ZZ Top founder and legendary guitarist Billy Gibbons is getting an all-star tribute next month with “A Tribute to Billy Gibbons” planned for May 16.
Eric Church, Lucinda Williams, Brad Paisley, Ronnie Milsap, and Dennis Quaid are just a few of the confirmed performers for this historic event. The taped concert will feature live performances from the iconic Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in front of a reduced capacity, socially distanced audience.
Travis Tritt, Jimmie Vaughan, Larkin Poe, Guthrie Trapp, and frequent collaborator Tim Montana are also slated to appear, along with other “surprise guests” that will be announced later. Proceeds from the show will also benefit veterans and first-responder charities, including the USO and the First Responders Children’s Foundation.
Gibbons also recently announced his new solo album, Hardware, set for release on June 4 via Concord Records and shared two singles, “West Coast Junkie” and “Desert High.”
The visual for “West Coast Junkie” also included an appearance from former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum, on a trippy desert road trip. Sorum also serves as Hardware’s drummer and was joined in the album’s core band by guitarist Austin Hanks.
Hardware will serve as the follow-up to Gibbons’ award-winning 2018 release The Big Bad Blues.
Tickets for “A Tribute to Billy Gibbons” go on sale April 23rd, while those who can’t make it to Nashville will be able to tune in when the upcoming TV special airs. More details are to follow.
In contrast to The Big Bad Blues and Perfectamundo, almost all of the Hardware repertoire is original and rock-oriented with 11 of the album’s 12 songs written by Gibbons, Sorum, Mike Fiorentino, and engineer Chad Shlosser.
The sole exception is “Hey Baby, Que Paso,” originally recorded by the Texas Tornados. The album’s title is a tribute to legendary recording engineer the late Joe Hardy who worked with Gibbons and ZZ Top dating back to the mid-1980s. Sonically, the album was influenced by the high desert circumstance of its recording.