Posted by Dana Category: LATEST NEWS

glennhughesjasonbonham400 Classic Rock Magazine reports:

Former Black Country Communion stars, singer-bassist Glenn Hughes and drummer Jason Bonham, have announced the formation of a new band – California Breed. Featuring the astounding talents of 23-year-old singer-guitarist Andrew Watt, the fact that their first album has been produced by Dave Cobb, whose spectacular work with Rival Sons has received so much acclaim, gives a big clue as to what they sound like.

“It’s proper rock,” says Hughes, “but at the same time it’s very now. Andrew is as influenced by Mick Ronson as he is Jimmy Page.”

“I grew up listening to all the grunge bands,” says Watt, “but my dad always played me The Who, the Stones and Led Zeppelin so that became my music too.

“This kid is amazing,” says Bonham. “The first time we met I thought he looked like the white Jimi Hendrix. And he plays in the studio likes he’s onstage!”

The three-man line-up got together as California Breed for the first time last year after Hughes was introduced to the newcomer from New York by their mutual friend Julian Lennon. “Julian was having an exhibition of his photographs at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in LA,” Glenn recalls, “and he said, ‘You must meet this guy, he’s the most fantastic guitarist – who turned out to be Andrew.”

Reconvening at Hughes’ Hollywood home a few days later, “The chemistry was just instant,” says Hughes. “We immediately wrote two songs together, Chemical Rain and Solo, both of which have ended up on the album. That’s when I called Jason and said you’ve gotta come down right now.”

“The energy when I walked in the room was crackling,” recalls Bonham. “I was so pleased. Glenn and I had not only really locked in as a rhythm section in BCC but we’d started writing together and we both really wanted to keep that good feeling going.”

Indeed, all 12 tracks on the as-yet untitled forthcoming California Breed album – the band have signed a deal with Frontiers label – have equal co-writing credits amongst the band. Recorded at Cobb’s Nashville studio, “Everything was done more or less live,” says Hughes, “including the vocals. Which is the reverse of how I’ve always done things”.

The end result is a sound that combines all the classic rock elements of BCC – big, meat-cleaver riffs and heart-rending vocals – but with a 21st century gloss that comes from working with someone as up-to-the-minute and talented as Watt (whose previous music can be heard at his Soundcloud page.

Look out for the first single, Midnight Oil, a raunchy Stones-esque rocker with breathless female backing vocals, deep groove rhythms and face-smacking guitars. The other breakout track is All Falls Down, the kind of spine-tingling pop-rock-who-knows-what that starts all color and light and finishes all towering harmonies, back-arching guitars and epidemic-sized catchiness.

There are others but, as Hughes says, “You’ll have to wait for the album in May to hear them. This, I promise, is going to be something special.”




  1. Good for these guys! I’m glad they’re moving on with a young, hungry guitarist that could be in this for the long haul. BCC could’ve been so much bigger and gone much further had they not had that self-centered, overrated guitar player in their band that just wanted to focus on his lame solo career. I wish more great musicians like this would take out the trash and move on.

    1. C’mon, now. Joe is a phenomenal player. I’ve been a fan of his for a while and really enjoy the amount of material he puts out. I am bummed that his ambitions got in the way of BCC, but so be it. Either way, Joe is a beast of a player and is probably one of THE hardest working musicians on the planet. I don’t think the guy sleeps.

      I’m excited to hear this new band! Congrats to Glenn and Jason on launching a new band!

        1. Eh, not sure I completely hear that, but then again, I do not play guitar. So, I am relying solely on my ears 😉

          Eric Johnson is a major fanatic when it comes to his sound/tone, not sure Bonamassa exerts that much effort/perfectionism into his tone.

          There maybe some influence there, but just basing it solely on listening to Ah Via Musicom many times, he is not a doppleganger. Personally, I hear more of SRV influence myself.

          Dana from 🙂

  2. This should be awesome band, BCC was a Fantastic band, quickly became one of my favorites. But to the gentlemen above called Nic. You need to get a clue on great guitar players, obviously you don’t know or have not heard much of Joe Bonamassa, His solo career is far bigger than BCC was before and after, He is the talk of the world right now, while I was as upset about BCC breaking up as much as anybody else, this guy is already one of greatest guitar player’s today and will go down in history as one of the best, this cat plays blues first and foremost, but he can shred as well as any the best out there, great melodic player, he can do it all flawlessly, check out his solo work, I dare you, check out his albums> Dust Bowl, Driving towards the daylight and many others, check him out on Live on Youtube!! Whether you like that type of rock or blues, if you don’t get blown away what this guy can do, you don’t have an ear for music at all and should just stop listening to music. I am fan of great guitarists, Iommi, EVH, Page, Satriani, Lynch, Rhoads, list goes on and on. Overrated, Open your ears Man and Listen!!

