Hank Williams Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd coming to JPJ

Get ready to get rowdy, Charlottesville. Hank Williams Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd will bring their "Rowdy Frynds" tour to John Paul Jones Arena Friday, May 16, according to concert industry publication Pollstar. No word yet on when tickets will go on sale for this hoe-down to end all hoe-downs, as JPJ officials have yet to confirm Pollstar's report.

Even with such musical heavy hitters as Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, and Justin Timberlake failing to fill the 16,000 seat arena, "The Jack" has had considerable box office success with country acts like Kenny Chesney and George Strait, both of whom sold out the venue. Additionally, the possibility of a sell-out is enhanced by the fact that the JPJ date is the show closest for residents of Washington and Tidewater.

After beginning his career in his famous father's shadow, Williams has carved out quite a career for himself over the last 40 years. Following a near-fatal car mountain-climbing accident in 1975, "Bocephus" cultivated his trademark beard-and-sunglasses look and began recording more rollicking material like "Family Tradition," "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound," and "There's a Tear in My Beer." He introduced himself to a whole new audience in 1989 when he re-worked his hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" into "All My Rowdy Friends Are Here for Monday Night" as the theme song for ABC's Monday Night Football. Williams has won four Emmy Awards for that opening music, which he has performed on the gridiron telecast for each of the last 18 seasons.

Had Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded only "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird," their place in rock 'n roll history would be secure. However, having recorded a steady stream of genre-defining Southern rock throughout most of the 1970s, they continue to be an influence in both the rock and country worlds. On October 20, 1977, a plane crash killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines, leaving the band's future in question. However, original members, guitarist Gary Rossington and keyboardist Billy Powell, carry on the legacy with a Skynyrd lineup that includes Ronnie's brother, Johnny Van Zant, on lead vocals. The band last performed in Charlottesville at the Pavilion on October 3, 2006.

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6 comments

I have to agree on the two songs, and it is amazing it took so long for them to get into the Rock Hall of Fame!

Great. I have seen Hank a few times in the past and it will be even more better with Lynyrd Skynyrd. Glad to see them coming to Charlottesville. I will be getting tickets.

Where can I find the line up for the show

"Hank's" website has him in Huntington, West Va on that date. How / when would one get updated info?

Wow, what a terrible line-up!

Saw the concert Friday night in Cleveland - Hank was HORRIBLE. Only played 45 minutes and left the stage. Sat for 1/2 hour and played along with his guitar some songs that weren't even his! Did not sing one of his original songs the way he used to. I am not a big fan of Lynard Skynard, but they were awesome!