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ZZ Top makes rare free performance at Artpark

by jmaloni
Mon, Aug 1st 2011 03:40 pm
ZZ Top
ZZ Top

What: ZZ Top headlines "Tuesday in the Park" at Artpark

When: Aug. 2

Opener: Jony James Band

**Due to the anticipated crowd size, Artpark has suspended the free children's art activities during this event. The art activities will resume at the Aug. 3 concert with O.A.R. and will continue for the remainder of the free outdoor concerts.**

ZZ Top, aka "That Little Ol' Band From Texas," lay undisputed claim to being the longest running major rock band with original personnel intact and, in 2004, the Texas trio was be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of course, there are only three of them - Billy F. Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Frank Beard -- but it's still a remarkable achievement that they're still very much together after almost 40 years of rock, blues and boogie on the road and in the studio.

"Yeah," says Billy, guitarist extraordinaire, "we're the same three guys, bashing out the same three chords."

With the release of each of its albums, the band has explored new ground in terms of both its sonic approach and the material members have recorded. ZZ Top is the same but always changing.

It was in Houston in the waning days of 1969 that ZZ Top coalesced from the core of two rival bands, Billy's Moving Sidewalks and Frank and Dusty's American Blues. The new group went on to record the appropriately titled "ZZ Top's First Album," and then "Rio Grande Mud." Both reflected the musicians' strong blues roots.  The band's third, 1973's "Tres Hombres," catapulted the boys to national attention with the hit "La Grange," still one of the band's signature pieces today. ZZ Top's next hit was "Tush," a song about, well, let's just say the pursuit of "the good life" that was featured on the "Fandango!" album in 1975. 

ZZ Top's roots-blues skew was intact but added to the mix were tech-age trappings that soon found a visual outlet with the nascent MTV. Suddenly, Billy, Dusty and Frank were video icons, playing a kind of Greek chorus in videos that highlighted the album's three smash singles: "Gimme All Your Lovin,' "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs." The melding of grungy, guitar-based blues with synth-pop was seamless and continued with the follow-up album "Afterburner" as the band continued its chart juggernaut.

ZZ Top has become a certified rock institution, contemporary in every way, yet still completely connected to the founding fathers of the genre.

Visit ZZ Top online at: http://www.zztop.com.

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