For Immediate Release – Concord Records is releasing Perfectamundo on October 23, 2015. It’s

the debut solo album from Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top guitarist/vocalist and Rock and Roll Hall of

Fame inductee, who is backed by a handpicked group of musicians dubbed The BFG’s on this

unique outing. As the title may suggest, the album takes on a bit of an Afro-Cuban flavor that

may come as a surprise to some Gibbons fans and followers.

 

Even before the blues-rock/hard-rock great’s first recordings back in 1967 with the Moving

Sidewalks, his legendary pre-ZZ Top Houston psyche-punk garage band, Gibbons studied Latin

percussion in Manhattan with none other than its preeminent virtuoso, “Mambo King” Tito

Puente, a friend of Billy’s bandleader dad. Puente taught the young Gibbons the essential Latin

rhythms via conga, bongo, maracas and, most importantly, timbales. “Banging away on ‘em

came back like riding on a lost bicycle,” Gibbons relates of his return to the genre by way of

Perfectamundo.

 

But the concept for Perfectamundo, which was produced by Gibbons and Joe Hardy and

recorded in Houston, Los Angeles, Austin and Pontevedra, Spain, originated with Gibbons’

invitation to perform at the 2014 Havana Jazz Festival, delivered by his Argentine-born, Puerto

Rico-raised friend and musical collaborator Martin Guigui. While he was unable to make it to

Cuba, Billy did commence exploring the potential for an Afro-Cuban inflected album project at

his Houston studio. Soon after presenting his engineering crew with a business card from a

newly opened Cuban eatery called Sal Y Pimienta (salt and pepper), the first track finished for

Perfectamundo took its title from that card.

 

He followed this with a “Spanglish” version of Louisiana swamp blues maestro Slim Harpo’s

classic “Got Love If You Want It” and an Afro-Cubanized take on the Lightnin’ Hopkins blues

staple “Baby Please Don’t Go,” thereby fully merging Gibbons innate Houston blues tradition

with Cuban rhythms. With the first three tracks ready to go, he sought further guidance from

Guigui as well as Chino Pons, a Cuban friend who heads his own quartet in New York.  “Chino,

so to speak, sprinkled holy water on our efforts and expressed confidence that we were headed in

the right direction—and that bit of affirmation gave us the impetus for more forward motion,”

BFG & Co., then, includes Guigui on piano and B3, B3 player Mike Flanigan (who has joined

with Guigui in backing Gibbons on recent solo dates), vocalist/bassist Alex Garza and drummer

Greg Morrow, with co-producer Hardy offering additional guitar, keys, bass and vocals, and

Gary Moon also supplying additional guitar play. Besides guitar and vocals, Gibbons himself

contributes bass guitar, B3 and piano parts as well as Timbales and other percussion instruments.

Chino appears, too, as part of the seasoned Cubano Nationale Beat Generator percussion

ensemble. Altogether, the group displays a rare understanding of Cuban music of the pre-

revolution 1950s, and is also learned in the rock and metal exemplified by the likes of ZZ Top

and Led Zeppelin—all of which is uniquely reflected in Perfectamundo.

 

There’s even some hip-hop courtesy of Houston’s Garza, a/k/a Alx Guitarzza, which surfaces on

the title track, “You’re What’s Happenin’, Baby” and “Quiero Mas Dinero.” Other standout cuts

include “Pickin’ Up Chicks on Dowling Street,” which is pure Billy Gibbons; the Santana-like

“Hombre Sin Nombre,” the Stones-styled “Piedras Negras,” and the smoking B3-stoked, mostly

instrumental album closer “Q-Vo.” And Gibbons turns to a Houston classic of another sort in his

simmering and slyly percussive cover of Roy Head’s horns-fueled 1965 hit “Treat Her Right.”

 

Perfectamundo, indeed. And while the album is in fact his first solo release, Gibbons has been

quite active of late apart from his continuing endeavors with ZZ Top comrades Dusty Hill and

Frank Beard—though it must be made clear that Perfectamundo is accompanied by the blessings

The musical genius of Billy Gibbons is to be heard on his first ever solo album, refreshingly

unexpected but most predictably.. Perfectamundo. ¡Escuchemos!