Tag Archives: blues

Guitar marvel Billy Gibbons talks the blues, ZZ Top and Las Vegas

You never rather understand where Las Vegas transplant Billy Gibbons might appear. In the previous few years, he’s been found at Golden Knights games, sat in with the Jimmie Vaughn Band and, naturally, introduced a residency at the Venetian with his long-running band ZZ Top.

Previously this year, Gibbons (calling himself Billy F Gibbons) released a new solo album, The Huge Bad Blues. As the name indicates, it’s a gritty collection of blues originals and covers of tunes written by Muddy Waters (“Standing Around Sobbing,” “Rollin’ and Tumblin'”) and Bo Diddley (“Crackin’ Up”). Accordingly, Gibbons’ companion Big Bad Blues Trip finds him carrying out songs from the album and select ZZ Top tracks with a trio that includes guitar player Austin Hanks and ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum.

With his usual mix of dry wit and musical information, Gibbons addressed some concerns by e-mail about The Huge Bad Blues, why he loves Las Vegas and ZZ Top’s future.

Your new album, The Big Bad Blues, is a rather smooth mix of originals and well-curated blues covers. How did the concept for this album happened? Our buddy John Burk at Concord Records wanted us to come up with an album to follow [2015’s] Perfectamundo, our trip into Afro-Cuban noises. He stated, “Why refrain from doing a blues album?” and our immediate response was, “Perfectamundo!” And the “Who’s on First?” conversation ensued. We immediately took him up on the deal, and back to the studio we went. You simply can’t state “no” to the blues!

Bo Diddley looms large on this album, between the cover of “Crackin’ Up” and your handle “Bring It To Jerome,” written by his maraca gamer Jerome Green. I know Bo also figures prominently in your individual history: You and ZZ Top helped induct him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and you have a reproduction of a guitar he provided you. How has your relationship to Bo’s music changed over the years? Bo remains a substantial impact, insofar as he showed how to do more with a guitar than just strum the strings. Bo was the consummate innovator. Keenly inspiring from the start. As a sonic stylist and sheriff-of-the-old-West fashionista, he was an original. It’s been recommended Bo wasn’t actually from this world, and it might be the case that Macomb, Mississippi, is a Martian station.

I guess we’re more analytical about his work now, and have actually invested countless hours trying to deconstruct his method. That was certainly the case attempting to unwind Bo’s menacing recording of “Crackin’ Up”– that was a Rubik’s Cube times 10– however we believe we cracked the code to a certain degree. There’s never been anybody like Bo Diddley, which is why we celebrate him whenever and however possible.

Matt Sorum– who I understand you have actually played with in the past with Kings of Chaos– is playing drums with you on this present trip. The program is letting him show off a various side to his playing: He’s an expressive drummer who deals with a great deal of this blues-based material well, with his own flourishes. What makes him such a good drummer for this trip and the material you’re doing? Matt’s got both power and nuance, which is precisely what’s required. Technically, he’s at the top of his video game, and he manages the subtleties in a remarkable and soulful way. He constantly comes up with what’s proper while making it seem effortless. What can I say? He’s a total pro.

The band configuration in general for this trip is unique: There are 2 guitarist– yourself and Austin Hanks– and the 2 of you are compromising bass responsibilities in an intriguing fashion. As a technology lover, tell us about the advanced tech/instruments that you and Austin are utilizing to have the bass [sound]– without having a bass gamer. Utilizing the Little Thunder pickups, we can select the bottom strings to get a double octave drop, while keeping the normal guitar signal intact. Andy Alt is the developer, and his crack group of audio researchers from LA have developed a special variation just for this tour that has some innovative tech. It senses the lowest notes being played and drops ’em right into the bass guitar range. What the audience gets is double the bass, while experiencing the camaraderie straight with our left-handed guitarist, Austin Hanks. Then we include some amplified “dirt” with 4 stacks on either side of our mighty powerhouse drummer, Matt.

Joe Hardy, who you’ve been dealing with for over 3 years now, co-produced this brand-new record. Why do you work so well together? Joe has belonged to our Foam Box Recording group for twenty years now, and he’s just a really instinctive feline. When you think about something, Joe’s immediately on to it and how to achieve the “whatever,” in a sonic sense. He’s a truly simpatico service technician and artist– a rare mix that makes his efforts for this project all the more valued.

