ZZ TOP will release a new album titled “Raw” that was recorded in connection with the band’s wildly popular and critically lauded 2019 Netflix documentary “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas”. The Grammy-nominated feature from Banger Films and director Sam Dunn includes an interlude that finds the group’s classic lineup — Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard and the late Dusty Hill — gathering for a very intimate session at Gruene Hall, “the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas.” That performance provided the basis for the “Raw” album release.
The album’s title is derived from the unfettered and straightforward manner in which the tracks were recorded. As seen in the film, the bandmembers played, for the most part, together within sight of each other in the course of one day. The methodology employed was something of an homage to the way ZZ TOP recorded at the start of its epic five plus decades run at the pinnacle of rock’s pantheon.
Billy F. Gibbons served as producer with engineering by Jake Mann and Gary Moon; “Raw” was mixed by Ryan Hewitt. The album’s 12 tracks recall the very beginning of the band’s recording career (“Brown Sugar” and “Certified Blues” from ZZ TOP‘s first album) and include many of their major hits (“Legs”, “Tush”, “La Grange”, “Gimme All Your Lovin'”) with a definite blues skew (“Blue Jean Blues”, “Just Got Paid”, “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide”) as well as some up-tempo house rockers (“Tube Snake Boogie”, “Thunderbird”).
“Raw” will be released July 22 by Shelter Records/BMG on 180-gram vinyl, CD and through digital platforms and is dedicated “in righteous memory of Dusty Hill.”
The album’s liner notes by Billy and Frank explain the approach: “It was, in a very real way, a return to our roots. Just us and the music, no audience of thousands, no concession stands, no parking lot social hour, no phalanx of tour busses. Just us and the music. We knew right then it was a very special circumstance, all of us in the same place at the same time and what a time it most certainly was! It was as bare bones as when we first started touring in a behemoth Chrysler station wagon, driving vast stretches between those early far-flung shows under blackened Texas skies and first hearing our records on the radio. We were bonded as brothers.
“‘The Dust‘ may have left the building but he’s still very much with us.”
“Raw” track listing:
01. Brown Sugar
02. Just Got Paid
03. Heard It On The X
04. La Grange
01. I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
02. Gimme All Your Lovin’
03. Blue Jean Blues
04. Certified Blues
05. Tube Snake Boogie
At the same time the new album is being announced, the band’s forthcoming “Raw Whisky” tour has been revealed. The first leg of the tour, starting on May 27 in San Diego, California, will see the band on stage in 50 markets across North America, more dates to be announced soon. The tour’s title is a hat tip to both the forthcoming album as well as the recent release of ZZ TOP Tres Hombres whisky from Balcones Distilling of Waco, Texas, a flavorful 100 proof mash bill of roasted blue corn, malted barley and rye.
Tickets are on sale for most markets starting March 11.
May 06 – Niagara Falls, ON – Fallsview Casino Resort
May 29 – Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amphitheatre
Jun. 01 – Redding, CA – Redding Civic Auditorium
Jun. 02 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
Jun. 05 – Jacksonville, OR – Britt Pavilion
Jun. 07 – Bend, OR – Hayden Homes Amphitheater
Jun. 08 – Walla Walla, WA – Wine Country Amphitheater
Jun. 09 – Spokane, WA – First Interstate Center for the Arts
Jun. 12 – Billings, MT – MetraPark – First Interstate Arena
Jun. 14 – Grand Junction, CO – Las Colonias Park Amphitheater
Jun. 17 – Tucson, AZ – Casino Del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater
Jun. 19 – Colorado Springs, CO – Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts
Jun. 21 – Loveland, CO – Budweiser Events Center
Jun. 22 – Grand Island, NE – Fonner Park – Heartland Events Center
Jun. 24 – Park City, KS – Hartman Arena
Jun. 25 – Oklahoma City, OK – Zoo Amphitheatre
Jun. 26 – Little Rock, AR – First Security Amphitheater
Jun. 29 – Rogers, AR – Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion
Jul. 01 – Toledo, OH – Toledo Zoo & Aquarium – Amphitheater
Jul. 02 – Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
Jul. 05 – Fort Wayne, IN – Foellinger Theater
Jul. 09 – Greenville, WI – Greenville Lion’s Park
Jul. 22 – Boston, MA – Leader Bank Pavilion
Jul. 23 – Watertown, NY – Watertown Fairgrounds Baseball Diamond
Aug. 27 – Beaver Dam, KY – Beaver Dam Amphitheater