Billy F. Gibbons loves the blues. That’s hardly surprising, considering the obvious influence it’s had on ZZ Top throughout the classic rock band’s career.
But Gibbons really loves it — so much, that he’ll release a new solo album titled The Big Bad Blues on September 21 that pays homage to some of his favorite blues jams, while sprinkling in some original tunes as well.
One of the covers finds Billy tackling the Muddy Waters standard “Rollin’ and Tumblin,'” which you can hear below:
The Big Bad Blues is Gibbons’ first new album since 2015’s Perfectamundo (enjoy his feature interview with us geared around that record at this link).
“We successfully made our way through those uncharted waters with the Cubano flavor of Perfectamundo and completed the journey,” Gibbons said in a statement about the new record. “The shift back to the blues is a natural. It’s something which our followers can enjoy with the satisfaction of experiencing the roots tradition and, at the same time, feeling the richness of stretching the art form.”
Joining Billy in the studio for this LP were Mike Flanigin (keys), Joe Hardy (bass), Greg Morrow (percussion/drums), Matt Sorum (drums), and Austin Hanks (additional guitar).
So what’s on the album?
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” he says. “It’s no secret there are several favorites from the way-back starting with not one, but two, from the Bo Diddley catalog [‘Bring It to Jerome’ and ‘Crackin’ Up’]. We dusted off an old Gretsch Duo-Jet guitar which put it squarely with that infamous Bo Diddley sound. Once covered, we made way into another side—a much earlier number from Muddy Waters, ‘Standing Around Crying.’ The ragged edges with the meanness of James’ bad self on harp seemed to fit the bill to enter the lineup.”
The track listing (with pre-orders up now at Gibbon’s site):
1) “Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’” (Gilly Stillwater)
2) “My Baby She Rocks”
3) “Second Line”
4) “Standing Around Crying” (Muddy Waters)
5) “Let The Left Hand Know…”
6) “Bring It To Jerome” (Jerome Green)
7) “That’s What She Said”
8) “Mo’ Slower Blues”
9) “Hollywood 151”
10) “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” (Muddy Waters)
11) “Crackin’ Up” (Bo Diddley)