You’ve been refurbishing a house in Vegas– as I understand it, the location where Brigitte Bardot got wed in 1966– and plan on moving here full-time. What is it about the city that interest you/that you’re drawn to? Are you joking? I mean, “Vegas, infant” … and all that suggests. It’s a terrific location to have a really good time with practically no constraints, however also a fantastic location to live thanks to the diversity the city offers. If you can consider it, it remains in Las Vegas– and when you think of Billy F Gibbons, you know he’ll be there, too.

Musically, you’ve had many memorable Vegas minutes– from playing at Slash’s birthday party to being in with the Jimmie Vaughan Band to covering “Viva Las Vegas” with ZZ Top live. What makes Vegas such a lively, amazing music town? Why do you like playing/performing here? Yes, Vegas has been “the scene of the criminal activity” many times over, and we just love the ambiance. The majority of everyone appears to motivate enjoying due to the fact that when you remain in Las Vegas, an unique state of mind presents itself. The lingering question always comes around to, “Why not have a good time?” … and, invariably, there just isn’t any reason not to! Just go for it.

However, [it] may be an outcome of all that electrical power coming out of the Hoover Dam or, perhaps, some necromancy Howard Hughes (a fellow Houstonian, by the way) might have made a while back. Whatever it is, it’s great mojo!

You recorded a variation of “Viva Las Vegas” for ZZ Top’s Greatest Hits album in the ’90s. The video, of course, is over the top, but it looks like it was unforgettable and enjoyable. What do you keep in mind about the experience of working on that video? We rode around the Strip in a fire truck red ’53 Cadillac convertible and satisfied the ghost of Elvis. Isn’t that enough? We shot a great deal of it late in the evening, which actually makes no distinction in Las Vegas … the crowds were thick, and it was something of a public efficiency piece other than for the poolside scenes– the wedding chapel segment. Although the song was discussed 55 years ago, it still explains what’s going on today quite fittingly. Viva!

You have actually collaborated and had fun with numerous people over the decades. Any dream artists you have not had the ability to link up with yet you ‘d like to– and, if so, who and why? We’re huge fans of ZZ Ward for apparent factors, so that may be a worthwhile collaboration. We enjoy Mississippi blues experienced Bobby Rush whose long-ago soul struck “Chicken Heads” got our attention. He put the “onk” in fonky.

ZZ Top’s 50th anniversary remains in 2019, which is rather a turning point. Do you have any strategies in the works for anything yet– and, if not, would you like to do something? Our strategy is to keep keepin’ on. It’s worked for the past 49 years, so we have actually just got to presume it will work for the next 51.

BILLY F GIBBONS with Seth Loveless. November 16, 7:30 p.m., $39-$69, Brooklyn Bowl, 702-862-2695.

Jonathan Davis goes back to Las Vegas for a solo program at the House of Blues


Courtesy Jonathan Davis launched his first solo studio album “Black Labyrinth” in May.

At any time he wasn’t exploring or taping with metal clothing Korn, Jonathan Davis has actually constantly been dealing with his own music. In truth, one of the most popular tracks from the band’s most recent release, a tune called “Take Me” on 2016’s “Serenity of Suffering,” was initially meant for Davis’ own album.

That solo debut lastly arrived this year. Although it’s called “Black Labyrinth,” it’s a little less dark and a little more favorable than the typical Korn output, and Davis’ solo trip behind his “new” music lands at your home of Blues on October 10.

” It’s been a really various experience since I began writing and taping the album 11 years earlier. A lot of these tunes sat in a computer for 10 years waiting to find a home, and when Korn took a break it was the right opportunity to launch it to the world,” says the 47-year-old artist. “When I compose I don’t think excessive about it and I just composed from the heart at the time at that’s how it came out. I didn’t do too much to them [for the release], just little touch-ups occasionally. It’s pretty cool to listen to it 10 years later and feel like you can’t date it.”

Davis states his solo live program will have a various vibe from the aggressive, intense shows of Korn. The band carried out in Las Vegas just last month, at the Pearl at the Palms, as part of a limited trip to mark the 20th anniversary of landmark album “Follow the Leader.”

