Born and raised in Houston, Billy F Gibbons is best known as the frontman and lead guitarist for legendary rock band ZZ Top. His prolific career has spanned decades, starting in the 1960s when he formed his first band, The Saints. Although most know Gibbons for his rock status, long beard, and abundant accessories, many don't know that he is also a connoisseur and creator of hot sauce, which spurred his current collaboration with Antone's Famous Po' Boys.
"The collaboration between Antone's Famous Po' Boys and Billy F Gibbons was a natural one. They are two iconic brands coming together to celebrate Antone's 60th anniversary and bring attention to Billy F Gibbon's Whisker Bomb Sauce, which just launched in HEB," said Craig Lieberman, CEO of Antone's Famous Po' Boys. The restaurant, which celebrates its milestone anniversary this year, launched the Whisker Bomb Po' Boy in January as the last sandwich in its "H-Town Originals" campaign.
"H-Town Originals" is a charitable initiative initially launched three years ago to bring awareness to different philanthropic organizations. Local celebrities and chefs were tapped to create sandwiches and choose a beneficiary for a portion of their sandwich's proceeds. The Whisker Bomb Po' Boy's beneficiary is the Clifford Antone Foundation, an organization based in Austin whose mission is to preserve music culture and community by caring for elderly musicians in need and investing in the musical future of at-risk youth.
According to Gretchen Barber, a representative for Gibbons, the Clifford Antone Foundation resonates with the legendary rocker not only because of their historical connection but also due to "Clifford Antone's insight into the value of pop culture and his mission to preserve one of the great American art forms - the blues. That value continues and carries expansions of that culture in many directions."
The chronicled connection between Antone's and Gibbons goes far beyond just sandwiches. Antone's Nightclub in Austin was opened by the sandwich shop’s founder Jalal Antone's nephew, a University of Texas student, in the 1970s. It became a fixture on the city's music scene and was known as Austin's "Home of the Blues." Not only was it one of ZZ Top's favorite venues, but many legendary artists also played there, including BB King, Muddy Waters, James Brown, Ray Charles, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and many more. Time passed, and Antone's Famous Po' Boys and Antone's Nightclub enjoyed their unique status in their communities. However, in 2018, the two entities reconnected when Antone's Famous Po' Boys began distributing in Central Texas, allowing fans to listen to great music and enjoy a delicious sandwich at the same time.
The Whisker Bomb Po' Boy consists of buttermilk dipped fried green tomatoes, harissa, chipotle mayo, Billy F Gibbons' Whisker Bomb Sauce, goat cheese, a mix of spices, and arugula served on warm french bread. The sandwich is delicious, but what makes it memorable is the splash of Whisker Bomb Sauce. The sauce was created by Gibbons and singer, songwriter, and guitarist Tim Montana while they were recording together. They discovered a mutual love for spicy food and combined recipes to create a unique and flavorful sauce.
"Antone's fame of presenting one of the greatest sandwich collections ever remains unchallenged. The attention to perfection in the world of Po' Boys made it natural for us to team up and bring a new twist to Antone's line of flavor sensations. Antone's Po' Boys and Whisker Bomb Sauce are a delight." Gretchen Barber.