    1. George,

      I agree with you. While Bonamassa isn’t my favorite guitar player, he is very talented. Also, I am one of the few who think he can sing as well.

      I saw him live and thought he was great. I never understood all the hate for the guy, but you know what they say about opinions….

      Dana from 🙂

    2. I think you missed the whole point of that George. While you’re clearly a mark for Bonamassa and his playing, it doesn’t excuse the point I was making in that this guy rode the BBC gravy train buzz for four albums (counting the live album) and then decides he wants to take his ball and go home after stringing Glenn along with his little I’m in, I’m out, I’m in, I’m out bs. Only now Joe’s this household name thanks to BBC among the hard rock/metal world and not just the talk of the town among those flocking the open mic night blues bars from here to all corners of the earth that somehow think “Clapton is God.” The other three guys in the band were already household names in the music community, not just in a niche that’s known for praising boy wonder blues guitarists like him that emerge every decade. I remember when people where talking about Kenny Wayne Shepard in the 90’s like he was just the greatest thing. Then there was Eric Johnson in the 80’s, only technically better. Joe was lucky to have his run in a band like BBC. I’m just glad Glenn and Jason have hopefully moved on to a player that is dedicated to projects they start and shows a greater degree of maturity and respect than Joe ever did. Interestingly enough you have some excellent examples of great guitarists, but one only has to look at Joe and can see that aside from his playing – which is debatable – the guy has no stage presence and looks like some 14 year old boy that you’d see taking guitar lessons from a guy like the men you referenced that are not just paragon-level guitarists, but bonafide rock stars: look, presence, style, attitude, charisma, etc. The men you mentioned – Iommi, EVH, Page, Satriani, Lynch, and Rhoads are either the innovator, game changer, or stellar sort of guitarists that inspire generations in droves to pick up the instrument and are as unique as their playing, while on the other hand Bonamassa should consider himself lucky to get the press of an Eric and Kenny Wayne some 15 to 25 years from now. Though if for nothing else he’ll be remembered as a footnote for his run in BBC, thus the whole reason he used those guys in the first place. Btw, just because one isn’t easily impressed doesn’t mean “they don’t have an ear for music” quite the contrary. There are plenty of guitarists out there that can sing the blues on their six string and can play in every mode frontwards and backwards, yet are devoid of all the other things that make the other gentlemen you mentioned truly great. Some just can’t separate the men from the boys when critiquing this sort of thing.

      1. Hi Nic,

        While I know you are not replying to me, I just had to address a few of your points.

        1. Actually, I had heard of Joe Bonamassa before BCC. Our local public station here in NYC (Channel 13) featured a J.B. special and that is how I got introduced to him as a guitar player, singer and songwriter.
        2. Glenn Hughes was aware from the start that BCC was a side project for Bonamassa. He made it crystal clear that his solo career came first, and that if it fit into his schedule, then he would tour with BCC. Glenn admitted himself, that he was hoping for something more permanent.
        3. While you are certainly entitled to your opinion about J.B., but to say that his guitar playing is “debatable,” is a tad silly. Unoriginal? Perhaps, but he can play. I saw him live, he has chops and this is coming from a Randy Rhoads, George Lynch, John Sykes nut.

        Dana from 🙂

    3. ‘Talk of the world’? Nice hearing from the President of the Joe Bonamassa Fan Club. That statement is as over the top as Bonham stating the new kid looks like ‘a white Jimi Hendrix’. Bonamassa is a very talented player and no one can dispute whatever success he’s had. But his influences are quite visible in his playing, and I don’t mean that in a good way. No matter what great players are out there now, there is not a lot of ingenuity out there currently, which isn’t surprising given the past greats. But lets go easy on the over-glorifying of Mr. Bonamassa. He’s a very good player with a nice solo career, and has every right to choose between his career and the future of BCC.

    4. I’m with you on this one, Joe Bonamassa is a fantastic guitarist. His “lame” solo career had already made a name for himself well before his time in BCC. I really liked BCC, and I’m disappointed it ended the way it did, but I always had the feeling it was a side project for Joe from the start. Maybe it got bigger than he expected, and probably didn’t expect an album per year pace from the band. The guy is a blues player who happened to shine in a classic rock band, I’m kind of surprised it came out as well as it did for 3 albums. So, goodbye BCC – I wish there was more to come from you but thanks for what we got while it lasted.

