Billy Gibbons and the BFGs: Perfectamundo

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
We are one hell of a long way from 1971 and ZZ Top's First Album (London). That music was as purely organic chewing tobacco and loose as the dust on the bank of the Rio Grande. Well, all that ended in 1976 with Tejas (London), which was the beginning of the band's ascendency to pop stardom in the '80s with songs shining with polish, humor, and technology. Break forward 40 years and band-frontman Billy Gibbon's picks up where he left off with La Futura (American Recordings, 2012). On is solo debut, Perfectamundo, Gibbons embraces every technological and cultural advance offered in music since the ZZ Top's heyday: Over-autotuning vocals, loops, synths, hip-hop, and space-aged studio engineering exploiting that overdriven guitar sound he pioneered. Gibbons has not missed a beat.

Perfectamundo is a slickly produced take on R&B, soul, and blues as strained through Cuban-Latino filter. Much seed has been spilt on the ground regarding the Cubano- Latino influences contained herein. As a native of south Texas, this would be part of Gibbon's musical genome. Add to Gibbons' guitar, keyboards (lots of them) including the copious use of the Hammond B3 coupled with thick use of the habanera (Cuban contradanza—Jelly Roll Morton's "Latin Tinge") and the result is a dense and molten momentum that is as immediately listenable and danceable as is a margarita is drinkable in an unforgiving Laredo Summer.

Gibbons pulls a couple of blues from the mire, a radioactive take on Slim Harpo's "Got Love if You Want It" and the ever-present "Baby Please Don't Go" as imagined by Lightnin' Sam Hopkins. Both get an oversized sonic treatment and thorough updating. Gibbons transforms the Roy Head and the Trait's hit, "Treat Her Right" into a sweaty night at the cantina before sliding into the original Classics IV on acid "You're What's Happening Baby." Gibbons brings on the salsa picante in the percussion-heavy "Sal Y Pimiento" and "Hombre Sin Nombre." I can say this for Gibbons, he keeps thing interesting. Many will realize the obvious charms of this recording, young and old.

Track Listing: Got Love If You Want It; Treat Her Right; You're What's Happenin' Baby; Sal Y Pimiento; Pickin' Up Chicks On Dowling Street; Hombre Sin Nombre; Quiero Mas Dinero; Baby Please Don't Go; Piedras Negras; Pefectamundo; Q' Vo.

Personnel: Billy Gibbons: vocals, guitars; Alx Garza: bass; Mike Flanigin: Hammond B3; Martine GuiGui: piano, Hammond B3; Greg Morrow: drums; Joe Hardy: guitars, keyboards; Gary Moon: guitar.

Title: Perfectamundo | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Concord Records


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Home Counties" CD/LP/Track Review Home Counties
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Screen Sounds" CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Storm" CD/LP/Track Review Storm
by Jim Olin
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four" CD/LP/Track Review B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 6, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor