With Black Country Communion, everything seemed to have finally come together for the well-traveled Glenn Hughes. Then, the band suddenly flew apart in the wake of disagreements between Hughes and guitarist Joe Bonamassa over touring obligations.
It’s easy to imagine how lost Hughes — despite early tenures with the likes of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath — might have felt. Still, there was, even amidst the wreckage of his old band, something to build on: His newfound musical relationship with drummer Jason Bonham. “When Jason and I first left BCC,” Hughes says, in the print edition of Classic Rock, “we felt like we had only just begun to explore our musical partnership, so we knew we wanted to continue working together. The only snag was who we got in to play guitar and work with us on new material.”
In steps Andrew Watt, a 23-year-old singer-guitarist with personality to spare. Bonham, who has worked with Foreigner, Heart and his late father’s old outfit Led Zeppelin, was circumspect at first: “The first time I saw Andrew, he looked like the white Jimi Hendrix, wearing his big hat with a feather in it,” Bonham says. “I thought: ‘What’s Glenn got me into now?’ But then he started to play, and there was such a buzz in the room, I started to get it. Andrew plays like he’s on stage, kicking chairs over and giving it his all. I liked it, ’cause I was a bit like that when I was a kid, too.”
California Breed was born. The power trio’s new album, produced by Dave Cobb, is due in May. Hughes says whatever misgivings he once had about moving on from Black Country Communion have evaporated. “I thought I had reached a new peak with BCC,” Hughes says, “but this is like a whole other level from that.”
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