As you would expect from ZZ Top’s guitarist the rolling riff that starts ‘My Lucky Card’ (and runs throughout), is as hooky as a brace of fishing rods in the hands of Captain Hook. The rhythm section provides the solid bedrock on which Billy Gibbons can build riff after riff. With only 6-strings and the blues you would be forgiven for wondering how much variation can be achieved, but that’s where he excels. Gibbons can go low for a growl or grab a bottle neck and do that thing he does better than most guitarists: slide into Homeplate like a major leaguer. All of this with the kind of ease that belies how difficult it is to play this well and it put me in mind of Bruce Lee’s quote ‘be water my friend’.
The lyrics aren’t going to win any poetry prizes, in the same way AC/DC will never win the Man Booker prize, but the phrase ‘My Lucky Card’ sounds great in the context of the song. But we’re not here for sonnets; it’s all about the snarling menace that pervades the music, that loose swing packed with booming drums and perfectly placed kit rolls. It’s all there to support Billy Gibbons exemplar blues drawl and his ability to make a guitar sing, scream and slide.
The video gives you everything that you would expect to accompany this song: the desert setting featuring “Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, the celebrated cantina/honky-tonk that was originally built as part of the western movie set where The Cisco Kid and Gene Autry TV shows were filmed”, Billy, drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Austin Hanks on a tiny stage, a big truck, big hats, bandanas, shades as dark as the back of the moon, leather, cavalry shirts with hose piping, drinking shots, backroom cards and playing solos with a beer bottle. This is good ol’ fun and it’s as damn fine as Billy Gibbons beard is long.
Review by Paul F Cook