ZZ Top and Brooks & Dunn come to JPJ

In three months, Charlottesville will get a little bit country, and a little bit rock 'n roll. But sorry Donny and Marie fans, this double-bill is more Texas than Utah: Rock 'n Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top will share the stage with perennially chart-topping country duo Brooks & Dunn on Sunday, September 7 at 7pm at John Paul Jones Arena. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, June 21 and range from $49.50 to $65, plus various fees.

Unlike many of its contemporaries, ZZ Top's success was far from overnight. Forming in the early '60s and recording its first album in 1971, the Houston-based blues-rock trio played just about every juke-joint in the Lone Star State, leading no less an authority than Jimi Hendrix to declare guitarist Billy Gibbons to be his favorite six-stringer. The power trio finally broke through to mainstream commercial success in 1983 with their album Eliminator, the album that contained the Top 40 hits "Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Legs," and "Sharp Dressed Man." The music videos made in support of those singles made the long-bearded, hot rod-loving rockers unlikely stars of MTV. That two-fronted audio/visual attack pushed Eliminator to over 10 million copies sold, making it one of the best-selling albums of the decade.

At the height of ZZ Top's fame, the Gillette Company offered guitarist Billy Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill $10 million each to shave their chest-length beards (drummer Frank Beard didn't get such an offer because, ironically, he's the one band member without a beard), but, ever-image conscious, the band declined. That seems to have been the right career move, because they followed up on Eliminator's success with four consecutive platinum albums, a halftime performance at the Super Bowl in 1997, and in 2004, induction into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.

Ronnie Brooks and Kix Dunn first teamed up in 1990 after toiling separately in Nashville for nearly a decade. The combination proved a potent one as they became part of the chart-topping country boom of the early '90s, with their 1991 debut album Brand New Man sold 6 million copies in the U.S. on the success of singles like "Neon Moon" and "Boot Scootin' Boogie." Since then, they have won more combined Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards than any artist in history, and have rattled off 20 #1 country hits including "She's Not the Cheatin' Kind," "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone," "My Maria," and, most recently, 2005's "Play Something Country." To date, the duo has sold over 26.5 million albums in the U.S.– more than the Bee Gees, Jimmy Buffett, the Police, or Nirvana.

Opening for the double-bill will be Rodney Atkins. While he has yet to achieve the decades-long success of those further up the poster, he could be well on his way. Managed by Coran Capshaw's Red Light Management, Atkins came on the country scene in a big way with the hit album If You're Going Through Hell in 2006, spawning four consecutive #1 country hits– "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Knows)," "Watching You," "These Are My People," and "Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)."

Tickets for the show will be available on the JPJ website, or by calling 1-888-JPJ-TIXS.