Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Tight But Loose

In June, I had the opportunity to receive a courtesy copy of the latest edition of Dave Lewis’s legendary Led Zeppelin fanzine, Tight But Loose (TBL). Dave has changed up TBL for the 26th issue with a redesign and a full colour look.

tbl26-cover-721x1024Sometimes life brings the smallest pleasures, and it was so with my TBL before I even opened the envelope. On the envelope itself there was four of the Royal Mail album cover stamps. I had a relation send me a set of these, so I recognized them immediately, but it’s nice to have some proper ones, that have been enveloped and post marked. So there I was sitting looking at the envelope, complete with London Calling, Ziggy Stardust, Tubular Bells and Led Zeppelin 4 (he even got my favourites of the albums), enjoying TBL before I even opened it.

You know when you love the envelope, inside is going to be a treat. So it was with TBL. For the Zeppelin addict, it is a 32 page treasure trove of information and, most impressive, newspaper clippings. Besides a Led Zeppelin knowledge base that’s second to none, Lewis appears to have a phenomenal collection of Led Zeppelin articles, reviews and clippings. The magazine is littered with scans from old newspapers, and each story is better for them.

From an information standpoint, TBL misses nothing. The feature story on this edition was a review of Zeppelin’s live appearances in 1970 (part 1). But it has reviews of Them Crooked Vulture concerts, interviews with a trio of former Robert Plant guitarists (none of them called Jimmy Page or Robbie Blunt unfortunately - my two favourite RP sidemen), an interview with NME’s Nick Kent and very early mentions of Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Black Country Communion - who were still sorting out their name at the time of publication.

Lewis has a statement in the Editorial:
…web sites are for browsing, the TBL magazine is for reading again and again.

He’s right, and in second reading this week, the most interesting article was an interview with BCC singer/bassist Glenn Hughes. When I first read the interview in June, Black Country Communion were barely a story, there were even rumours of a rift within’ the band before it had even started. Since then, they have an album, a release date, and a song available. They are a going concern, and the Led Zeppelin fan who’s getting excited about the upcoming CD will find the interview excellent.

I want to thank Dave Lewis for the preview edition of Tight But Loose, which I loved. So much so that I bought a subscription for the next two editions, and am looking forward to receiving #27 in the next couple of weeks. And Dave, I hope you made a note of which stamps I already have (although I can never have too many Zeppelin IV stamps).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Black Country Communion Review

The reviews are starting to come in. First up is Mojo Magazine:

bccomcd-1With ties to all three of heavy rock’s most iconic bands –Black Sabbath,Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin – Black Country Communion is a modern supergroup to rival Them Crooked Vultures. BCC comprises Glenn Hughes, once of Purple and Sabbath, on vocals and bass; Jason Bonham, son of Bonzo on drums; Joe Bonamassa America’s new blues hero, on guitar and vocals; and Derek Sherinian, formerly of pro-metal masters Dream Theater, on keyboards. The music is as expected: blues-based heavy rock with a late-‘60s/early ‘70s feel. But where the Vultures are jam-driven, BCC have great songs, from badass single One Last Soul to Bonamassa’s Hendrix-meets-Zep showpiece Song Of Yesterday. And with 58-year-old former cokehead Hughes singing as powerfully as he did in ’74, Black Country Communion is one supergroup that really lives up to its billing.

They give it four stars.

Based on what I've been hearing, and One Last Soul, I'm looking very forward to this release. And I'm pleased to report that I will have an advance review sometime in the next week or thereabout.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience

Not without crontroversy, Jason Bonham will tour in tribute to his father this fall, with the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience. Bonham has tried to keep things under wraps as much as possible, but we know the show will feature live Led Zeppelin music (musicians in the band are currently unknown), pictures and a father son drum solo, with Jason playing along with a video of his father's classic solo piece, Moby Dick.

