Billy Gibbons, the founder of ZZ Top and an instantly recognizable figure in American music, will be the subject of a new tribute concert and TV taping set for May 16th in Nashville. “A Tribute to Billy Gibbons” will feature live performances at the Grand Ole Opry House in front of a reduced capacity, socially distanced audience.
Eric Church, Lucinda Williams, Brad Paisley, Ronnie Milsap, and Dennis Quaid are among the announced performers. Travis Tritt, Jimmie Vaughan, Larkin Poe, Guthrie Trapp, and Tim Montana, a disciple of Gibbons and a frequent collaborator, will also appear. Other artists are expected to be announced later, with “surprise guests” also on tap.
The house band includes guitarist Audley Freed, drummer Fred Eltringham, bassist Mike Merritt, and a horn section. Martin Guigui, on piano, is the music director.
“A Tribute to Billy Gibbons” is presented by America Salutes You and doubles as a benefit for military, veterans, and first-responder charities, including the USO and the First Responders Children’s Foundation.
Gibbons announced his new solo album, Hardware, in March with the release of lead single “West Coast Junkie.” A video for the track featured the guitar player and his trio, including ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum, on a surreal desert road trip.
Tickets for “A Tribute to Billy Gibbons” go on sale April 23rd. The concert will be filmed for an upcoming TV special; additional details are forthcoming.