wed 23/06/2021

Album: Billy F Gibbons - Hardware | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Billy F Gibbons - Hardware

Album: Billy F Gibbons - Hardware

ZZ Top’s frontman still has the blues

Beer drinking music for the Texas heat

The Blues is one of the few genres of modern music which isn’t completely in thrall to the Cult of Youth and there might even be a view that older is better among its practitioners.

Indeed, the likes of John Lee Hooker and RL Burnside, to name only a couple, were still turning out tunes at ages when anyone else might have hung up their guitars and dedicated the rest of their lives to relaxing with some quality malt whisky. Likewise, ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons, at the fine old age of 71 summers, clearly has no thoughts of calling time on the boogie just yet and that’s a fine thing, as his third solo album, Hardware has plenty on it to keep fans very happy.

From the muscular blues rock of “My Lucky Card” to the Tom Waits-like “Desert High”, Gibbons evokes the Texas heat and the cold beers that help when dealing with that kind of climate. “She’s on Fire” and “More-More-More” keep the momentum up, even if the production is a bit slicker than might be absolutely required. “Spanish Fly” is more gritty with a dash of Southern funk and the indisputable claim that “You gotta get down if you wanna get high”. Elsewhere, Larkin Pow get on board for the hip-swinging “Stackin’ Bones”, while “West Coast Junkie” is a thumping groove with crashing waves of surf guitar and an excess of cool.

Billy Gibbons isn’t doing anything new and the tunes on Hardware are hardly much different to those he knocks out on his day job with ZZ Top. That’s not the point though. This is good time, beer drinking music for sweaty bars in the summer heat and has no interest in posing and pretence. But when you can make a guitar sing like Billy Gibbons, what have you got left to prove to anyone?

This is good time, beer drinking music for sweaty bars in the summer heat and has no interest in posing and pretence

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Average: 3 (1 vote)

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