by Shawn Patterson
When you combine three amigos from Texas (two with giant, almost comically oversized beards and one guy named Beard) with some greasy guitar based blues-rock you get a band. Well not just any band, but "the biggest little ol' band in the world that started out in Texas " (or some charming catchphrase like that).
ZZ Top has been laying down the law for over three decades. Their infectious blues-rock format was unswerving throughout the 1970's, steadily gaining them a solid base of beer swillin', good-time lovin' Texas fans, generous album sales and steady radio play. All was well and fine in Alamo country then came along the glorious, overindulgent '80's. Their videos were filled with long legged women holding car keys stepping out of hot-rodded customized Fords, and fur covered guitars that spun in circles. More importantly though, was the melding of their tried and true blues sound with keyboard based sequencers. This revamped their entire look and sound and with it brought the band a resurgence in popularity the group has not seen since.
All the while however, guitarist Billy Gibbon's peso-powered guitar prowess continued to maintain its honest, soulful style, regardless of the setting. In this Eliminator-era lick, we show some of the "pinched" harmonics and cool slides that were all over Billy's recordings at the time. Remember the Alamo!