Billy Gibbons gets atmospheric on new spoken-word-and-guitar single, Desert High

Billy Gibbons recently announced his third solo album, Hardware, and now the ZZ Top electric guitar legend has unveiled a new single from it, the atmospheric, spoken-word-and-guitar closer, Desert High.

The new track follows the release of Hardware’s first single, the more traditionally-rocking West Coast Junkie.

Said Gibbons about Desert High, “The song is, perhaps, not typical of Hardware as a totality but it gives indication of the album’s desiccated sonic sensibility. The desert is a truly mysterious place and we were privileged to have spent all that time there absorbing the heat, the vibe and cranking it out. It’s where natural background is at its most raw and untamed. We suspect what we’ve done is something of a reflection or, perhaps, a mirage, that relates.”

Hardware is scheduled for release on June 4 via Concord Records, and features Gibbons backed by guitarist Austin Hanks and former Guns N’ Roses, the Cult and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum – the same team that supported him on his previous solo effort, 2018’s The Big Bad Blues.

Sonically, Gibbons has said that the record was influenced by the “high desert circumstance of its recording.”

He continued, “The desert settings, replete with shifting sands, cacti and rattlesnakes makes for the kind of backdrop that lends an element of intrigue reflected in the sounds created out there.”

You can preorder Hardware here (opens in new tab).

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.