One of rock 'n' roll's top acts, ZZ TOP kicks off their "Mean Rhythm Global Tour '97" in Atlanta on May 2nd. This is the final leg of a successful tour that has so far taken the band throughout the continents of Europe and Africa. As they embark on this 75-city leg through North America, including a return to Texas with shows in four cities, Billy F Gibbons declares, "ZZ TOP drives it home with a meaner rhythm than ever before."

"That little ol' band from Texas" began their "Continental Safari" tour overseas last June, playing 35 shows in 16 countries, including first-ever shows in Russia, Poland, Latvia and Estonia, ending in August with six sold-out shows in Johannesburg and Cape Town on their first visit to Africa. They then returned to the states for a 25-city leg that ended with a live performance on the 1996 Billboard Awards Show in December.

In January, the band departed directly from New Orleans the day after performing in the halftime show at the Super Bowl to begin a second international leg of the tour in Finland. After playing 30 shows in 15 countries, they returned to the U.S. in March. During the new leg ZZ TOP will be returning to Canada for the first time since 1994, and playing in Alaska for the first time.

Unlike previous tours, this one is less about production and more about the blues-tinged rock n' roll that has kept ZZ TOP at the forefront for three decades. The band describes their show as a "no-frills, full-thrill presentation - streamlined and down 'n' gritty." The set, highlighted by the "mean rhythm" of their latest RCA album, Rhythmeen, also includes many of the ZZ TOP classics that audiences demand.

By the end of the tour in late September, ZZ TOP will have played over 170 shows worldwide in support of Rhythmeen. The album's title track will be released to radio this week.