Austin Hanks will open for ZZ Top
30 Mar 2018
When ZZ Top takes the stage June 30 for the annual Shellabration concert, the legendary rockers will be playing to an audience warmed up into the red zone by direct support act Austin Hanks.
Shellabration Inc. President Jim Reed announced his appearance this week.
Hanks and ZZ Top have a strong connection.
“There’s a kinship there,” Reed said. “Especially with Billy Gibbons.”
Hanks has played at scores of tour dates with ZZ Top during its 2017 tour.
“That was one of the things that attracted us to Austin,” Reed said.
ZZ Top’s lead vocalist Gibbons produced Hanks’ latest album ,“Alabastard,” and also played guitar on it.
“If the kid’s good enough for the Rev. Billy G,” Reed said, “he’s definitely good enough for Shellabration.”
Hanks has also worked with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic and many others, he said.
In addition, six of Hanks’ songs have been featured on the FX television series “Sons of Anarchy.”
Hanks’ biography reads like something of a future legend.
“A left-handed guitar player from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Alabama,” Reed said. “He started as a member of the Birmingham-based band Slick Lilly.”
Hanks went to California in 2005 and has also worked in Nashville.
What can listeners expect?
“Rockin’ country soul and genuine juke from the deep, dirty south,” Reed said.
They can also sample his songs on the internet.
“It was Austin’s video on YouTube for the song ‘Risin’ Water Blues’ with Billy Gibbons that sealed the deal for me,” Reed said. “It’s got a dirty delta blues vibe that just exudes cool.”
Selecting the direct support act is a process that starts way ahead of the actual show. according to Reed. The act is subject to approval by the headliner and their management. Reed said working with an artist that’s already familiar to the main act helps ease the process. While he would like to book local bands to open the shows, it’s still up to the headliner who ultimately plays.