With a live DVD, a new album and some touring on the docket, ZZ Top is revving up for a busy year.

With a live DVD, a new album and some touring on the docket, ZZ Top is revving up for a busy year.

While he was hanging out at this year's South By Southwest Music + Media Conference in Austin, Texas -- where he performed at Rachael Ray's Feedback party and psychedelic rocker Roky Erickson's annual Ice Cream Social -- Gibbons told Billboard.com that bandmates Dusty Hill and Frank Beard were back in Dallas "in the studio, preparing a new series of sessions of new material" for ZZ Top's first studio set since 2003's "Mescalero."

Gibbons says the band hopes to finish the album before the summer. "The challenge of the studio is much different than live appearances," Gibbons says. "The live experience is hundreds of distracting events. The studio is one microphone. It's one event, so it raises our level of attention to a place where we can really come together as the band we started off as. It's almost a small club environment, so it's really fun."

Before we see the album, however, ZZ Top is planning to release a concert DVD taped Nov. 1, 2007, at the Nokia Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas, near Dallas. No date or title has been determined yet for the Eagle Rock release, but Gibbons says the final product is "untouched. It's full of mistakes, and that's the way we like it."

Gibbons also recently taped a guest appearance on the May 16 season finale for the Fox TV series "Bones" -- "I thought I was gonna be the blind date or the boyfriend but, no, I have to be the dad," he laments -- and says that in addition to the recording, ZZ Top is starting to line up its 2008 road schedule.

"Hopefully we'll be able to return to the road as early as June -- even, if we can pull it off, into May," Gibbons says. "The European window of weather you can get out in is very short. So they are ready to rock. And we might pick up a string of dates through the U.S., too."