Those attending Thunder Valley concerts this weekend might get previews of two major albums.
ZZ Top, appearing tonight, will release "La Futura" on Sept. 11. A collaboration with acclaimed producer Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash), it is the band's first studio album since "Mescalero" nine years ago.
The release on American Recordings follows the success of ZZ Top's iTunes-only compilation, "Texicali," and features four songs from that "I Gotta Get Paid," "Chartreuse," "Consumption" and "Over You."
Another track will be "Flyin' High," which actually debuted in outer space. It wasn't quite completed yet, but NASA astronaut Mike Fossum asked to hear it while en route to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spaceship.
This is year 42 as a band for guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard. The only band member without a long beard (ironically), Beard was on leave when Hill and Gibbons adopted their trademark facial hair. Gibbons has said they grew the beards only because they did not want to shave. The sunglasses and hats also became de rigueur.
Regardless of appearance, it is ZZ Top's Texas blues-based boogie that's kept them on the tour circuit for so long, playing hits such as "Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs."
How the new album will do is uncertain. ZZ Top has a spotty record with album sales, but one of the best for concert attendance. The band packs amphitheaters and summer outdoor festivals with or without any new music to offer (8 p.m.; $39.50, $47.50, $59.50, $77.50, $89.50; thundervalleyresort.com).
Diana Krall, who appears Saturday night at the resort, will release "Glad Rag Doll" on Oct. 2 on Verve. Krall's 2009 concert tour was named after her album "Quiet Nights" (the title track of which gained her a third Grammy), and this one is appropriately called the "Summer Nights Tour."
"Glad Rag Doll" will feature classic songs like "Let It Rain," "Wide River to Cross," "Lonely Avenue" and "Prairie Lullaby." Krall has called it "a song and dance record," and it is produced by T Bone Burnett.
Krall has been appearing on tour with guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist Robert Hurst and drummer Karriem Riggins (8 p.m.; $39.50, $45.50, $59.50, $75.50, $89.50).
Out and about
Another top touring show arrives Saturday at Harveys Lake Tahoe Outdoor series. Originally titled the "In the Hands of the Fans Tour," country duo Sugarland's tour is now simply the "In Your Hands Tour."
Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are celebrating the long- lasting dedication of their following. The title of Sugarland's 2006 album "Enjoy the Ride" had an unspoken caveat of "while it lasts." But the duo's career gives no signs of slowing down.
It is the only Northern California-Nevada stop for this Sugarland tour (7 p.m.; $59.50, $69.50, $89.50, $125.50; Ticketmaster.com or apeconcerts.com).
The final performance of the Star Sessions summer concert series at Northstar is tonight. It will feature former Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder. He co-wrote the hit Eagles song "Hotel California," which Northstar says will be included in his set list, along with "Life in the Fast Lane," "One of These Nights" and "Heartache Tonight." The concert will be in the Village at Northstar and the price for this show is certainly more reasonable than prices for some other concerts this week. (8 p.m.; $23 at the door).
Sammy Hagar has appeared regularly the past few years at Lake Tahoe, site of his Cabo Wabo Cantina at Harveys. But his Sept. 1 appearance at the Harveys outdoor venue promises to be somewhat different. Word is that Hagar will recap his career, moving from Montrose to Van Halen to the Wabos to Chickenfoot, and now his single moniker, Sammy Hagar the Red Rocker (8 p.m.; $69.50 in advance, $75 day of; Ticketmaster.com or apeconcerts.com).
Country singer Johnny Lee was digging through a box of music sent to him by aspiring songwriters when he came across a song called "Lookin' for Love." When it wound up on the soundtrack of "Urban Cowboy," Lee became a star. He toured with fellow hitmaker Mickey Gilley and was a frequent name on casino marquees. He's been mostly out of the spotlight for the past two decades, but the Carson Valley Inn will bring him back Sunday to celebrate its 28th birthday. His concert at 7 p.m. will be in the parking lot and is free. From 4 p.m. until the show starts, the casino will provide free ice cream bars and popcorn and a play area for children.
Some area honors: the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa has been given the AAA four-diamond rating, joining the 4.8 percent of the 31,000 AAA-rated lodging properties to be so listed; Red Hawk Casino has been named "best casino" in the 2012 Casino Player Magazine 2012 awards, garnering top ratings for gaming but also for the Waterfall Buffet and the Pearl Chinese restaurant; and Sterling's Seafood Steakhouse at the Silver Legacy has been named Reno's top restaurant by the international travel website Trip Advisor.
Entertainment at Red Hawk this week includes the Duane Patton Trio (R&B, Motown) alternating with Farenhyte (R&B, funk) tonight and Saturday (5 p.m. to 2 a.m.), Jason Buell on Sunday (country from 7 p.m. to midnight), and Tom Drinnon from Monday through Thursday (country and classic rock from 7 p.m. to midnight).
Lake Tahoe bands Mama's Cookin' and Keyser Soze will perform a free concert at 9 tonight at the Crystal Bay Casino. A special "late night" concert at 11:30 p.m. will feature Who Cares and Bass Heavy and also is free (crystalbaycasino.com).
John Ascuaga's Nugget, Sparks - Jelly Bread, Aug. 29; Wood Brothers, Aug. 30; the Spin Doctors, Aug. 31. Gloriana, Sept. 1.
Carson Valley Inn 28th birthday celebration, Sunday-next Friday. Cabaret Lounge: Jon Washington's Sounds of the Fortunes, through Saturday; Stew Stewart, Sunday; Johnny Lee, Sunday; Paul Covarelli, Monday-Wednesday; Melissa Dru, Thursday-Aug. 25. Ballroom: Billy Richards' Coasters, next Friday; Lacy J. Dalton, Comstock Cowboys, All Hat No Cattle, Aug. 31; Restless Heart, Sept. 16. (775) 782-9711.
Eldorado, Reno Showroom: "Jersey Nights," through Nov. 13. (800) 648-5966.
Harrah's Reno Sammy's Showroom: "Persuasion," Thursdays-Sundays. (800) 427-7247.
Harrah's Lake Tahoe South Shore Room: Nathan Owens Motown Legends, today-Monday. (800) 427-7247.
Harveys, Lake Tahoe Improv: Joel Lindley, Avi Liberman, through Sunday; Charles Fleischer, Wednesday-Aug. 26. (800) 427-8397.
Horizon, Lake Tahoe Illusion Fusion starring Alex Ramon, Thursdays-Tuesdays. (775) 588-6211.
Silver Legacy, Reno Grande Exposition Hall: Brian Regan, next Friday. (800) 687-8733.