Currently the following dates are listed:

Oct. 8: Dawson Creek, B.C. - Encana Events Center
Oct. 9: Prince George, B.C. - CN Centre
Oct. 12: Edmonton, AB - Northern Alberta Jubilee
Oct. 13: Red Deer, AB - Enmax Centre
Oct. 14: Calgary, AB - Southern Alberta Jubilee
Oct. 16: Regina, SK - Brandt Centre
Oct. 17: Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
Oct. 19: Minneapolis, Minn. - State Theatre
Oct. 20: Milwaukee, Wis. - Riverside Theatre
Oct. 21: Merrilville, Ind. - Star Plaza
Oct. 23: Montral, QUE - Metropolis
Oct. 25: Quebec City, QUE - Grand Theatre
Oct. 27: Hamilton, ON - Hamilton Place/Great Hall
Oct. 28: Kitchener, ON - Centre in the Square
Oct. 29: Toronto, ON - Sony Centre
Oct. 30: Rochester, N.Y. - Auditorium Theater
Nov. 2: Boston, Mass. - The Orpheum
Nov. 3: Red Bank, N.J. - Count Basie Theater
Nov. 4: Englewood, N.J. - Bergen PAC
Nov. 6: Philadelphia, Pa. - Merriam Theater
Nov. 8: New York, N.Y. - Nokia Theatre
Nov. 13: Jacksonville, Fla. - Florida Theater
Nov. 14: Clearwater, Fla. - Ruth Eckerd Hall
Nov. 16: Houston, Texas - Verizon Theatre
Nov. 17: Tulsa, Okla. - Spirit Bank Event Center
Nov. 18: Dallas, Texas - Fairpark Music Hall
Nov. 21: Riverside, Calif. - Fox PAC
Nov. 23: Los Angeles, Calif. - Pantages Theater
Nov. 26: Portland, Ore. - Schnitzer Concert Hall
Nov. 27: Seattle, Wash. - WaMu Theater
Nov. 29: Vancouver, BC - The Centre PAC

A review will appear in these pages after the October 28th Kitchener, Ontario show - more or less my hometown.

Review: One Last Soul

Black Country Communion is the latest "supergroup," involving a Led Zeppelin member. Drummer Jason Bonham joins Derek Sherinian, Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa to form the group, named after the area of Britain where Hughes and Bonham are from.

bccomcd-1Hughes is the former bass player from Deep Purple, replacing Roger Glover in 1973. He stayed with Deep Purple until they broke up in 1976. Their biggest song of his era would have been Burn, from the album of the same name. Although Hughes was also considered a singer, he debuted with Deep Purple at the same time as their new singer, David Coverdale (who would, years later, form Coverdale Page with Jimmy Page).

Joe Bonamassa is considered a guitar prodigy. He has played with a vast array of blues artists including Eric Clapton and BB King. But he is mostly known for a successful solo career, that includes an excellent, but radio friendlier version of a song I have long loved: Tim Curry's Sloe Gin.

Derek Sherinian is a keyboard player who played keyboards for Alice Cooper during the  "Trash" and "Hey Stoopid" period. He would go on to tour with Kiss, including playing on their Alive III album before beginning a solo career in 1999.

Their first single is One Last Soul, available for free download at the Black Country Communion website. A sneak peek can also be had on the groups MySpace page.

Of all the post 02 Zeppelin material to appear to date, One Last Soul has been the easiest to like. Known for his funky, soul tinged bass lines, Glenn Hughes blends with Jason Bonham to create a tight rhythm section which drives the song.

It is, in point of fact, a very rhythmic song, having a classic rock groove without sounding 30 years old. The chorus has a solid hook, sticking in your head once the song is done.

At the same time, in looking for a point of comparison, One Last Soul is not immediately reminiscent of any other song.

One Last Soul is a nice introduction to what looks like it may be a solid rock band in the upcoming year.

The album, "Black Country Communion," will be released Sept 21, 2010, and the band expects to tour in 2011.

One Last Soul by Black Country Communion

Jason Bonham's new group, Black Country Communion, has released their first single, One Last Soul.

Black Country Communion features Bonham on drums with Joe Bonamassa on guitar, Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals and Derek Sherinian on keyboards.

The self titled debut album will be available Sept 21st. Pre-orders are available, as well as t-shirts. A free download of One Last Soul is also available - use the promo code OLS2010.

Meanwhile, here;s a live video from One Last Soul from March. This band, based on the one song, sounds really good and I am looking forward to this album.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Robert Plant

For Robert Plant's 62nd birthday, I wish him the usual: a year full of music, travel and surrounded by old friends.

For you on Robert Plant's 62nd birthday, his new single, Angel Dance, from the forthcoming album Band of Joy.