ZZ TOP: Cuba Leads to Solo Album?
Billy Gibbons says he’s been writing Cuban-influenced songs ahead of a trip there in June.
ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons is looking to do a solo album — with a Cuban influence.
Gibbons is headed to the island nation in June for a jazz summit and he’s been working on new material inspired by that nation’s rhythms. The guitarist tells Rolling Stone, “The engineers were rolling their eyes, going, ‘Yeah, Gibbons is going to go Havana on us.’ But when I was 13, I got a guitar and my dad — being the consummate entertainer — sent me up to New York to study Latin percussion with Tito Puente. I learned maracas, timbales, clavas, bongos…you name it. And having lived in Mexico a couple years, I know just enough Spanish to get me in trouble.”
Gibbons adds, “I put together a little side band. I’m going back to wrap up the project and, believe it or not, it’s turning out to be such an obtuse, oddball, unexpected left turn from ZZ Top’s blues background. But there is something to it.”