Billy Gibbons Releases ‘West Coast Junkie’ From Forthcoming ‘Hardware’ Album

Billy Gibbons Releases ‘West Coast Junkie’ From Forthcoming ‘Hardware’ Album

American Blues Scene Staff

“It’s a raging rocker but always mindful of the desert’s implicit mystery,” Billy says of the new album

Hardware, the third solo album from ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons, has wrapped recording and post-production and is set for release June 4th by Concord Records. The album was recorded at Escape Studio in California’s high desert, near Palm Springs, and was produced by Gibbons along with Matt Sorum and Mike Fiorentino with engineer Chad Shlosser providing additional production. 

The album’s release is preceded by the release of the single “West Coast Junkie.” The video for the track was filmed near Joshua Tree, a stone’s throw from the studio.

Sorum, veteran of Guns ‘N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver and the Cult also serves as Hardware’s drummer and was joined in the album’s core band by guitarist Austin Hanks.  The same Gibbons-Sorum-Hanks aggregation recorded The Big Bad Blues, Gibbon’s earlier solo effort for Concord and winner of the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award.

In contrast to The Big Bad Blues and Perfectamundo, Gibbons’ debut solo album, almost all of the Hardware repertoire is original and rock-oriented with eleven of the album’s twelve songs written by Gibbons, Sorum, Fiorentino and 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.  Says Gibbons “The desert settings, replete with shifting sands, cacti and rattlesnakes makes for the kind of backdrop that lends an element of intrigue reflected in the sounds created out there.” 

“Stackin’ Bones,” one of the album’s standouts, features a guest appearance by Larkin Poe with whom Gibbons has been familiar and friendly for quite a while. He initially met them through the good offices of Tyler Bryant, husband of Larkin Poe’s Rebecca Lovell; he had toured extensively with ZZ Top in the past.  Larkin Poe also shared a bill with Billy at New York’s Love Rocks NYC benefit in 2019 and the Hardware collaboration grew from there.

While a truly broad spectrum of approaches is notable on the album’s hard driving tracks there is, to be sure, no mistaking the remarkable tone and growling vocals that are hallmarks of Billy Gibbons’ artistry. Elements of traditional hard rock, neo-metal, country rock, new wave, blues and even surf music make Hardware difficult to categorize and it would be a fool’s game to do so. In fact, “Desert High,” the album’s last track, is a spoken word piece accompanied by a sinewy guitar that evokes the legend Gram Parsons whose death 48 years ago took place very close to where Hardware was recorded.

Billy sums up the album’s ecumenical construct, “We holed up in the desert for a few weeks in the heat of the summer and that in itself was pretty intense. To let off steam we just ‘let it rock’ and that’s what Hardware is really all about. For the most part, it’s a raging rocker but always mindful of the desert’s implicit mystery.”

All songs were written by Billy F Gibbons, Matt Sorum, Mike Fiorentino, and Chad Shlosser — except “Hey Baby Que Paso,” written by Augie Meyers and Bill Sheffield. Video visuals supplied by director Harry Reese.                          

                                      

Hardware Tracklisting:

Video visuals supplied by director Harry Reese.

My Lucky Card

She’s On Fire

More-More-More

Shuffle, Step & Slide

Vagabond Man

Spanish Fly

West Coast Junkie

Stackin’ Bones (featuring Larkin Poe)

I Was A Highway

S-G-L-M-B-B-R

Hey Baby, Que Paso 

Desert High

 

Pre-order Hardware

 

*Featured image: Screengrab of video

Billy Gibbons & Tim Montana Serve Up Beez & Teez Whisker Bomb Pepper Sauce

Billy Gibbons & Tim Montana Serve Up Beez & Teez Whisker Bomb Pepper Sauce


Press Release

The new tongue tantalizers are available in two versions packaged in 5-ounce bottles: Whisker Bomb Original and Whisker Bomb Have Mercy ¡HOT!

Billy F Gibbons and Tim Montana, known for their guitar sounds and songwriting excursions, have taken their mutual quest for fiery foods, powered by spicy sauces, to a new plateau with the launch of their line of Beez & Teez Whisker Bomb pepper sauces.

The new tongue tantalizers are available in two versions packaged in 5-ounce bottles: Whisker Bomb Original and Whisker Bomb Have Mercy ¡HOT!  The former is a traditional Louisiana style hot sauce blended, according to Billy and Tim, with a Texas flair; the latter is a unique blend sourced from habañero peppers grown in the Peruvian high desert and offers a distinctive robust tart flavor. Both versions are now offered exclusively in the State of Texas through select H-E-B markets.  They are also available, coast to coast and border to border online at whiskerbomb.com.

Gibbons commented, “Tim is something of a kindred spirit both in music and as regards his lengthy facial locks. As it happens, he’s also a Mexican food aficionado and, like me, favors things on the spicy side. It was only natural that we got to jamming, so to speak, and came up with a formula for a hot sauce we could call our own.”

Montana noted, “Ever since I got to meet and work with Billy it’s been a wild ride.  He’s an action-oriented partner so when the thought sprang to mind to joint venture a new pepper sauce, he got the ball rolling in a big way.  One of his enduring slogans is ‘tone, taste and tenacity.’ As it turns out, that applies not only to guitar playing so we’re proud that Beez & Teez Whisker Bomb has all three of those bases covered – in a most flavorful way.”

Billy Gibbons is, of course, ZZ Top’s celebrated front man/guitar god whose penchant for the picante is the stuff of legend. When not on tour, he’s often found frequenting taquerias in his native Texas and wherever his travels take him. A few years back, he joined forces with Tim Montana who was raised in the state with which he shares his name. Their initial collaboration took place in Nashville where Tim now resides with his family. That collaborative effort yielded a hit country song, “This Beard Came Here To Party.” The song became the post season anthem for the 2013 Boston Red Sox who adopted the same hirsute look as Gibbons and Montana as a sign of their dedication. They went to win the National League playoffs and the World Series that year.  In musical support of the Red Sox Tim re-recorded the song as “These Beards Came Here To Party” with Billy Gibbons guesting on the track. The song was also adopted as the theme of the NHL Nashville Predators during their run up to the Stanley Cup final in 2017. Beyond that song, Billy and Tim (Beez and Teez, if you will) have become fast friends and collaborated on the title song for the feature film American Dresser before launching their Whisker Bomb venture.

You may remember a year ago when the two got together forming Whisker Brothers. Their July 4th party anthem, “Good ‘Ol BBQ” combined Montana’s Nashville bro-country sound with Gibbons’ Texas blues.

Mark Bradshaw, Manager of Business Development for H-E-B remarked, “We’re thrilled that H-E-B is the exclusive retail outlet in Texas for Whisker Bomb sauces. Billy and Tim have come up with a great new hot sauce that we’re confident is going to be yet another reason to shop at H-E-B.”

Billy F Gibbons Tim Montana H-E-B

*Feature image courtesy of Bob Merlis M.F.H.