Raw would seem to be part of ZZ Top’s DNA, much less the title of one of its albums. But we’ve never heard the Texas trio quite this kind of raw before. There’s a kind of brilliance that resulted in RAW: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas Original Soundtrack. It’s a live album without an audience, brought about when Banger Films, makers of the 2019 Netflix documentary, gathered the group at historic Gruene Hall, billed as Texas’ oldest continually run dance venue, ostensibly for some still shots. But the band’s gear was set up on the stage, and suffice to say that when Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard are in a room together with instruments, music is bound to happen. (Sadly Hill passed away in 2021).
That ad-hoc session was captured – gloriously – for the film and now for this belated companion. A decent argument can be made that this is the, or at least a, definitive ZZ Top document, capturing the band in its “native habitat,” playing for each other, without overdubs or studio polish, just relaxed and having an audibly good time. It’s a fly-on-the-wall-like glimpse into the rehearsal room.
(Sadly Dusty Hill passed away in 2021)
PS The DVD mentioned is IMPORT ONLY.