Billy Gibbons Believes Dusty Hill’s Replacement Has Brought ‘Finesse’ To ZZ Top

Billy Gibbons recently chatted with Louder Sound, recalling his late bandmate Dusty Hill and discussing what ZZ Top had been like without him.

The frontman first shared what working with Hill was like and recalled how the bassist had chosen his successor way before his passing when the host asked if losing Dusty felt like losing a family member. Gibbons replied:

“Oh yeah. Dusty was a great guy, a swell singer. He provided a solid platform for me to solo without having to look back. He was always on it. Dusty used to say: ‘If I’m late to the stage, be sure to give my guitar to Elwood [Francis, Hill’s roadie].’ Elwood is a family member; he’s been with us for three decades.”

And, ‘sure enough,’ the late rocker’s wish about Francis was granted by his bandmates, as Billy further discussed how the new hire brought ‘finesse’ to the band and how ready he was for the job from the very start:

“And sure enough, Elwood picked up the parts and pieces [to replace Hill in ZZ Top]. But whereas Dusty played with his fingers, Elwood uses a pick. It’s a little sharper. He brings a little more finesse. And at the first rehearsal, he showed up with a full beard longer than mine.”

Gibbons then also discussed the possibility of a new album and didn’t shut down any rumors, signaling new ZZ Top material might be on its way:

“Are things coming to the boil yet? Yeah, in fact, we are currently reviewing the tracks that deserve completion. Dusty is on some of those, so is Elwood. What’s fascinating is that we have three or four tracks with them both; they’re trading off. The only tell-tale difference is that Dusty, playing with his fingers, sounds a little warmer.”

Still, although Gibbons admitted Elwood has brought ‘finesse’ to the band and hinted they were working on new material, you can also check out the time when the frontman confessed how he realized Dusty couldn’t be replaced.