Photo: Tilly antoine

Keith Urban + ZZ Top Play ‘Rough Boy’: Look + Listen

Known for such classic hits as “La Grange,” “Tush,” and “Legs,” ZZ Top was never considered a ballad band, though the trio’s 1986’s Afterburner LP included the downtempo “Rough Boy” single. And earlier this week in Nashville, Keith Urban put his own spin on their atypical title at a special event honoring ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.

At Gibbons’ guitar-forward blowout on Monday (9.18,), pickers like Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Chris Isaak, and Urban covered ZZ Top’s songs. Kingfish performed “Waitin’ for the Bus,” Isaak played “Sharp Dressed Man,” Elle King sang “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and Robert Earl Keen interpreted the Texas boogie of “La Grange.” While Urban sang a soulful version of “Rough Boy,”it was his guitar playing that brought house down. On hand to deliver a speech honoring Gibbons was SiriusXM’s hard-rock personality Eddie Trunk who was so impressed with Keith’s strumming that he posted a video of Urban’s performance and his “mega tasty playing.”

held the same week in Nashville, the unofficial kickoff to AmericanaFest was the BMI Troubadour dinner. Along with Gibbons and those playing for him onstage, guests included Molly Tuttle, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, John Oates, Kix Brooks, Jamey Johnson, and Gibbons’ protégé and musical partner, Tim Montana. BMI Icon recipients Steve Cropper, John Oates, and Bob DiPiero were also in the house.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Tilly antoine