Billy Gibbons is Perfectamundo at Revolution Hall and Viking Twang
Written by Randy Black on December 7, 2015
Viking Twang Episode 68, December 8, 2015
Good morning, welcome to Viking Twang Episode 68. My name is Randy Black, happy to be here, as always. I have a final right after this, so you may hear some pages turning in the background as I get some last minute studying in.
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame is playing this Friday at the Revolution Hall, the new venue open in the old Washington High School in inner Southeast Portland. We’re going to devote the second set to his new solo album, Perfectamundo. Plus, I have a pair of tickets to the show to give away; listen at the set break and I’ll tell you how to win. In the third set I have some old string band music.
Last week we featured the Del McCoury Band in anticipation of last Sunday’s show at the Aladdin Theater, which was absolutely fantastic, as always. We played Del singing with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys in a 1963 show from Mechanics Hall in Lawrence Massachusetts; here’s more from that show.
1 – Turkey Red; W.C. Beck & the Portland Country Underground.
2 – Watermelon Hangin’ On That Vine; a traditional instrumental.
3 – Band Introductions
4 — Panhandle Country; a Bill Monroe composition.
5 – On and On; by Bill Monroe.
6 – Devil’s Dream; also by Bill Monroe.
7 – Love’s Going to Live Here. Although Bill introduces it as a George Jones song, it was written by Buck Owens, who had a Number 1 hit in 1963. That’s Bill’s daughter Melissa singing.
8 – Muleskinner Blues; Jimmie Rodgers and George Vaughn Horton wrote that in 1930, though it’s descended from a 1928 song, Labour Blues, by Tom Dickson.
9 – Y’all Come; by Arlie Duff.
Billy Gibbons formed ZZ Top in 1969, along with Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, and it might be the longest-running band with all the original members. For Perfectamundo, he returned to his deepest roots, in Cuban music; he studied percusson with Tito Puente when he was 13. So there are definitely some Afro-Cuban influences. We’ll start out with a song from his first band, the Moving Sidewalks, before playing the title song of the new album.
10 – Need Me; the Moving Sidewalks, released in 1968.
11 – Perfectamundo; the title track.
12 – Treat Her Right; the 1965 #2 hit by the Texas band, Roy Head and the Traits.
13 – Piedras Negras. Named after either a coal-mining town in Mexico, or a restaurant in San Antonio — or both.
14 – Q-Vo
15 – La Grange; from the 1973 ZZ Top album, Tres Hombres.
16 – Tube Snake Boogie; from their 1981 album El Loco.
We’re going to round out the show today with some great string band music from a 2005 album called “Good For What Ails You: Music of the Medicine Shows, 1926-1937. Here’s Papa Charlie Jackson.
17 – Scoodle Um Skoo; Papa Charlie Jackson. Jackson is known as the first of the self-accompanied blues musicians to make records. He also recorded with legendary musicians such as Hattie McDaniel, Ma Rainey, and Big Bill Broonzy. He recorded this in Chicago in 1927.
18 – Jimbo Jambo Land; Shorty Godwin. William Harry Godwin, also known as Hiram Hayseed, was a Georgia fiddler and comedian who recorded this song in 1929. He later became a radio personality on WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia.
19 – Travelin’ Man; Prince Albert Hunt’s Texas Ramblers. Another Texas fiddler who is considered one of the pioneers of Western swing. He had two recording sessions before being murdered by a jealous husband; this is from March, 1928.
20 – Born In Hard Luck; Chris Bouchillon. The originator of the talking blues style adopted later by Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan; apparently because he had great songs but a rotten voice. This was recorded in Atlanta in April, 1927.
21 – G. Burns is Gonna Rise Again; “Blue Coat” Tom Nelson, T.C. Johnson, and Porkchop. From 1928; believed to be a takeoff on the religious song, “Dese Bones Gwine Rise Again.” Nobody knows who Porkchop nor G. Burns was; there’s now a San Diego group called the G. Burns Jug Band.
22 — Twang Theme; the Countrypolitans.