” It was incredible since we have such a long history with the Palms and also at the Acid rock and other places in Vegas,” he states. “It’s simply enjoyable to come to Vegas and fantastic to include it in that very special celebration, and really psychological for me to celebrate that record.”

He likewise connected with long time pal Criss Angel for another unique Vegas job while he remained in town. Angel is preparing a new magic incredible to open at the Planet Hollywood Resort later this year and Davis offered up some music and filmed some visuals to add to the production.

” He’s been a dear friend for a very long time and I really helped him produce his ‘Mindfreak’ signature tune back then,” Davis says. “I have actually seen him rise to turn into one of the best magicians of perpetuity and I just like the guy. When I concerned town we got together and started to brainstorm and I definitely wanted to be associated with the brand-new program.”

Jonathan Davis performs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 10 at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay and more information can be discovered at houseofblues.com.

Blues-rock stalwarts ZZ Top ready for a big run in Vegas


ZZ Top is still Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard. By )

Wednesday, April 18, 2018|2 a.m.

It’s hard to think anyone would mistake the members of ZZ Top for anyone aside from ZZ Top, however that’s what took place the very first time the band visited Las Vegas.

“All I knew of Las Vegas was what we saw on films and TELEVISION, so all of us headed out and rented tuxedos because that’s what I thought you ‘d use when you head out in the evening. We were Frank [Sinatra] and the kids,” describes Dusty Hill. “And everyone kept aiming to buy drinks from me. We were the only people in tuxedos.”

Regardless of that preliminary experience, the bass gamer for the iconic Texas blues and boogie-rock outfit still loves Las Vegas. ZZ Top shot a remarkable music video for its cover of “Viva Las Vegas” on Fremont Street years prior to its illuminated canopy was set up, and the band has been known to play other Elvis tunes throughout performance encores.

Absolutely expect some Elvis if you have a look at ZZ Top’s five-show perform at the Venetian starting this weekend.

“I’m a fan of Las Vegas and constantly have actually been, on lots of levels,” states Hill, who will commemorate 50 years together as a band with guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard next year. “Vegas to me is a location like Hollywood or New York where you can walk and people recognize you but it resembles, hey, that’s cool, and after that we happen with our lives. You’re not just there to see me onstage, you exist to play and have a good time.”

With its numerous hits– from 1973’s “La Grange” to 1983’s “Legs”– and equally recognizable look of beards, hats and guitars, ZZ Top is a natural choice for a Vegas mini-residency, however Hill states this is the first time the band has actually done a run like this anywhere.

“We’ve been wanting to try this for a while, even prior to it ended up being the thing to do,” he states. “To have more than one day in any town is various for us. We’re continuously.”

However making a longer stop in Vegas isn’t out of the concern. Hill has spoken with his buddies in Brooks & & Dunn about their residency at the Colosseum (co-headlining with Reba McEntire) and it seems like he can see ZZ Top exploring such an option. “I do not know if I want to change my name to Celine but we would not just do this without an eye towards the future. This is kind of an experience for us but one we’ve been wanting to do. We’ll see how it goes.”

By design, the band’s typically busy tour schedule is a little lighter in 2018. There are big plans for next year’s anniversary as ZZ Top is extremely proud of its longevity.

“We are unique due to the fact that we’re the same 3 men, and as Billy states, playing the same 3 chords,” Hill says. “We got a couple of things going on, a documentary we’re dealing with, some music things we’re dealing with, doing Vegas this year and popping around the country a little bit for the summer season. Exactly what we’re constructing and preparing for next year is quite comprehensive. The 50th only comes as soon as.”

ZZ Top carries out at 8 p.m. April 20, 21, 25, 27 and 28 at the Venetian Theatre (3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-414-1000) and more details can be found at venetian.com.

