by Jessica Nicholson
ZZ Top founder Billy Gibbons will get the tribute treatment in an upcoming concert set to tape May 16 in Nashville, featuring Eric Church, Brad Paisley, Lucinda Williams, and more.
“A Tribute to Billy Gibbons” will include live performances at the Grand Ole Opry House, before a limited capacity, socially-distanced audience. The lineup also includes Larkin Poe, Ronnie Milsap, Tim Montana, Dennis Quaid, Guthrie Trapp, Travis Tritt and more.
Concert donations will benefit first-responders and military nonprofit groups including the USO and ThanksUSA.
Long before Gibbons landed at No. 32 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists—and grew his signature beard—he was playing in the psychedelic garage band The Moving Sidewalks in the late 1960s. The group opened a few shows for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. By 1969, Gibbons had formed ZZ Top, and throughout the 1980s, they notched signature hits such as “Sharp Dressed Man” “Sleeping Bag” and “Legs.”
Gibbons has made numerous guest appearances on songs including Kid Rock’s “Hillbilly Stomp,” Ronnie Dunn’s “Honky Tonk Stomp,” and joined trio Chapel Hart in their video for “Jesus & Alcohol.”
Back in 2002, several country artists tipped their hats to ZZ Top on the album Sharp Dressed Men: A Tribute to ZZ Top. Paisley performed the title track, Brooks & Dunn performed “Rough Boy,” and Alan Jackson offered a rendition of “Sure Got Cold After the Rain Fell.”
In 2006, Gibbons and Paisley were among the artists paying tribute to the late country legend and one of the Bakersfield Sound architects Buck Owens, as part of the Academy of Country Music Awards.
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