  3. To Nic, Sorry to say, but to state that Joe Bonamassa has a “lame” solo career I can’t agree with. I loved BCC as much as the next person, but Joe made it clear from the beginnings of BCC that his solo efforts were his main focus. I’ve seen him live twice, met him once and have all his solo stuff. He is the guitar hero we all need in today’s musical environment. I’ve met Jason Bonham before too as well, all great guys! I wish Glenn and Jason all the best with this new band, but Joe Bonamassa in a band or solo, is a huge force to be reckoned with, and much respected!

  4. I’ve never heard of this new guitarist/singer, but I’m very intrigued, as he has some very big shoes to fill. I really liked BCC, so I will give this a chance. I’ve always liked a good power trio, and this one looks to have some good vocal options to work with, which is always a plus.
    Considering what Glen has been through, and his age, I’m simply not convinced that he is in fact , human.

  5. I enjoyed BCC just as much as the next guy..Heard about them initially by listening to Eddie’s sirius show on mondays.Ran out the next week or so,bought it a little record store,in jim thorpe,PA.Didn’t Bonamassa tell those guys ahead of time that his solo career would come first?That was my recollection. Though I never got to see the shortlived
    B.C.C..I enjoyed every band members playing and the albums had a great driving rock feel to them,I especially liked Album II! Joe B shouldn’t get the bad guy tagged to him. Plus I’m sure we’ll all be checking either one, or both of Eddies shows to check out this new band”California Breed”! Can’t wait !!! Just glad we’re still talking about good rock bands,hopefully we won’t ever get overrun with beibers,or Auto tune garbage on the corporate maindrain of originality and real rock music.Even though at times it feels we’re getting closer and closer..Keep supporting these real rock n rollas!!

  6. Evidently I missed the second coming we’ve all heard throughout the ages. In any case, thank you Dana and others for your comments. I feel a truly great guitarist and their contribution to their craft can be summed up in one song: Chuck Berry – Johnny B Goode, Jimmy Page – Whole Lotta Love, EVH – Eruption, and you get the idea. People are always going to have their opinion on who’s great or not so great. If I were to create a Mt. Rushmore of guitarists, relating to the music we love, I’d put Hendrix, Page, Iommi, and Van Halen on there. I find it disturbing when people talk about Bonamassa like they’re ready to etch his prepubescent looking likeness in granite right now.

    While I’m familiar with the formation and terms of BCC, my issue came from Joe’s not bowing out after the first album took off. I’m sure it surprised everyone involved over the success and buzz they achieved. Instead of considering his bandmate’s future, the guy records three studio albums, decides not to tour in support of the 3rd album, and then tells the guys they can’t even use the name Black Country Communion for their trouble. The way he dragged that out and conducted himself in the end was a slap to the guys and the fans. We’re lucky to have a legend like Glenn with the energy of a 20 year old here to deliver the goods for us with his new band. He’s an anomaly of his generation and should be praised, as Todd indicated. Though what I think frightens me the most about all of this, you have a guy like Nugent that stands up for America and our right to do what we’re doing right now – voicing our opinions, yet is being boycotted by certain so called Eddie Trunk/TMS supporters. On the other hand, Bonamassa for whatever reason can handle business questionably, take his bandmates and BCC fans for granted, yet is heralded as being such a great guy and impervious to any fault by the vast majority. It sounds like this guy could have quite a career in public office if he wanted it. Bottom line is I’ll be tuning into TMS watching my favorite show in support of Eddie, Jim, and Don. I certainly won’t be at the next Bonamassa show drinking the grape Kool-aide with the minions.

    1. I agree with a lot of your points Nic. I’m from upstate NY and got to see Joe Bonamassa play as a 12 or 13 year old. He reminded me of a lot of the YouTube sensations we see today, a kid parroting Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was hard to feel anything coming from his performance, since it was sheer mimicry. Maybe that’s the curse of having a great ear and being able to copy well. But hearing a 12 year boy old play “Hey Joe” would be like hearing a 10 year old girl sing “Round Midnight” or some Billie Holliday tune. It’s a joke, apart from the technique.

      I saw a YouTube video with Joe jamming with Eric Johnson on a Cream tune. What’s Joe play? An note-for-note Eric Clapton line from the same tune! So much for self expression. I’ll go listen to a CD if I want to hear that.