Best Bets: Calibash, The Moody Blues, Bell Biv DeVoe and more for your Las Vegas weekend


Mark Owens The Moody Blues open a four-show perform at Repetition Theater this

from traditional rock to Latin pop to hip-hop. Go forth and listen, and perhaps catch a hot brand-new program at Paris Las Vegas, too. THE MOODY BLUES The English icons and prog-rock pioneers are bringing their” Days of Future Passed” 50th anniversary trip to Wynn’s Encore Theater for 4 programs extending beyond the weekend on Tuesday, Jan. 30. and Wednesday, Jan. 31. Expect an opening set of greatest hits followed by a performance of 1967’s groundbreaking album of the same name in its whole. Jan. 26 & 27, information at wynnlasvegas.com. INFERNO The latest production program to

strike the Strip combines cinematic pyrotechnics with illusions and action-packed stuntwork at the Paris Theater. “Inferno,” conceived by Swedish magician and “Illusionist of the Decade “award-winner Joe Labero, made a fiery launching this week and continues Wednesdays through Sundays. Jan. 26-28, information at caesars.com. DIVAS DAY OUT Yearly females’s occasion Divas Day Out is back at the South Point all

day Saturday, featuring totally free admission and parking with access to numerous businesses displaying their offerings; tons of local information on house design, education, charm, fitness, family management and preparation; and home entertainment from” Divas Las Vegas “star Frank Marino and the Thunder From Down Under male revue. Jan. 27, details at divasdayoutlasvegas.com. Related material BELL BIV DEVOE The hip-hop/R & B trio behind” Poison”– you know, that songyou still dance to when it

begins the radio– are touring steadily again thanks to a boost from last year’s BET miniseries “The New Edition Story.” BBD takes the phase at Mandalay Bay Events Center Saturday night with support from SWV( “Weak, “” Right Here,” “I’m So Into You “) and rap attires EPMD and Whodini. Jan. 27, details at mandalaybay.com. CALIBASH If you were looking forward to capturing last year’s breakthrough Latin super star Luis Fonsi(” Despacito”) at the 2nd Calibash Las Vegas performance at T-Mobile Arena, you run out luck. But he’s been changed on this all-star bill with Park Theater resident Ricky Martin, who joins Jennifer Lopez, increasing reggaeton artists Farruko, Ozuna and Bad Bunny, and more. Jan. 27, details at calibashlasvegas.com.

Talking with the Eagles’ Joe Walsh, back at your home of Blues


Philip Marcias The famous Eagles guitarist plays 3 shows at your home of Blues at Mandalay Bay this week.

Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017|2 a.m.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joe Walsh is back at your home of Blues this week, offseting some held off September dates and delighted to be back on the Vegas stage after an effective perform at the Mandalay Bay mainstay in January. But the Strip ought to probably get utilized to seeing the famous guitarist– he hinted that the most recent version of the Eagles, playing without the terrific Glenn Frey who passed away in 2015, is planning a big tour that must make a minimum of one Vegas stop. Here’s the rest of my discussion with Walsh:

You’re doing 3 programs today and last time you did six. What do you prefer to do when you get additional time in Las Vegas? Generally if there’s a show that we haven’t seen we’ll try and go. Of course, my better half goes immediately to the shopping mall. I have to have a night off or 2 because I need to rest, but I absolutely want to capture a program. It’s just hard to decide which one to go to. I like Las Vegas, however I never ever get a chance to play a club like your home of Blues. I think we’ve graduated to a larger scale than that. When the Eagles can be found in and play, that’s on a grand scale. However [Home of Blues] reminds me of the old days. I love remaining in a small club where everybody has an excellent seat and we don’t look like ants. And you can feel the audience, that makes it type of magical and I miss out on that. I guess I have the very best of both worlds.

You recently played your very first benefit show for VetsAid, your new charity that benefits smaller sized organizations throughout the nation. You have actually been included with this cause for years. Why was the time right to start VetsAid this year? My daddy passed away in 1949 while serving in the Army Air Corps. I was really a Gold Star kid however in ’49 they didn’t [call it] that. I always felt type of alone. I always wondered what he resembled and exactly what he would have considered me. So the idea of Gold Star families truly resonates with me, I’ve been there, and there are a growing number of them these days … We are at war and it’s continuous and there’s no end in sight. Increasingly more guys are coming back from it and the shift back to civilian life is almost too big a mountain to climb up. I have actually been able to satisfy a great deal of veterinarians at various functions and events and it simply struck me that I need to step it up a notch, and I have a lot of peers who feel the same way. And I have actually learned that between the coasts, there are a lot of smaller companies that don’t have any spending plan, simply doing the best they can, some are run by vets, and they are saving lives. What I want to do is help keep them going, and also raise public awareness about exactly what these men coming home are up versus.

