‘Hardware’, the widely anticipated third solo album from ZZ Top front man Billy F Gibbons was released on Friday, June 4. The album, recorded during the heat of last summer in California’s high desert near Joshua Tree, includes a total of 12 tracks, 11 of which were written by Billy and collaborators for the album plus Hey Baby, Que Paso, the Texas Tornados classic.
Gibbons has now released a video for the song She’s On Fire. The visual was shot at Pioneertown in California’s high desert. The temperature at the location of the shoot, Rimroch Ranch, reportedly hovered above 115 degrees.
The album’s release was preceded by three videos to date My Lucky Number, Desert High and West Coast Junkie. All videos were shot on location by Texas filmmaker Harry Reese while the album was in production.
Billy Gibbons commented, “It’s gonna be a good time and we’re looking forward to checking out the grooves with everybody in the world, known or otherwise, who wants to join us. We’re really delighted with the way it turned out, not to mention that we managed to avoid rattlesnake bites and cactus punctures over the course of the recording process. We holed up in the desert for a few weeks in the heat of the summer and that in itself was pretty intense,” says Gibbons. “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. 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.”
‘Hardware’ follows ‘The Big Bad Blues’ and ‘Perfectamundo’ in Billy Gibbons’ solo canon. The album was produced by Gibbons along with Matt Sorum and Mike Florentino with engineer Chad Shlosser providing additional production.
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’, Billy’s previous solo effort for Concord and winner of a Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award. The new album’s title is a tribute to the late Joe Hardy, the beloved recording engineer who worked with Gibbons and ZZ Top on projects dating back to the mid-1980s.
Advance reviews of ‘Hardware’ include Bill Bentley’s piece in Americana Highways where he notes, “..the electric guitars are turned up to ‘stun,’ and the backbeat boogie is sun-cooked into the grooves”. Guy Oddy, writing for TheArtsDesk.com (UK) opined, “This is good time, beer drinking music for sweaty bars in the summer heat and has no interest in posing and pretense. But when you can make a guitar sing like Billy Gibbons, what have you got left to prove to anyone?”
You can Listen to/Download/Order Hardware HERE
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With thanks to Concord Music/Virgin