ZZ Top headlines unconventional bill at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

The project has been under way for several years now, and plenty of fans are eager to hear what the “Li’l Ol’ Band from Texas”

has been up to in the studio all this time.

But Gibbons is fully on board with the album’s producer, Rick Rubin, and his exacting standards.

“Rick is in no hurry to allow any recorded work that he’s associated with to hit the streets prematurely,” Gibbons said is a phone interview last month. “I think that there have been a couple of artists that got a little too impatient and left the fold. They said ‘Gee whiz, this takes too long.' What can’t be overlooked is the intensity that hides behind Rick’s casual appearance.

“It’s really [difficult] these days to find someone willing to stick it out ... It is tempting to want to rush right out and show the world what you’ve got. But it’s also a great value to have another opinion in the mix,” he said.

On Tuesday the band released the four-song EP "Texacali," featuring songs from the forthcoming CD. And on Sunday they play Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, headlining the “Gang Of Outlaws” tour with 3 Doors Down and Gretchen Wilson.

Gibbons recognizes that combining classic rock, modern rock and country genres on the same bill is unconventional, he likes what it offers fans.

“Gretchen Wilson and 3 Doors Down have enjoyed their own measures of success in perhaps what we would call quite the different arena than ZZ Top,” he said. “But it was for that reason that we enjoyed the rather unexpected pairing of what those two acts do, along with what we do. People these days are more interested in having a good value for their hard-earned ticket purchase money. And by expanding the show to include more than just a headline name, they’re going to leave with a real bonus, having such a wide range of expression thrown at them all in one night.”

After the U.S. leg of the tour wraps on June 30, the band will head to Russia and Europe before returning for a handful of stateside shows in August. If all goes according to plan, the CD release should be looming by then. Gibbons said a late summer or early fall release date is the target.

Between touring and work on the new CD, Gibbons’ services may also be required for further appearances on the Fox television series, “Bones,” in which he plays the very cool, but intimidating father of Angela Montenegro.

“The creator, Hart Hanson, is a genuine music fan,” Gibbons said. “He has managed to enjoy platforming his TV show with various cameo appearances on occasion. I think he thought it would be novel just to have me show up, shake a hand, and that was seven years ago, if you can believe that. ... Once a season I’m the bad dad."

Concert preview

ZZ Top with 3 Doors Down, Gretchen Wilson

7 p.m. June 10; $89,"$59, $49, $39, $29 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, 2200 Encore Pkwy., Alpharetta 404-773-5010, www.vzwamp.com

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