Billy Gibbons has released a new live video of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” the much-covered blues favorite that the guitar hero included on his 2018 Concord album The Big Bad Blues.
As with the earlier “Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’,” the footage in the clip features Gibbons with former Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Austin Hanks. The video was filmed by director Harry Reese at the Aztec Theater in San Antonio, as the ZZ Top star and his band concluded a nationwide tour.
“‘Rollin’ and Tumblin’’ is the musical embodiment of our favored slogan ‘Blues you can use,’” says Gibbons. “No matter how it’s interpreted, it’s the sound of the now and the future, too! We’re happy to have it out again as our contribution to continuum that is the blues.”
“Rollin’ and Tumblin’” is perhaps most closely associated with Muddy Waters’ version for Chess Records, released in 1950. But it was first recorded more than 20 years earlier, by Hambone Willie Newbern on another famous blues and R&B label, Okeh Records, in 1929, as “Roll and Tumble Blues.”
After Waters’ interpretation, the song was cut by Elmore James and his Broom Dusters and then introduced to a rock audience by Cream, on their debut album Fresh Cream in late 1966. More than 100 other covers include readings by Johnny Winter, R.L. Burnside, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.
In 2001, Jeff Beck recorded “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” for his You Had It Coming album, with vocals by Imogen Heap. It was visited again by Bob Dylan, no less, on his Modern Times album of 2006, and has been remade at least another 20 times since.
Gibbons led the sixth annual all-star Jungle Show concert from Anton’s in Austin, Texas, on New Year’s Eve. Although coronavirus restrictions required the show to be a livestream, it featured the usual supergroup line-up with Jimmie Vaughan, Mike Flanigin, Sue Foley, and Chris Layton.
Billy Gibbons’ The Big Bad Blues can be bought here.