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.”



34 Responses

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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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