ZZ TOP with Austin Meade

Wednesday, October 19th, 2022 7:30pm | Merrill Auditorium

ZZ Top at Merrill? You heard that right! ZZ Top brings their RAW WHISKY tour to Merrill Auditorium this fall. This tour coincides with the release of RAW, a new album from the original lineup of ZZ Top — Billy F Gibbons, Frank Beard, and Dusty Hill — created in a singular circumstance. The album, released through Shelter Records/BMG was recorded at Gruene Hall in Texas, in conjunction with the GRAMMY-nominated feature documentary ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas. The film’s director Sam Dunn sought a means to visually convey how the band made albums at its inception with all three members in the same room at the same time. The tour’s title is a hat tip to both the album as well as the recent release of ZZ Top Tres Hombres whisky from Balcones Distilling of Waco, TX, a flavorful 100-proof mash bill of roasted blue corn, malted barley and rye.

On his latest album, Black Sheep, Austin Meade delivers songs and stories that, like the young singer/guitarist himself, are contradictory yet cohesive. His influences—musical and otherwise—are as varied and rich as the small-town Texas soil that nurtured his talent. Thanks to his metal and classic-rock loving dad, Meade got to see bands like Judas Priest and worshipped Whitesnake. In junior high he related to the intense emo-rock of Paramore and Fall Out Boy, and the power of songwriters like John Mayer. Yet, thanks to plainspoken but deep heartland songwriters like Tom Petty, and cutting his teeth touring in the Texas and Oklahoma Red Dirt scene, Meade’s music overflows with wide-open soulfulness. Meade’s carefully crafted songs manage to be profound and provocative, sonically suited for both dive bars and arenas. From the seismic guitars and painfully honest lyrics, it is clear Meade’s ambitions and dreams are weighty.