ZZ Top star Billy Gibbons is going back to his musical roots and planning a solo album full of Latin sounds.

The guitar great has always been a huge fan of Cuban music and studied the music of percussionist Tito Puente as a teenager, and now he's planning a solo album full of his favourite rhythms.

He says, "I learned maracas, timbales, clavas, bongos... you name it, and, having lived in Mexico a couple years, I know just enough Spanish to get me in trouble.

"I put together a little side band... It's (project) is turning out to be such an obtuse, oddball, unexpected left turn from ZZ Top's blues background. But there is something to it."

But he insists his solo project doesn't mean the end of ZZ Top - the trio celebrated the 45th anniversary of its first gig earlier this month (Feb15).