NEWS

Whaddup, ma Wreckers?

As you may, nay, SHOULD know, yesterday was the launch of our very own songsmith’s 7th, yes, SEVENTH solo album. Unbelievable how prolific Rhett is these days.

Anywho, our frontman has been getting some great early press like this one from No Depression.

If you haven’t bought your own copy yet, here’s a link to all the tracks of The Messenger courtesy of YouTube to tide you over until you get your paws on your own disc.

And don’t forget, the first ever Old 97’s Christmas album drops next week!! And by the sounds of the first release, Love the Holidays, this collection is going to rock your Santa hat CLEAN OFF!!

And how about that hilarious photo? You gotta love them. Ho Ho How did we live without a 97’s candy cane Christmas LP to love the holidays before?

So to recap, we are blessed with a new Rhett solo album and a soon-to-be released 97’s Christmas collection by which to ring in the season. While you’re at it, don’t forget to get your tickets to one, two or many of the holiday extravaganza shows beginning November 28th. Check out the rest of the dates here. And keep an eye out for more solo dates and upcoming literary dates for Rhett’s book tour in 2019.

See you on the road!!

OLD 97’s ANNOUNCE HOLIDAY ALBUM,

LOVE THE HOLIDAYS, OUT NOVEMBER 16;

PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW

 

RHETT MILLER ANNOUNCES NEW SOLO ALBUM,

THE MESSENGER, OUT NOVEMBER 9;

NEW SINGLE AVAILABLE NOW

 

HOLIDAY TOUR FEATURING OLD 97’s and RHETT MILLER SOLO BEGINS NOVEMBER 28

The Old 97’s are excited to announce the release of their first ever collection of original Christmas songs, LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. Out Friday, November 16 via ATO, the album was produced, mixed & engineered by John Pedigo in the band’s home state of Texas. The LP presents a sack full of rockin’ new Yuletide favorites, as well as Old 97’s take on the New Year’s Eve standard, “Auld Lang Syne.” Among its many highlights are the title track, co-written with Kevin Russell (The Gourds, Shinyribs), “Gotta Love Being A Kid (Merry Christmas)” and “Snow Angels,” both co-written with acclaimed writer Ben Greenman, and the continuing saga of everyone’s favorite reindeer, “Rudolph Is Blue,” co-written by Old 97’s and Dan Bern.

PRE-ORDER LOVE THE HOLIDAYS

A week earlier, on November 9, also via ATO, Old 97’s founding member Rhett Miller will be releasing his new solo album, THE MESSENGER. Pre–orders are available now HERE, joined by an instant grat download of the LP’s electrifying first single, “Total Disaster.” Additional track releases will follow.

Recorded earlier this year over five days at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY with producer/musician Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker), THE MESSENGER sees Miller playing it faster and looser than perhaps any other time in his quarter century career, instilling what might be his most personal songs to date with a groovy limberness that belies the reflective darkness within. Backed by a white hot backing combo comprised of Cohen (Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Pedal Steel Guitar, Piano, Organ, Second Drumset), Brian Betancourt (Bass), and Ray Rizzo (Drums), Miller goes deep into his own youthful experiences with suicide and depression, placing “a long distance phone call to myself as a 14-year-old” on surprisingly buoyant new songs like “The Human Condition” and “Permanent Damage.”

LISTEN TO “TOTAL DISASTER

PRE-ORDER THE MESSENGER

“I wanted this record to be less safe,” Miller says. “I wanted to put myself in the hands of a producer who was going to do things that I didn’t expect; I wanted to play with people I didn’t know and be surprised by what they came up with. And all of that really came to pass. That’s what you’re getting this record. You’re getting this locked-in rhythm section with a crazy, psychedelic guitar maestro playing along with me singing my songs about depression and insecurity.”

 

Miller and Old 97’s will celebrate both LPs with an eagerly anticipated U.S. holiday tour, headlined by Old 97’s and opened by a solo acoustic set from Miller. The dates begin November 28 at The Neptune in Seattle, WA and then continue through late December.

“We’re going to hit the road right after Thanksgiving,” Miller says. “The evening will begin with me doing an acoustic set. I’ll play some of my new songs, some from my solo catalogue, and probably a few oddball songs too. Then I’ll leave the stage, Michael Casey will come out, he’s a punk rock magician from Raleigh, NC, he’s super-brilliant, he’s going to do a magic show before I come back out with the Old 97’s and we do the full Old 97’s Holiday Extravaganza.”

Meanwhile, Old 97’s are currently traveling America on their own perpetual tour, with dates scheduled through early October. In addition, the band has already announced its first live date of 2019, set for January 26 at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Ponte Vedra, FL and featuring support from special guest Shooter Jennings. Additional dates will be unveiled soon. For complete details, please visit old97s.com/shows. Besides these dates, Miller has slated a number of solo acoustic performances, including a pair of eagerly awaited dates in the great state of Alaska, set for September 29 at Anchorage’s Sydney Laurence Theater and September 30 at Palmer, AK’s Vagabond Blues. For complete details, please visit rhettmiller.com/shows. He has also teamed with Caldecott Medalist and bestselling artist Dan Santat for No More Poems, a riotous collection of irreverent poems for modern families to be published March 5, 2019 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers.

