ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons Releases Gritty Muddy Waters Cover - Rolling Stone
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ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons Releases Gritty Muddy Waters Cover

Guitarist also covers Bo Diddley, Jerome Green on new LP ‘The Big Bad Blues’

Billy GibbonsGuitar Legends For Heroes Benefit, New York, USA - 29 Nov 2017Billy GibbonsGuitar Legends For Heroes Benefit, New York, USA - 29 Nov 2017

Billy Gibbons Guitar Legends For Heroes Benefit, New York, USA - 29 Nov 2017

Debby Wong/REX Shutterstock

ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons detailed a new solo album, The Big Bad Blues, out September 21st via Concord Records. He previewed the LP with a cover of blues legend Muddy Waters‘ “Rollin’ and Tumblin’.”

Gibbons adopts his signature guitar tone throughout the track, utilizing bent-note fills and smoky chords over a straightforward drum stomp. The album also features a version of Waters’ “Standing Around Crying,” along with Jerome Green’s “Bring It to Jerome,” Bo Diddley’s “Crackin’ Up” and Gilly Stillwater’s “Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’.”

The Big Bad Blues, as the title implies, features a return to Gibbons’ formative blues style that he explored with ZZ Top. “We successfully made our way through those uncharted waters with the Cubano flavor of [2015 solo album] Perfectamundo and completed the journey,” Gibbons told Relix. “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.”

The guitarist called blues a “primordial” force. “Nobody gets away from the infectious allure of those straight-ahead licks!” he added. “I suspect Jimmy Reed did me in early on. The inventiveness of that high and lonesome sound remains solid and stridently strong to this day. We could go on to mention the lineup of usual suspects, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy, all three Kings [B.B., Albert and Freddie]. The lengthy list of champions are forever carved in stone.”

The Big Bad Blues also features six original tracks from Gibbons. His backing band on the LP includes drummers Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) and Greg Morrow, guitarist Austin Hanks, harmonica player James Harman and keyboardist Mike Flanigin.

Billy F Gibbons – The Big Bad Blues Track List

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)

In This Article: Billy Gibbons, Muddy Waters


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