Originally recorded by Hambone Willie Newbern in 1929, Rollin’ and Tumblin’ has become a Delta blues classic, covered over the years by the likes of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, as well as by more modern artists including Cream, Canned Heat, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, Blackfoot, Jeff Beck and, uhm, Cyndi Lauper.
"Rollin’ and Tumblin’ is the musical embodiment of our favoured 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."
The recording features former Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum – who produced the video – and Alabaman guitarist Austin Hanks, who co-wrote Flyin' High with Gibbons on ZZ Top's La Futera album.
When The Big Bad Blues was released, Gibbons said, “We successfully made our way through those uncharted waters with the Cubano flavour of Perfectamundo [released in 2015] and completed the journey.
"The shift back to the blues is a natural. It’s something which our followers can enjoy with the satisfaction of experiencing the roots tradition and, at the same time, feeling the richness of stretching the art form."
“There’s something very primordial within the art form,” he added. “Nobody gets away from the infectious allure of those straight-ahead licks!"
“I suspect Jimmy Reed did me in early on. The inventiveness of that high and lonesome sound remains solid and stridently strong to this day. We could go on to mention the line-up of usual suspects, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy, all three Kings (B.B., Albert and Freddie). The lengthy list of champions is forever carved in stone."
The Big Bad Blues is out now (opens in new tab).