Greetings, Mr. Billy…!
We have to ask, over time, have any of the fine and famous favorite ZZ Top tunes evolved or taken on new meaning?
We’ll, yeah…! For instance,”La Grange” certainly took on a new twist as we actually delivered an extended version of that very song in that very place quite recently. We are constantly reminded of the place that brought so much joy to so many every time we get to crank it out. Still a favorite!
We’re sure the ZZ Top audiences get to hear some favorite ZZ Top hits in concert. What we want to know is which deep cuts do you like to bring to the stage these days and why?
We’ve gone back to delivering a few choice gems from that brief period even before “ZZ Top’s First Album” came out. “Linda Lu”, Willie Brown’s ” Future Blues”, and, of course, anything from the Jimmy Reed catalog is fine by us. And when we really get down to it, a Frankie Lee Sims track will fit the bill. Lazy Lester, Lonesome Sundown, and the rest of those songs from way down in the bayou ain’t too far behind either. Always a few bluesy surprises and, rest assured, we still dig getting to perform the favorites.. and then some!
And when ya’ get down to it, there’s always something savory in the song lineup taking to the stage with “The Jungle Show” …the infamous holiday gathering with our rock ‘n roll pals, Jimmie Vaughan, Mike “The Drifter” Flanigin, Chris “Whipper” Layton and Susie “Q-T” Foley. That special show is where the going gets good and the groove gets greasy.
It was mentioned in a recent interview that y’all started the tracking process of a new album and that the songs “are very much L-O-U-D.” What else can you tell us about the new ones? What they’re all about? (We’ll take any details you’re willing to throw our way!)
What lays inside many ZZ Top compositions is a good story, a tall tale, and recounting some whacked out event from down on the touring trail. We definitely like to offer versions of Dusty’s rich style of singing, [which is stronger than ever], and Frank killin’ it on the backbeat. The songs are a regular groove for us and satisfying for all especially when conjuring up images of hot sauce, red beans and rice, or just about anything from “La Frontera”…!
Speaking of writing, recording and making music for nearly 5 decades … how much (if anything) has changed in ZZ’s perspectives, processes or approach to making new music? Any lingering takeaways?
It feels much the same now as it was from the way, way, wayback. As the saying goes,”When playing what you want to hear, you’ll be playing what you like!”
Obviously, there have been quantum dizzying leaps within advancements in the technology of recording, and the exotic elegance of killer equipment. And yet, that seemingly simple statement above, “Play what you want to hear”, is the surest way to relate to the creative process. It remains true.
We are hustling a way to revisit the album concept by putting out our next batch of songs in a kind of “good-flow” sequence. Definitely the old-school approach.
Take the Rolling Stones recent blues release…”Blue and Lonesome”… The entire package has a thick cohesiveness from track to track which makes for a great listening experience.
On another note, how do you plan to celebrate five decades of making music together?
By making more music, of course.
As a guitarist, what are you still learning about your instrument and abilities?
Just when you think you know it all you realize that you might not know it all and that’s when the creative process gets to take “a few steps beyond”.
What do you still unequivocally love about this band, the music and/or the road?
For us, the bonus is getting to serve up a solid sound — We’re like
intercontinental milk men.
Thanks again, BFG, for another round of “7 MORE”!
3 thoughts on “7 MORE”
Hope to see the Reverand at this year’s SEMA show!
Most of Billy’s guitar playing is in standard tuning (EADGBE). Does he ever use any open tunings?
Hello Billy, I saw you years ago with your group, Moving Sidewalks. Did the group play at Lamar HS? Did you ever go surfing in Texas?