Black Country Communion – Black Country Communion 2 (J&R Adventures)

Black Country Communion – Black Country Communion 2


Epic 70‘s blues based rock is cool again and Black Country Communion is responsible. This second record continues in the vein of their first release fusing the best elements of British and American hard rock of the 70‘s. Black Country Communion is unique in that they have ties to that era, chops, youth, fire, maturity, and great songwriting craft. With Kevin Shirley producing again, Black Country Communion 2 builds on the group dynamic of the first record, but its more successful in weaving together the individual talents of each band member. With a more expansive sound and a wider palette of instrumentation, the band has morphed very well. They’ve created their own universe, while at the same time, deploying tried and true classic rock devices that are effective without being trite.


Bassist Glenn Hughes and drummer Jason Bonham inject Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin DNA respectively. As a former Deep Purple singer and bassist, Hughes sounds better now than he ever has. He’s brought back the extended larynx exploding rock scream and does it magnificently. He’s also responsible for the old school arena rock swagger of the group. Bonham’s drum sound is bigger, more present, and much more animated on this offering, giving Black Country Communion 2 a lot more muscle and rhythmic power. Monster keyboardist Derek Sherinian, who was under mixed on the first record, shines with rich B3 and Fender Rhodes colors. He also provides much-appreciated epic orchestral flourishes and majestic symphonic textures.

Joe Bonamassa has been on a roll with some great recordings recently, and hits it out of the park again with thick, velvety, Les Paul tones, earthy acoustics, and chimey mandolins. “The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall” which he sings, sounds like it could have appeared on his last solo record, while his soloing on “Save Me,” and the finely sculpted wah work on “Smokestack Woman” is sublime. His incendiary riffage on “The Outsider” and “I Can See Your Spirit,” with its dueling guitar and keyboard solos, along with Hughes’ vein popping vocals, is the reason epic 70’s blues based rock is cool again.


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