Great time with Billy Gibbons


‘Skyville Live’ Assembles Ace Guitarists Billy Gibbons, Orianthi, Frankie Ballard, Mike Henderson

There was an ax to grind at Skyville Live Tuesday night — many of them. 

ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, country singer Frankie Ballard, famed rock guitarist Orianthi, soulful blues singer ZZ Ward and celebrated guitarist and songwriter Mike Henderson joined to turn the venue’s online music series into a guitarathon for the night. 

Ballard, who gave Gibbons an amplifier emblazoned with the outline of Texas, said he had so much fun jamming during rehearsal that he’d already had a “great time.” 

“Everything after rehearsal is a bonus,” Ballard said. “Billy is one of my guitar heroes. I owe him a lot. He was like the older brother you have on the radio introducing you to all the music he loved. Guys like that got me turned on to the blues … he’s always been a big inspiration.” 

Gibbons kicked off the night with a set including songs from his debut solo album “Perfectamundo.” Short sets from Ward, Ballard, Henderson and Orianthi followed before the night’s players got back on stage to jam on a ZZ Top classic. 

Before the show, Gibbons said he was looking forward to the performance but admitted he didn’t know what he was getting into when he agreed to play. 

“The more I started digesting what had been assembled here, it started to sound really interesting,” Gibbons said. “The guys that are occupying the positions in (the backing band) are (really talented). I thought, ‘I’ve got the time off.’ I didn’t have a clue how professional this was. They have turned this thing into a living, breathing entity. It’s a good thing.”

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