secret
Black Country Communion is:
Glenn Hughes – Vocals & Bass
Jason Bonham – Drums
Joe Bonamassa – Guitar & Vocals
Derek Sherinian – Keyboards
Black Country Communion have launched the official promo video for “Man In The Middle”. The song is taken from their forthcoming album “2”, released in the UK on Monday June 13th.
The video for “Man In The Middle” has just been posted on YouTube. View it here:
Black Country Communion is the Anglo/American rock band featuring Glenn Hughes (vocals, bass), Joe Bonamassa (guitar, vocals), Jason Bonham (drums) and Derek Sherinian (keyboards). The forthcoming album is currently #2 on both the Amazon UK and Play.com album pre-order charts.
BCC’s eponymous debut album, originally released September 2010, reached #13 in the official UK Album Chart, #1 on the UK Rock Album Chart, and #2 on the UK Independent Album Chart.
Black Country Communion will tour the UK in July 2011. Dates include Llandudno Cymru Arena (July 23), High Voltage Festival, London (July 24), Leeds o2 Academy (July 26), Newcastle o2 Academy (July 27), Glasgow o2 Academy (July 29), Manchester Academy (July 30). Ticket hotline: 0871 230 1101, www.seetickets.com and www.bccommunion.com.
Want to hear Black Country Communion’s new song, “Outsider”? Please visit this link where you can get a free MP3 download of the band’s new song!!
UK RELEASE: MONDAY 13th JUNE 2011
US RELEASE: TUESDAY 14th JUNE 2011
Black Country Communion, the Anglo-American classic rock group featuring the talents of blues rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa, bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze), drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin), and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), has announced the title of their much-anticipated second album. The album will be called “2” and will be released in the UK on June 13th via Mascot Records, followed by a US release on June 14th on the J&R Adventures label.
On June 9, the band will kick off a US Summer Tour in San Diego, CA. In July, BCC will embark on a European tour that will take in concerts at Llandudno Cymru Arena (Saturday 23rd July), London’s High Voltage Festival (Sunday 24th July), Leeds O2 Academy (Tuesday 26th July), Newcastle O2 Academy (Wednesday 27th July), Glasgow 02 Academy (Friday 29th July), and the Manchester Academy (Saturday 30th July).
The Summer 2011 live shows are long overdue and very highly anticipated, as the only live shows the band have performed previously was when they played two sold out concerts in Wolverhampton and London during late December 2010.
When the band performed in the heart of the Black Country at Wolverhmapton’s Civic Hall in front of a 3,000 strong crowd on Dec. 29, 2010, the Birmingham Mail newspaper described the band’s performance as “rip-roaring” and “breathtaking, while the Express & Star newspaper said, “From the moment Hughes’ thunderous bass riff introduced ‘Black Country’ it was like a torch had been lit underneath the famous old venue, the ghosts of rock Christmases past roaring into the present!”
Black Country Communion released its self-titled debut album in September 2010 to rave reviews. Mojo magazine gave the album four stars and Classic Rock magazine said it’s “Possibly, the best hard rock album of 2010.” Music Radar described it as “a potent and stomping collection of riff-heavy rockers that will undoubtedly stun listeners.”
During its first week of release in the UK, the album hit the #1 spot in the Official Top 40 Rock Album Chart, and also hit #13 in the Official Top 40 Album Chart and #2 in the UK’s Official Top 40 Indie Album Chart. The album was voted #3 in Classic Rock magazine’s “Critics Album of the Year” poll, while Planet Rock radio listeners crowned BCC as the Best New Band of 2010.
Check out this instrumental clip from guitarist Theodore Ziras. This video features the music of Derek Sherinian on keyboards and Foreinger drummer Brian Tichy.