Written by Jim Bille
Billy Gibbons returned home to Houston with his current tour in support of his new release ‘Big Bad Blues’. New material from the CD was featured heavily throughout the show along with a few sprinkles of classic ZZ Top for good measure so there was plenty of Billy Boogie to go around.
Gibbons is backed up on this tour by country blues artist extraordinaire Austin Hanks on guitar and Matt Sorum, from Guns and Roses on drums. This musical triple threat made for one rockin’ and rowdy time at Revention Music Center last Saturday night.
The show started off with a frantic version of the Hambone Willie Newbern classic “Rollin and Tumblin”. Gibbons of course took the lead on the number and rocked the house with this first of many raucous tunes to be featured throughout the night.
Paying tribute to fellow Texan Roy Head, the second song Gibbons performed was “Treat Her Right”, Heads’ hit from 1965.
Gibbons’ raw and raunchy rendition of the obscure blues number “Bring it to Jerome” by Bo Diddley was a fine example of Gibbons penchant for interpreting the blues as only he can do.
ZZ Top numbers featured during the show included musical blues nuggets like “Blue Jean Blues” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago”. Other Top tunes were “Just Got Paid”, “La Grange” and the favorite crowd sing-a-long song, “Sharp Dressed Man”.
Austin Hanks song “Rising Water Blues” was included during the set with lead vocals by Hanks. This tune can be found on Hanks latest release ‘Alabastard’ and was a perfect fit for the evenings production.
One of my personal favorites of the many obscure covers that Gibbons pulled out of his hat this evening had to be “I Like It Like That”, a song written by Lowman Pauling and originally recorded in 1953 by The 5 Royales with Charlie “Little Jazz” Ferguson and his Orchestra.
Musical tribute was also paid by Gibbons to’ Slim Harpo, Bobby Troup, Hank Ballard and Sam and Dave with inclusion of songs like “Got Love If You Want It”, “Route 66”, “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go” and “I Thank You” respectively.
Ultra-high energy and a load of great music was delivered this evening by Billy Gibbons. His musical mark was without a doubt exceeded as he proclaimed how great it was to be back home in Houston. The packed house felt the same and was thrilled to have their Texas musical icon back in the neighborhood as well.