Listen: ZZ Top Revisits 1975’s “Heard it on the X” for New Album, ‘Raw,’ Coming 7/22


Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

ZZ Top has been previewing a new record, Raw, in recent weeks with new recordings of songs from the Texas blues/rock trio‘s earlier days. The latest, “Heard it on the X,” first turned up on the 1975 album Fandango!, and its new version was recorded at Gruene Hall, the notorious honky tonk in Texas.

Here’s a performance video for the new recording:

Some more context on this song in particular:

“Heard It On The X” made its debut in 1975 as part of ZZ Top’s fourth album Fandango!, and continues to be one of the band’s most enduring creations. The song is a faithful chronicle of the famed “border blaster” radio phenomenon from the time when Mexican AM stations held call letters beginning with the letter “X” just south of the border, broadcasting with virtually unlimited wattage. Stateside stations were maxed out to 50,000 watts of peak power while the Mexican stations were known for their million-watt signals. Billy Gibbons noted, “Even though Dusty, Frank, and I grew up in different part of Texas we listened to the same stations, particularly the “X” stations and, as a result, we gained a lot of the same musical and cultural points of reference.”

The new record, Raw: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas, is dedicated “in righteous memory of Dusty Hill,” the bassist who passed away in July.

Click here to pre-order Raw on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order Raw on LP from our Rock Cellar Store

More on the record:

The new album’s liner notes by Gibbons and Beard note of the RAW sessions, “..it was, in a very real way, a return to our roots. Just us and the music, no audience of thousands, no concession stands, no parking lot social hour, no phalanx of tour busses. Just us and the music. We knew right then it was a very special circumstance, all of us in the same place at the same time and what a time it most certainly was!”

“Tube Snake Boogie” was an earlier preview:

As was “Brown Sugar,” reaching back to ZZ Top’s 1971 debut record:

In addition to the album, ZZ Top announced the RAW Whisky Tour, which began in San Diego on May 27 and is visiting 50 markets across North America. A news release notes that the tour’s name is a hat tip to both the forthcoming album as well as the recent release of ZZ Top Tres Hombres whisky from Balcones Distilling of Waco TX, a flavorful 100 proof mash bill of roasted blue corn, malted barley and rye.

Remaining dates:

June 29th Rogers, AR Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion
July 1st Toledo, OH Toledo Zoo & Aquarium – Amphitheater
July 2nd Sterling Heights, MI Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
July 3rd Woodstock, IL McHenry County Fairgrounds
July 5th Fort Wayne, IN Foellinger Theatre
July 7th Grand Rapids, MI Meijer Gardens
July 8th Traverse City, MI Cherry Festival
July 9th Greenville, WI Greenville Lion’s Park
July 22nd Boston, MA Leader Bank Pavilion
July 23rd Watertown, NY Watertown Fairgrounds Arena
July 24th Grantville, PA Hollywood Casino
July 26th Baltimore, MD MECU Pavilion
July 27th Harrington, DE Delaware State Fairgrounds
July 29th Cuyahoga, OH Blossom Music Center
July 30th Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
July 31st Burgettstown, PA The Pavilion at Star Lake
August 2nd Portsmouth, VA Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion
August 3rd Asheville, NC Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
August 5th Greensboro, NC White Oak Amphitheatre
August 6th Atlanta, GA Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park
August 7th Simpsonville, SC CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park
August 10th Hyannis, MA Cape Cod Melody Tent
August 12th Gilford, NH Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
August 13th Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
August 14th Darien Center, NY Darien Lake Theme Park Resort
August 16th Des Moines, IA Iowa State Fair
August 17th Sedalia, MO Missouri State Fairgrounds
August 18th St Louis, MO Saint Louis Music Park
August 20th Mystic Lake, MN Mystic Lake Casino
August 21st Lincoln, NE Pinewood Bowl Theater
August 23rd Dubuque, IA Five Flags Center
August 24th Madison, WI The Sylvee
August 26th Indianapolis, IN TCA Amphitheater at Whiteriver State Park
August 27th Beaver Dam, KY Beaver Dam Amphitheater
August 28th Pikeville, KY Appalachian Center Arena



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