Billboard Bits: Wilco, Rusty Anderson, ZZ Top

Stories about Wilco, Rusty Anderson and ZZ Top's Billy F Gibbons.

WilcoWilco will be among the artists appearing at the 20th anniversary edition of Farm Aid. As previously reported, the Sept. 18 show in Tinley Park, Ill., will feature the organization's founders, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, as well as Farm Aid board member Dave Matthews.

"I grew up in Southern Illinois and I've seen farms close and the effect that can have on families and communities," Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy says. "I'll take any opportunity I can to help address that problem. To get to share a stage with the likes of Neil Young and Willie Nelson, well, that’s just a great bonus."

Wilco plans to spend much of September and October on the road, playing dates in Europe and the United States, including a Sept. 25 performance at Texas' annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. An Oct. 25 visit to Rio De Janeiro's Tim Festival is also on tap, as is the fall Nonesuch release of a live CD/DVD recorded earlier this year in Chicago.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

RustyFormer Ednaswap guitarist Rusty Anderson, who has been a member of Paul McCartney's band for the past few years, will see his debut solo album, "Undressing Underwater," released Sept. 13 via Surfdog Records, the same day as
McCartney's new Capitol album, "Chaos and the Creation in the Back Yard." The album was previously self-released by the artist in 2003.

McCartney and the rest of his band appear on "Hurt Myself," the opening track of "Undressing," which Anderson co-produced with Parthenon Huxley and Mudruck (Godsmack). Among other guests on the set is former Police drummer Stewart Copeland, with whom Anderson played in the group Animal Logic. He appears on the instrumental track "Catbox Beach."

"Some people seem to think it's good marketing sense to have one monochromatic sound, one statement, one logo, whatever. But I don’t feel that way," Anderson says, summing up his eclectic debut. "It’s not about being a rebel for the sake of rebelling; I'd rather let music come together organically. 'Undressing Underwater' really says, 'You know what? This is my music. If it’s too diverse, screw it. This is me.'"

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

ZZIn the new book "Billy F Gibbons: Rock and Roll Gearhead," the ZZ Top guitarist lays out his love of music and cars. Along with revealing a collection of more than 600 guitars, the book exposes the artist's garage full of custom hot rods, including the famed red Eliminator Coupe that has become forever linked with ZZ Top, thanks to photographer David Perry.

Due in October from MBI Publishing's Motorbooks imprint, "Rock and Roll Gearhead" also finds Gibbons reflecting on more than four decades in music.

ZZ Top -- rounded out by drummer Frank Beard and bassist Dusty Hill -- is in the midst of a North American tour that visits London, Ontario, on Thursday (July 21). A mix of headlining dates and festival/fair appearances, the run will close Oct. 8 in Goldendale, Wash.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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