      I will sound like an old man here, but today’s players show very little style. It’s a natural part of the institutionalization of Rock ‘n Roll, and it happened before with jazz. The only “style” you’ll see now is either 1.) someone playing something incredibly technical (which really doesn’t have much to do with music) or 2.) someone just getting weirder. Everyone listens to the same people and they all sound the same. There is a ton, I mean of ton of sheer regurgitation. People may not like Ted Nugent’s style – but at least you hear a few notes and you know it’s him. Same with Page, Rhoades, Schenker etc…. Joe B. still appears to just copy and copy. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and all (we met his dad at a gig when he opened for Danny Gatton and Gatemouth Brown in Oswego) but that style does nothing for me. But again – the same thing happened in jazz. Today’s guitarists all sound like other older players. They stopped getting their own thing together, which unfortunately takes time and work. Much easier to just steal licks from everyone else and link them together and call it “style”.

      1. Much appreciated John G! What you said is what I was trying to get at, but you explained it even better with an interesting perspective having seen him literally as a kid starting out. I was beginning to lose faith in some of the establishment on here, but it’s refreshing to know another guitar guy hears the same thing I’m hearing out of Joe on this site.

        1. Well from what I’ve heard of Eddie Trunk, he’s all about an honest heartfelt debate. And we’re not just throwing sh*t, we have some logic behind our points. But yes, I saw Joe a few times – opening for BB King and others.

          I hate to break it to people, but it’s very difficult to go from mimicking people to suddenly playing what you feel. There are no shortcuts in music. And the way things are being taught now, both in music schools and otherwise (books, online) etc…. are not giving us the kind of players we grew up enjoying.

          There’s an excitement I feel listening to a top level guy, like Michael Schenker create. I went out and bought every UFO bootleg I could get my hands on just to listen to his extended improvs. It very exciting and you could feel how spontaneous he was and how he was getting off on the rhythm section. I still like listening to him and other people that are in the moment playing what they feel. Funny how in the 1960s and 1970s – two of rock ‘n roll’s greatest decades, we only had a couple real young guitar prodigies. Now, they are a dime a dozen. There is a catch somewhere – when you see dozens of young people with incredible chops at age 20, they sacrificed a lot of other aspects of their musicianship to get to where they are. And of course nobody really cares about most of the “hotshots” from the 1980s and 90s anymore for the most part, cause their playing was technical garbarge. Just rehashed lines they practiced over and over, and sprung out in their overthought solos. Jimmy Page used to record his solos last. Just whip off a few takes and take the best one. He didn’t compose them. It’s supposed to be an art, not a craft.

  7. It’s all subjective folks in what your ears like

    Here is mine.

    BBC was a solid classic sounding rock band..B+ level at best. Glenn,Joe and Jason all talented no doubt, but anything really memorable in all of that….eh. You could take all three release and probably just make on very good one with about 10-12 tracks at most.

    Glenn has been looking for his place in the spotlight for years, and Joe is good, but there are alot of well versed guitar players who can do what he does. Nothing out of the ordinary to write home about. Sorry to say this, but he will never (or not that much), be mentioned as one of the greats to roll off of the tongue when asked. Once you have heard one of his albums , you have heard them all.
    I respect what he does,but nothing to go gaga over.

    I am glad BBC did what they did, it was nice to hear some classic rock being made these days.

    Just have to wait and see what this new project will bring.

  8. What does this article even have to do with Joe B? Nothing.

    Personally ‘im sick of hearing about Glen Hughes, nothing against the guy but Eddie Trunks coverage of him has created a legend where none existed. The guy is ok, but come on. So he was in Deep Purple, yep…legend.

