ZZ Top is moving ahead with the release of the album it was working on prior to bassist Dusty Hill’s death last year.
Raw, the band’s sixteenth studio album and first new LP since 2012’s La Futura, will arrive July 22.
The album was recorded by ZZ Top’s original lineup of Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard and Hill during intimate sessions at Gruene Hall, one of the oldest continually run music venues in Texas.
Just like in the 2019 Netflix documentary That Little Ol’ Band From Texas, ZZ Top recorded just about every track live from the floor, within sight of each other, over the course of about a day.
The Raw album features a few refreshed versions of ZZ Top classics, as well as some of the band’s early favourites.
Gibbons and Beard described the process as “a return to our roots.”
“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 band, featuring the co-founders with longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis on bass, will hit the road again in May on the ‘Raw Whisky’ tour. The band has dates announced through August.
“‘The Dust’ may have left the building but he’s still very much with us,” Gibbons and Beard added.