Black Country Communion is set to release their third studio album, Afterglow on October 30th. Just like its two predecessors, ‘Afterglow’ was overseen by Kevin Shirley, whose catalogue of hit records for Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Journey, The Black Crowes and many more has made him the hottest producer that rock music has to offer. Shirley – who had the idea of putting Hughes and Bonamassa together in a band together after seeing them jamming onstage in Los Angeles back in November 2009 – is the group’s unofficial ‘fifth member’.
This time with Bonamassa busy notching up the miles to promote his biggest solo record to date – ‘Driving Towards The Daylight’ reached Number Two in the UK’s Top 40 Album Chart – BCC (the distinctive name is a reference to the industrial area in the Midlands of Great Britain where both Hughes and Bonham were born and raised) had far more time to prepare ‘Afterglow’… and it shows.
“There were six months to write this album, and I’m really excited by the way it came out,” comments Glenn Hughes, the man responsible for the bulk of its contents. “I wanted to make a record that stood up to the first two, but not to repeat either of those records. There would be absolutely no point beginning it with a song like ‘Black Country’ [the distinctively energetic track that kicked off the debut].”
The band assembled to record ‘Afterglow’ in a studio in Westlake Village, about 70 miles outside of Hollywood, during five supremely productive days. Its 11 songs are set to delight all fans of high quality hard rock, also those that admire singers of distinction. Hughes is not known as The Voice Of Rock for nothing.
In terms of content, ‘Afterglow’ expands upon the progression that took place between ‘BCC’ and ‘BCC2’. Rich in hooks, melodies and choruses, it’s nonetheless another of those highly rewarding albums that bears additional fruit with repeated spins.
“I wanted this album to have more acoustic moments than the previous two,” explains Hughes. “I wanted to hear more of Derek [Sherinian] and I wanted the more angelic voice of Glenn as well as the more aggressive one which is there on songs like ‘Crawl’ and ‘Midnight Sun’. Above all, I wanted more drama.”
Hughes shares lead vocals with Bonamassa on the song ‘Cry Freedom’. “The vocal sound that Kevin got on this record is second to none – it’s his best work yet with BCC,” believes Hughes. “We butted heads a little on the first and second albums, simply because we’re both control freaks, but this was the record on which Kevin and Glenn became friends.”
Indeed, Hughes speaks of Shirley in the most glowing terms. “Kevin only needs three hours of sleep per night; he’s hyper and super-intelligent. He cracks the whip but he also knows exactly what he’s talking about when it comes to music.”
Black Country Communion hope to tour ‘Afterglow’ at the start of 2013.