For those who have not heard his Latin-infused solo debut Perfectamundo, Billy Gibbons offers this warning: “For the uninitiated, I’ll leave it with one word — beware.”
Gibbons’ musical departure from rock band ZZ Top mixes Cuban rhythms with hip-hop and blues, congas, bongos and the Hammond organ.“You can mosh to it or mambo to it,” the 65-year-old guitarist and vocalist said in an interview.
It all began with a phone call asking Gibbons to play at the Havana Jazz Festival in 2014. The gig fell through, but inspired the new album and Afro-Cuban sound.“We have about five or six additional — call them records — in the can, however, they were so predictably ZZ Top-like, ZZ Top-esque,” said Gibbons. “This was so off-the-wall, so weird and out of the ordinary that it just kind of took precedent.”
The gravel-voiced singer is preparing to hit the road with his new band, The BFG’s. They start on Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.