Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dusty Hill - ZZ TOP

Dusty Hill


For today’s Know Your Player let’s take a look at the great Texas Bluesman Dusty Hill.  Hill joined ZZ Top in 1969 along side founder/guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard.  He is the archetypal blues bassist, pushing and driving a Texas shuffle or laying back on a grinding blues.

If Billy Gibbons is the V8 engine of ZZ Top, then Hill is the frame and suspension.  ZZ Top are known for their guitar based blues/rock  sound, and Hill has helped shape the numerous classic recordings that this great trio has made over the last 40 years.  ZZ Top’s website is here.

Dusty Hill is known for playing Fender Telecaster and Precision Basses.  He gets a growling, punchy sound out of the Fenders, with a hot midrange and an aggressive low end.  Although he plays with his fingers, his attack is quick and clear and has a pick-like quality.  The Fender Custom Shop released a Dusty Hill Signature Precision in 2011.  It has a lightweight ash Telecaster body, reverse P-Bass maple neck, and a Seymour Duncan designed single coil pickup.  For more info on this bass click here.
Hill is a classic pocket player and below are some examples of his best work.  The songs are in chronological order from oldest to newest.  On a final note, I read this on a forum and I think it is a great pledge:  “I promise to play the root, the whole root, and nothing but the root, so help me Dusty Hill.”  Enjoy!