For more than 40 years, Billy Gibbons has been best-known as the guitarist and singer for roots rockers ZZ Top.
Now he's striking out on his own and touring the country as a solo act. He's playing Friday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
Although it's being called a solo show, Gibbons is actually touring with his new band, called the BFG's. (That stands for Billy F. Gibbons.) It's a side project and doesn't mean that ZZ Top is going to stop cranking out its trademark Texas blues-rock.
With the BFG's, Gibbons is playing something a bit different. The band's first album, "Perfectamundo," is infused with Afro-Cuban rhythms. But it's still a hit with ZZ Top fans, and it entered the Billboard Blues chart at No. 1.
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Before he hit the big time with ZZ Top, Gibbons had studied percussion with Tito Puente, and the love of Afro-Cuban percussion had remained with him. On "Perfectamundo," he adds that flavor to such songs as Slim Harpo's classic "Got Love If You Want It" and the Lightnin' Hopkins blues staple "Baby Please Don't Go." So there's plenty of blues in his new music.
In concert, Gibbons and the BFG's perform most of the songs from the album, plus other songs that fit Gibbons' blues/Afro-Cuban format.
Details: 7 p.m. Nov. 27, Mahaffey Theater, 401 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets: $42.50-$65.50. Information: 727-892-5767, themahaffey.com.
-- Marty Clear