Canadians love their Cuba, as an escape from winter obviously.
Now that Americans can finally go there too, one that’s scheduled to play there this June is the great ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons. Only this one’s part of a jazz summit. “How did my name get on a jazz roster? I’m a blues and rock & roll player,” Gibbons tells Rolling Stone. “But I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I’d love to go to Havana.”
Gibbons has been in the studio writing what he calls “Cuban music.” Turns out, we he was 13, his father sent him to New York to study Latin percussion with Tito Puente and Gibbons learned maracas, timbales, clavas, bongos, the whole enchilada, and having lived in Mexico a couple years says Billy, he knows “just enough Spanish to get me in trouble.”
As for this Latin solo album endeavour, it was while he was filming his guest appearance on Dave Grohl’s Sonic Highways documentary series – the episode on Austin, Texas, Gibbons looked to Grohl for advice, asking him, “How do you get around having multiple bands?” Dave answered, “Keep the golden goose. Doing a little side project ain’t no big deal!'”
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, so to speak, the ‘goose’ aka ZZ Top, hit the road again this March to resume their tour, having been grounded after bassist Dusty Hill had to take time to recover from a tour bus tumble, last summer.
ZZ Top have been at it, forty-five years now.
Go Billy go.