The classic Eagles album “Hotel California” is coming out as a 40th anniversary luxurious edition this month, in the nick of time for the vacations. How has the way you think of the album altered for many years? I think when it was done, after we invested just under a year working on it, we had lost our perspective on it but understood it was quite darn good. We had no idea it was going to impact that lots of people. It was unprecedented. We were astonished. It really developed into a huge deal. I’m so proud to have actually belonged to creating that album due to the fact that a lot of artists never ever get to experience that. “Grateful” is a much better word. However when we were doing the Eagles documentary, we went into the vault where we attempted to keep whatever and found an entire performance we tape-recorded we didn’t even understand we had. So that becomes part of the big box. It’s excellent to view. I can’t believe how young we are– I do not even keep in mind being that young. But we played our asses off. I believe that’s the part of the repackaging that makes it juicy.

You likewise played some Eagles shows recently with Vince Gill and Deacon Frey, Glenn’s son. Are you preparing more? Yes we are. You understand, we had to try. We didn’t know if we could do it, so we had to attempt. Glenn’s son stated fine and stepped up, he’s 23 and he’s excellent. He doesn’t know he’s terrific however he’s great, which actually helped us spiritually. Then we got Vince Gill and he completed that ghost voice in the harmonies, and he’s a fantastic artist. So we rehearsed and I was truly anxious about, however we played a couple reveals and got excellent reviews and it just felt ideal onstage. It felt terrific. So we took a deep breath and recommitted and yes, next year we’re going to play in between 40 and 50 shows. It sure feels excellent to play our music for individuals again, and they understand the words better than we do.

Joe Walsh carries out at your home of Blues at Mandalay Bay at 8:30 p.m. November 16, 18 and 19. To learn more, see houseofblues.com.

Best choices: Big Blues Bender, ‘The Jungle Book,’ Hoopfest and more for your Las Vegas weekend


Invision/AP Rock-and-roll Hall of Famer Dr. John performs at the Plaza this weekend during the Huge Blues Bender.

Friday, Sept. 8, 2017|2 a.m.

How many types of music can suit one weekend? Let’s begin with blues in downtown Las Vegas, hair metal in Henderson and classical at the Smith Center. There are likewise household friendly theater and sports events taking control of the town in the next few days, so find the fun that’s right for you and go get it.

BIG BLUES BENDER This rollicking music fest started Thursday and keeps the tunes coming all weekend long at the Plaza downtown. Friday’s acts consist of Walter Trout and Mavis Staples, Saturday includes Doyle Bramhall II, Shemekia Copeland and Tab Benoit, and Sunday closes the Bender with Dr. John. Continuing through Sept. 10, details at < a href=" http://bigbluesbender.com/" target=" _blank

” > bigbluesbender.com. HAIRBALL: A BOMBASTIC CELEBRATION OF ARENA ROCK The Henderson Pavilion is celebration its 15th anniversary and its beginning an impressive season of entertainment with the pyrotechnics, huge hair and larger rock noises of “Hairball.” The two-hour show provides classic hits by legendary bands including Kiss, Queen, Van Halen, Journey, Aerosmith and more. Sept. 8, details at 702-267-4849 or < a href=" http://cityofhenderson.com/henderson-happenings/henderson-pavilion/ticket-information/buy-tickets" target="

_ blank” > hendersonpavilion.com. DISNEY’S THE JUNGLE BOOK KIDS Get the children and head down to the Smith Center’s Troesh Studio Theater to catch Broadway in the Hood’s interactive, sing-along-friendly adaption of the beloved Disney film. Mowgli, Baloo, Shere Khan and all the classic characters are here, and they’re bringing great deals of music and enjoyable. Sept. 8-10, information at 702-749-2000 or < a href=" http://www.thesmithcenter.com/event/disneys-the-jungle-book-kids/" target=" _blank

