Originally expected in April, ZZ Top's "Mescalero" will be released Sept. 9 in the U.S. via RCA (and a day earlier internationally).

Originally expected in April, ZZ Top's "Mescalero" will be released Sept. 9 in the U.S. via RCA (and a day earlier internationally). The album was delayed due to a restructuring of the label during the spring.

"[The band] delivered an album of great quality and substance back in April," RCA Sr. VP artist development Hugh Surratt says in a statement. "At that time we felt that, in the interest of the band and their music, it deserved a well-planned and coherent roll out program. Rather than rush it out, we consulted with the band and their management who agreed to wait until an optimal release circumstance could be formulated."

The 16-track album was produced by lead singer/guitarist Billy F. Gibbons. The band recorded 15 original tracks for "Mescalero," as well as a cover of "Tramp," popularized by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas in the late 1960s.

"The album has some of that old ZZ sound," Gibbons says. "It's the same three guys playing the same three chords but we've gone in some new directions with them." With its original lineup rounded out by bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard, ZZ Top is celebrating 34 years together.

Despite the album's delay, the trio has been on the road since April on its Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers tour, and has incorporated "Mescalero" tracks "Buck Nekkid" and "Piece" into its set.

The group is currently in Europe, and will open for the Rolling Stones tomorrow (July 16) in Helsinki. After wrapping its European tour Aug. 11 in Colmar, France, ZZ Top will kick off a second U.S. tour leg Aug. 20 in Las Vegas.

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