“That’s Where I Stand”: Billy F Gibbons On BB King, ZZ Top And ‘The Big Bad Blues’

Returning to his blues roots for his second solo album, ‘The Big Bad Blues’, Billy F Gibbons discusses his influences and continuing the blues tradition.

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ZZ Top singer and guitarist Billy F Gibbons caught The Big Bad Blues with his second solo album, supercharging the music that’s always inspired him. After “Gibbon-ising” Cuban music for his debut solo album, Perfectamundo, Gibbons was asked about retuning to his blues roots for the next project.

“I raised my hand and said, ‘That’s where we started and that’s where I stand,’” he tells uDiscover Music.

The album grew from “inauspicious beginnings”: “We started with some sessions that we didn’t know were being recorded until later,” Gibbons reveals, as the band tackled Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley numbers, among them ‘Crackin’ Up’ and a souped-up take on ‘Rollin’ And Tumblin’’. “The Big Bad Blues, as we now see, started with the discovery that the cover songs had started the ball rolling up that blues avenue,” Gibbons says. “We just kind of let it continue rolling.”

Down in the studio in Houston, Texas, Gibbons and his crew – a classic power trio including Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses) and Austin “Left Hand” Hanks – worked in a studio across the hall from where his long-term musical partners, Frank Beard and Dusty Hill, were working on new ZZ Top material. “They said, ‘Yeah, yeah, go do your thing. We’re going to start peeling the onion and create a few ZZ Top starter pieces,’” Gibbons says, adding, “And that gave me a sense of great confidence that the possibility of making something new within the framework of something that is trustable and repeatable: the ZZ Top thing.”

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ZZ Top singer and guitarist Billy F Gibbons caught The Big Bad Blues with his second solo album, supercharging the music that’s always inspired him. After “Gibbon-ising” Cuban music for his debut solo album, Perfectamundo, Gibbons was asked about retuning to his blues roots for the next project.

“I raised my hand and said, ‘That’s where we started and that’s where I stand,’” he tells uDiscover Music.

The album grew from “inauspicious beginnings”: “We started with some sessions that we didn’t know were being recorded until later,” Gibbons reveals, as the band tackled Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley numbers, among them ‘Crackin’ Up’ and a souped-up take on ‘Rollin’ And Tumblin’’. “The Big Bad Blues, as we now see, started with the discovery that the cover songs had started the ball rolling up that blues avenue,” Gibbons says. “We just kind of let it continue rolling.”

Down in the studio in Houston, Texas, Gibbons and his crew – a classic power trio including Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses) and Austin “Left Hand” Hanks – worked in a studio across the hall from where his long-term musical partners, Frank Beard and Dusty Hill, were working on new ZZ Top material. “They said, ‘Yeah, yeah, go do your thing. We’re going to start peeling the onion and create a few ZZ Top starter pieces,’” Gibbons says, adding, “And that gave me a sense of great confidence that the possibility of making something new within the framework of something that is trustable and repeatable: the ZZ Top thing.”

“When I saw what BB King did to that guitar…”

Gibbons’ love for the blues started at an early age – from seeing Elvis as a child, and then, at the age of seven, witnessing a BB King recording session in Houston. “When I saw what BB King did to that guitar, I went: ‘That’s for me,’” he says.

“There is a definite distinction between interpreting the blues form as a traditionalist and then the same thing goes for stretching the artform once again,” Gibbons says of where he sits in the blues tradition. “My good friend Keith Richards said, ‘Yeah, let’s take those same three chords, but let’s stretch it out, make something new.”

continue >>> https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/big-bad-blues-billy-gibbons-interview/

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1 Comment

  • keith
    November 10, 2018 at 12:44 pm  - Reply

    I’ve been listening to you since the early seventy’s.
    After the  Benton Blount  crap you pulled that’s going to stop
    so long socialist

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