” > thesmithcenter.com. Related content LAS VEGAS 3 ON 3 HOOPFEST Toshiba Plaza in front of T-Mobile Arena when again invites this amateur basketball competition to the Strip, and locals are welcome to assemble their family and friends to have a look at all the action totally free, surrounded by the food and enjoyable of the Park. Previous UNLV Runnin’ Rebel Wink Adams was on last year’s champion group, and he’s back to play once again this year. Sept. 9-10, info at < a href=" http://lasvegas3on3.com/" target=

_ blank” > lasvegas3on3.com. LAS VEGAS PHILHARMONIC OPENING NIGHT One of the greatest local cultural events of the year is set for Saturday night at Reynolds Hall inside the Smith Center when Donato Cabrera carries out Richard Strauss’ “Don Juan,” John Adams’ “Typical Tones in Basic Time,” and Johannes Brahms’ “Piano Concerto No. 1” to open the Philharmonic’s 19th season. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., however take a look at the pre-concert conversation at 6:30 and don’t miss out on the opening night mixer onstage at 9:30. Sept. 9, info at 702-749-2000 or thesmithcenter.com.

The Big Blues Bender grows without sacrificing its comfort appeal

Someone who won’t be singing the blues at this year’s Huge Blues Bender is creator/promoter A.J. Gross. The fourth edition of the specific niche music festival– set to take over the Plaza hotel September 7-10– has actually been sold out for three weeks, which marks the occasion’s second straight sellout.

But strangely enough, Gross says he made less tickets readily available this year– capability is topped at 2,200– which is the opposite of what the majority of festival organizers would have done following an effective previous year. “We did more in 2015, but people felt it was a little overcrowded, so we held it back a little and withheld single-day tickets.”

That level of fan consideration distinguishes the Bender from other music festivals. This isn’t Coachella, and absolutely nothing about it need to feel difficult. “It’s like our tagline: Everything is an elevator ride away,” Gross includes. “That’s where we originated from: all simple, all accessible.”

Bender-goers will have access to 5 stages, on which nearly 70 acts will play throughout the weekend, some more than once. Headliners include New Orleans legend Dr. John, R&B/ gospel icon Mavis Staples and blues favorites Tab Benoit and Walter Trout. Among the diverse program offerings: tribute sets to The Allman Brothers Band and The Grateful Dead, a panel commemorating women blues musicians, a movie screening and blues-themed yoga classes.

It’s a great deal of growth for a new-ish specific niche celebration, but Gross has actually had plenty of motivation and experience: more than 25 years promoting Vegas shows and 20 years going to the Telluride Blues & & Brews Festival. Most significantly, the concept for the Bender came as he viewed Gov’t Mule perform at an extensive resort in Jamaica. He knew he could do something similar in Las Vegas, with the exact same concentrate on convenience, however with less expense and higher convenience to music fans. “I wished to develop the kind of experience I desired somebody to produce for me,” Gross says. “I can’t do 16 hours of music. I wish to have the ability to hit my hotel space [and rest] then return down [for the shows]”

That explains the Bender’s popularity with tourists– who are coming from every state and 12 various countries and for whom the immersive occasion is a full-blown escape– and how it struggles to draw Nevadans, who comprise less than 10 percent of the attendance. That stated, Las Vegans will be represented onstage, including The Moanin Blacksnakes, Vegas Strip Kings, The Trevor Johnson Project and, playing the Grateful Dead tribute, Catfish John– which would be an excellent candidate for the brand-new music weekender Gross will go for the Plaza April 12-15: the Las Vegas Bender Jamboree, which will concentrate on bluegrass and jam bands.

Entirely, it’s an ambitious slate for somebody who was winding his music profession down simply 5 years earlier. Now, Gross has rekindled his enthusiasm for live music events, evidenced in the year he invests making certain the next Bender is better than the one before it. “I thought I was kinda done,” Gross states. “I thought Vegas didn’t make sense for me anymore. However I figured out the best ways to make a great brand name. And I’m trying to find the brand to grow. I want to bring more of these. I genuinely believe it’s an uplifting experience for everyone developed.”

Huge Blues Bender September 7-10, $499. The Plaza, bigbluesbender.com.