Gibbons recorded the album at a studio in California’s high desert with ex-Guns N’ Roses member Matt Sorum on drums and second guitarist Austin Hanks, both of whom backed Billy during his tour supporting his 2018 solo effort, The Big Bad Blues.
Sorum also co-produced Hardware with Gibbons and Mike Fiorentino. The album features 12 songs, 11 originals co-written by Gibbons, Sorum, Fiorentino and studio engineer Chad Shlosser, and a cover of the 1990 Texas Tornados tune “Hey Baby, Que Paso.”
Hardware’s title is a tribute to late producer and engineer Joe Hardy, who worked with ZZ Top and Gibbons from the 1980s until his passing in 2019.
One of the album’s tracks, the surf-rock-inspired “West Coast Junkie,” has been released as an advance digital single, and a music video for the tune has premiered on Billy’s official YouTube channel.
The black-and-white clip was shot near Joshua Tree National Park and features grainy footage of Gibbons, Sorum and Hanks performing the song and driving in a vintage car through the barren landscape, as well as scenes of three bathing-suit-clad women go-go dancing on some giant desert rocks.
Hardware also features a guest appearance by the acclaimed Americana duo Larkin Poe, who contributed to a song titled “Stackin’ Bones.”
Gibbons says of the album, “We holed up in the desert for a few weeks in the heat of the summer and that in itself was pretty intense. To let off steam we just ‘let it rock’…For the most part, [Hardware is] a raging rocker but always mindful of the desert’s implicit mystery.”
Here’s Hardware’s full track list:
“My Lucky Card”
“She’s On Fire”
“Shuffle, Step & Slide”
“West Coast Junkie”
“Stackin’ Bones” — featuring Larkin Poe
“I Was a Highway”
“Hey Baby, Que Paso”
By Matt Friedlander
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