ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons has contributed a song to a new tribute album May the Circle Remain Unbroken: A Tribute to Roky Erickson that will be released as a limited-edition colored-vinyl LP on July 17th as part of the 2021 Record Store Day event.
The album features a variety of mostly contemporary artists saluting late Texas psychedelic rock pioneer Roky Erikson, who died in 2019 at age 71.
Erikson was best known as the frontman for the 1960s psychedelic-rock group The 13th Floor Elevators, who scored a minor chart hit in 1966 with their debut single, the garage-rock classic “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” After the band’s 1969 breakup, he went on to release many solo albums with various backing bands. Roky, who battled drug and mental health issues throughout his life, was known for writing songs that reflected his fascination with aliens, demons and monsters, but also penned many melodic introspective and romantic tunes.
May the Circle Remain Unbroken features covers of 13th Floor Elevators songs, as well as tunes from throughout Erikson’s solo career. Gibbons’ rendition of the 1967 13th Floor Elevators single “(I’ve Got) Levitation” kicks off the album.
Other artists featured on the tribute include Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy, ex-Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan, Gary Clark Jr., Neko Case, and Lucinda Williams, as well as the duo of Alison Mosshart of The Kills and longtime Bob Dylan guitarist Charlie Sexton.
May the Circle Remain Unbroken also comes packaged with a 16-page booklet that includes rare photos, liner notes by album producer Bill Bentley, and a bonus flexi disc featuring an unreleased Erikson track, “Love Hieroglyphics,” recorded during the early 1970s. A CD version of the album is expected to be released later this year.
Here’s the full track list:
“(I’ve Got) Levitation” — Billy F Gibbons
“Starry Eyes” — Mosshart Sexton
“For You (I’d Do Anything) ” — Jeff Tweedy
“Clear Night for Love” — Lynn Castle & Mark Lanegan
“Don’t Fall Down” — The Black Angels
“Be and Bring Me Home” — Neko Case
“Red Temple Prayer (Two-Headed Dog)” — Margo Price
“Roller Coaster” — Gary Clark Jr. & Eve Monsees
“Night of the Vampire” — Ty Segall
“You’re Gonna Miss Me” — Lucinda Williams
“If You Have Ghosts” — Chelsea Wolfe
“May the Circle Remain Unbroken” — Brogan Bentley
Bonus RSD-only flexi disc:
“Love Hieroglyphics” — Roky Erickson
By Matt Friedlander
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