Texas has bestowed quite the honor on a member of ZZ Top, and no, it's not "Best Beard". 

The Texas Commission on the Arts has named Billy Gibbons it's State Musician of 2012.

It's kind of like winning a beauty contest. You have a one year reign and then have to give it up. There's no crown, no scepter and no cape, but I think it's pretty cool nonetheless.

The honor is given to musicians with personal ties to the State of Texas and Gibbons' ties go back to his birth in Houston. As a child he moved with his family to California, but comes back to Texas for his music every now and then.

Meanwhile, Billboard Magazine is reporting that ZZ Top is in full production mode and on track to release a new album before the end of the year.