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.”



Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

34 Responses

Leave us a comment

  • Nic on

    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.

    • John G on

      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”.

    • Nic on

      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.

    • John G on

      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.

  • chris on

    U forgot two of the greatest Nic.. Blackmore and Beck

  • Big E on

    With all this talent ……it better be good!!! But would we but it anyway? Hmmmmmmm……

  • Lee on

    Somebody ask Jason what Page is up to besides remastering 45 year old tapes again. Get J.P. Jones on bass/keyboards,ditch mister implode. Imagine that three piece.

  • will on

    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.

    • Dana on


      Very fair assessment.

      Dana from 🙂

Leave a Reply