Billy Gibbons making ‘oddball’ solo album

ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons is working on a solo album inspired by Cuban music – and he took advice from Foo Fighters mainman Dave Grohl before deciding to take the project seriously.

And despite his blues background, he describes the side-project as something of a return to his roots.

Gibbons tells Rolling Stone: “When I was 13 I got a guitar and my dad, being the consummate entertainer, sent me to New York to study Latin percussion.

“I learned maracas, timbales, clavas, bongos – you name it. And having lived in Mexico a couple of years, I know just enough Spanish to get me in trouble.”

He adds: “It’s turning out to be such an obtuse, oddball, unexpected left-turn from ZZ Top. But there is something to it.”

He’s nearing completion on the work, before rejoining his main outfit to resume the touring plans that were interrupted when Dusty Hill suffered a tour bus fall.

Gibbons spoke to Grohl while filming for the Foos’ Sonic Highways documentary series. “I said, ‘How do you get around having multiple bands?’ Dave said, ‘Keep the golden goose – doing a little side-project ain’t no big deal!’”

ZZ Top return to the UK for a one-off show at London’s Wembley Arena in June.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.