“The riffs are tougher, and there are hooks! Yes, hooks!”: Black Country Communion announce new album and Joe Bonamassa’s guitar is pure fire on the supergroup’s new single, Stay Free

Black Country Communion
(Image credit: Rob Bondurant)

Here’s a little something for the weekend for rock fans and the incendiary guitar playing of Mr Joseph Leonard Bonamassa: the supergroup Black Country Communion have officially announced their return with a new album, V, and a new single, Stay Free, which you can check out now.

And if you’re a fan of those funky hard-rock grooves where electric guitar, bass and keys are joined together in unison in what comes across a little like a 21st-century update of Trampled Under Foot – featuring a truly bruising drum beat – then the chances are you will enjoy Stay Free.

It’s been a minute since the last time we heard new music from Black Country Communion – seven long years in fact – so let’s remind ourselves of the personnel. The HR roll call pretty much tells you what BCC is going to sound like, and how this album is going to play out. 

On guitar and vocals, we’ve got Joe Bonamassa, doing a Gary Moore in adapting his muscular blues guitar style for hard rock. On bass guitar and vocals, we’ve got Deep Purple MkIII alumnus Glenn Hughes. Derek Sherinian of Dream Theater, Alice Cooper and Sons Of Apollo fame is on keys, while Jason Bonham plays drums. 

V, which is the band’s fifth album, is scheduled for release on 14 June, and was once more produced by Kevin ‘The Caveman’ Shirley, and he promises more riffs, more hooks.

“For a band that started out as a collection of the best practitioners of their instruments, they very quickly found a unique sound,” he says. “This time around, it has more purpose, the riffs are tougher, and there are hooks! Yes, hooks! It’s the most cohesive record, full of soul and grit, and I think this is the one that’s going to be the benchmark for Black Country Communion.”

The English-American supergroup will play their first live show in 11 years on 17 March when they take to the stage at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The gig was put on by Bonamassa’s Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation, with proceeds from the show going to supper music education and “musicians in need”.

It will also serve as a nice little warm-up before the band take to the high seas as they join the Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea Cruise, which sails from Miami on 18 March, and terminates in Cozumel, Mexico on 22 March. Tough gig.

V is available to pre-order now, via J&R Adventures. It is the second album from Bonamassa (and the second to be helmed by Shirley) within a week. Last Friday, 23 March, the blues guitar superstar announced Live At The Hollywood Bowl (With Orchestra), a deluxe double album and DVD/Blu-ray that captured Bonamassa’s career-high set at the legendary Californian venue, where he was joined on the evening by a 40-string orchestra. 

Bonamassa shared the first single from that, his cover of Bobby Bland’s Twenty-Four Hour Blues, and you can check out the video of that – and the new BCC track Stay Free – above.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.