  9. Holy Crap!! What debate I started, Thanks for insight Dana. Let me be clear Nic, Your original comment was that he was “self-centered, overrated guitar player, wanted to focus on his lame solo career and wish more great musicians would take out the trash and move on, that’s a little harsh,
    no misunderstanding that . While I am huge fan of hard rock and metal first and foremost, Black Sabbath is my all time favorite BAND!! I seen them many times with Ozzy, Dio (My Hero> met him twice, great singer, great Man!) , Gillan, Martin and Hughes, Iommi, EVH my first favorites, along with Page, Blackmore, Rhoads, Schenker, Satriani, Yngwie, SRV, Hendrix, Petrucci, Kotzen, Lynch, god so many others, I seen almost all the above in concert more than once, I’m no guitar player, I played bass in a band in the past, I have many friends that are musicians who play guitar, bass and drums, most pretty good at their craft and have been playing for a long time, all big fans of all the above as well, I’m pretty well schooled on good musicians, they all feel Joe B. is breath of fresh air that is still working his craft on his sound, tone and technique and it has come through each year that passes, while I totally agree with everyone all above mentioned all have their own unique sound, which separates them from all the rest, they are best of the best, without question, not even debatable. I too hear Eric Johnson and other influences, I understand the copy mentality, and yes you can sum up alot guitar players with one song, but i’m sorry he is great player, he is far from any of the fly by night Youtube players being referred too. He is also known for his singing, love his voice! Yes, alot of today’s music, musicians and singers in rock, blues, jazz as well all other music these days, all sound the same, generic. I can’t stand that either, but there are a few that can carry the torch not as well as the hero’s we know and love but can do a decent job, Joe B. is one of them, you see I like good musicians in blues and jazz as well, he is getting better at his craft and I hate to tell you this alot of the above players we know and love think Joe B can deliver also. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. But Joe B. has booming solo career, BCC did not make him, he was already becoming big and he would have been big either way, he writes, sings and plays great, I can distinguish him from others by his sound, singing and style of blues he plays. I’m sorry people feel this way about him, your loss! That’s all I have to say about the matter. I usually do not get involved in these forums, but when someone says something that’s a little to harsh and unfair to say the least I needed to respond. Nic, Love that your passionate about music as I am as well, would love to hear what show’s you’ve been too and who your favorites are?

  10. I don’t think anybody’s saying that Joe Bonammasa is the “second coming”, just that he’s a good guitar player. As far as sounding like other people, I don’t know – everybody to some extent probably displays shades of their influences. I understand what you’re saying about developing a signature “voice” on the instrument, where you hear something and know who it is, but I think there’s a good chance I could hear something from Joe that I didn’t know and recognize it as him. Hard to say. You can’t really be a blues guitarist without playing “blues”. After all the decades and genres of famous guitarists to this point, what are the odds of someone that doesn’t sound anything like anyone else you’ve ever heard? I’m not condoning blatant ripoffs, but there ARE certain sounds and styles you kind of have to play within or around if you’re trying to be part of a given genre. You wouldn’t want to see B.B. King playing a show full of sweep arpeggios and two-hand tapping licks.

  11. As has been said, it’s all down to personal taste.
    I’ve been a friend of Hughsie’s since the early 90’s when my wife and I ran his fan club in the UK, “The Voice Of Rock”. So as you can imagine I love GH, have done since the 70’s, and I loved BCC too.
    To be fair I was into Joe B before BCC having seen him playing in a club on the Wirral, UK (near Liverpool) before he was known through to his career defining breakthrough, “Sloe Gin”. Yes, he is very much blues based, and as Robert Plant said referring to Robert Johnson, they’ve all copied from someone at sometime, that’s how it works. It happens everywhere. Joe is a very good technical guitarist, he can be flash, he play simple stuff and it isn’t his fault he looks like a teenager … wish I did.
    Also, to be fair, his solo career was taking off before BCC. “Sloe Gin”, the album. saw to that and the title track song has become his trademark .. and if you listen to it it’s a bonafide classic, a brilliant track. Follow on albums like “The Ballad OF John Henry” added to his appeal and by this time, in the UK, he had moved up to Manchester Academy size venues (holding around 2000 people) … which as much as it hurst me to say was far bigger than GH was playing to solo at the time (500 people venues).
    What BCC has done is propel them both further into the limelight. JB has moved up to arena size venues on the back of that (saw him at the Liverpool Echo Arena – half arena 5000 seats), whilst Hughsie with BCC was back in front of 2000 people at Manchester Acedemy and Venue Cymru in Wales, where I saw both gigs.
    BCC was only ever a side project for JB, GH new that so that fall out was unnecessary and ill-timed. Whilst I wanted BCC to continue, we have the memories, the CDs and the DVDs. Maybe they will reunite at some time as GH and JB are talking again these days, don’t hold your breath, but who knows?
    In the meantime, let’s wish Joe continued success, go and see him he’s great live, and let’s hope California Breed is a success too for GH and Jason.
    For me JoBo is up there with the best guitarists, different, but he’s up there … and I’ve seen Page with Zep live, and Iommi, Satriani, Beck, and my all time fave Trower. So let’s just call it quits!

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