Dusty Hill’s Bass and Vocals Will Be On Next ZZ Top Album
Dusty Hill may have passed away last month, but we haven’t heard the last of him. ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons revealed that Hill had already recorded his bass parts as well as vocals for an upcoming album. In an interview with Variety, he said the parts will need “some completion work.”
“I think the luck of the draw was, I handed Dusty a couple of lyric sheets and I said, ‘Hey, see if you can make heads or tails out of this.’ He said, ‘Can I sing it?’ I said, ‘Dusty, you could sing the calendar if you wanted to — people would love it,” Gibbons said. “He goes, ‘Hey, that’s not a bad idea. If we ever get back to go to work, can we add the calendar into the show? I know all the words.’ I said, ‘Get in there. Go sing.’ So, yeah, we’ve got a couple of things [with Dusty singing lead] that’ll make sense.”
Gibbons also recounted the tale of recording the rough tracks and how Dusty’s playing is so singular. The guitarist was producing the session and thought all the bass tracks were done, so he let Hill leave for the night. After finding a small section he missed, he and the engineer tried to patch it in themselves.
“Two hours later, we had passed the bass guitar around to every single living soul in the studio, and we still couldn’t match Dusty’s tone,” he admits. “He had something in that damn right hand of his that can’t be described, other than fierce.”
ZZ Top is continuing on their tour with longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis stepping into the bass role. Hill ordered the band to continue on without him, saying “The show must go on. Don’t forget it.”
The upcoming ZZ Top album has yet to be named. It will be the Texas trio’s first album since 2012’s La Futura. We’ll keep you updated with details as they emerge.