Billy Gibbons / ZZ Top
A legendary master of the six-string, Gibbons is widely regarded as one of America’s finest guitarists working in the blues rock idiom. ZZ Top’s sound owes much to his uncanny knack to squeeze unheard of sounds of the electric guitar that resonate with the blues, pop, R&B, country, gospel, western, hillbilly and West African influences that coalesced when rock ‘n roll was born. His almost subconscious awareness of this heritage makes his an approach that is innovative and authentic, not to mention his unmistakable down ‘n dirty growl as a vocalist.
Before ZZ Top, who would go on to become an acknowledged symbol of the State of Texas, Billy fronted several bands during his formative years growing up in Houston and soon became a local phenomenon. The Moving Sidewalks was his psychedelic pre-ZZ Top group and had occasion to open for Jimi Hendrix. Beyond his work with ZZ Top, he’s recorded with such notable artists as B.B. King, Les Paul, Queens of the Stone Age, Nickelback, Kid Rock, Johnny Winter, John Mayall and others.
Fun Fact:Gibbons is an internationally recognized collector of guitars and cars, a fact chronicled in the best selling book he wrote about his collecting obsessions, Rock + Roll Gearhead.
His guitar collection today numbers more than 800 instruments and includes the “Muddywood,” constructed from fallen timbers from Muddy Waters’ childhood home.