OLD 97’S ON TOUR

SEPTEMBER

19 – Winston-Salem, NC – The Ramkat

20 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall

21 – Columbia, SC – The Senate

22 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground

23 – Bristol, TN – Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion (State Street Stage)

 

OCTOBER

3 – Tempe, AZ – Coca-Cola Sun Deck at Sun Devil Stadium

 

NOVEMBER

28 – Seattle, WA – The Neptune w/Rhett Miller solo

29 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom w/Rhett Miller solo

30 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore w/Rhett Miller solo

 

DECEMBER

1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Troubadour w/Rhett Miller solo

2 – Solana Beach, CA – The Belly Up w/Rhett Miller solo

6 – Richmond, VA – The National w/Rhett Miller solo

7 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA w/Rhett Miller solo

8 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live! w/Rhett Miller solo

9 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair w/Rhett Miller solo

13 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Wonder Bar w/Rhett Miller solo

14 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza w/Rhett Miller solo

15 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr Smalls w/Rhett Miller solo

29 – Dallas, TX – Statler Ballroom w/Rhett Miller solo

 

JANUARY

26 – Ponte Vedra, FL – Ponte Vedra Concert Hall w/Shooter Jennings

 

 

 

RHETT MILLER SOLO ON TOUR

SEPTEMBER

29 – Anchorage, AK – Sydney Laurence Theater

30 – Palmer, AK – Vagabond Blues

 

OCTOBER

5 – Garwood, NJ – Crossroads

6 – Ardmore, PA – Ardmore Music Hall

20 – Oklahoma City, OK – Tower Theatre

24 – Tomball, TX – Main Street Crossing

25 – Abilene, TX – The Grace Museum Rooftop

 

OLD 97’S

LOVE THE HOLIDAYS

(ATO)

Release Date: November 16, 2018

  1. Love The Holidays
  2. I Believe In Santa Claus
  3. Gotta Love Being A Kid (Merry Christmas)
  4. Snow Angels
  5. Christmas Is Coming
  6. Wintertime In The City
  7. Rudolph Was Blue
  8. Here It Is Christmastime
  9. Hobo Christmas Song
  10. Auld Lang Syne

 

RHETT MILLER

THE MESSENGER

(ATO)

Release Date:  November 9, 2018

  1. Total Disaster
  2. Did I Lose You At I Love You
  3. Wheels
  4. You Were A Stranger
  5. The Human Condition
  6. Close Most Of The Time
  7. I Used To Write In Notebooks
  8. Permanent Damage
  9. I Can’t Change
  10. Bitter/Sweet
  11. We’re In Trouble
  12. Broken

 

We’ve added a couple of new playlists on Spotify (and soon on Apple Music as well). One is “Best Of” and one is “Deep Cuts.” The question is, what did we leave off of the Deep Cuts one that you think we should add? Head over to Facebook and weigh in by commenting on the post! 

A couple of lucky commenters will get a lil’ happy in the mail! 

List the the playlist on Spotify

Celeste, Rose Marie, that lucky creature, Annette.

Have you ever wondered if there are real, corporal counterparts to the women referenced in your favorite Old 97’s songs?

Well, if you’ve ever stood next to a striking, flaxen-haired, Teutonic beauty in the front row, you’ve met Doreen. THE Doreen who has a penchant for downing whiskey sours and galloping through boroughs like a thoroughbred, in song anyway.

The one and only, Dorin

Meet Dorin Schadel, long-time fan from the band’s infancy. Originally from Boardman, Ohio, Dorin migrated south to Dallas in 1987 when her company relocated to Plano, Texas. Young and spirited, Dorin frequented the local music scene in Deep Ellum every chance she got. There, she fell for a rapid-fire blue grass/killer hillbilly band by the name of Killbilly.

(That’s Dorin, front and center at 1:46 in the video above.)

In 1994, Killbilly had two band members who couldn’t tour due to health issues. That’s when they asked a myopic former teen folk heartthrob with a lightning quick strum, and a long-haired, bespectacled, punk-loving bassist with fast fingers; better known as Rhett and Murry, to join their tour.

Dorin first met Rhett at a Killbilly show at Ozona’s, and then again at a Fort Worth show.

Rhett with Killbilly
circa 1994

okay, not so long-haired, but definitely bespectacled. murry’s frames have longevity

So how does one go from fan to musical muse? We asked the Muse herself.

note the kitty notebook 🙂

“They (Killbilly) went on tour, and I received a postcard from a Killbilly band mate informing me that Rhett wrote a song about me. When they returned to Dallas, Rhett asked me to stay until the end of the show (as if I wouldn’t!) because he wrote a special song for me!”

in-store performance at Bill’s Records
circa 1995

Club Clearview
circa 1995

Rick’s in Denton
circa 1995

“Rhett performed ‘Doreen’ for the first time with Killbilly on June 4th at Club Clearview in Deep Ellum. I was told the song was about a girlfriend he suspected was cheating on him. After first meeting me a few months earlier, he had a dream about me and upon wakening, he realized my name worked for the song.”

Rick’s in Denton
circa 1998

The Barley House with John Doe
circa 1999

Club Clearview
wow. check out the marine cut on Rhett. shortest ever?
circa 1995

Rhett’s sticker game has always been strong

When asked about her feelings being immortalized in this iconic Old 97’s gem, she had this to say:

“I’m EXTREMELY flattered and feel SO lucky to not only have a song written for me, but that the song was a creation of Rhett’s. And it’s a bad-ass Old 97’s song, to boot! It’s a wonderful part of my 15 minutes of fame! I am forever grateful and blessed to have such good friends in these guys. All of them have brought so much joy and great music into my life. To me, I went from being Killybilly’s #1 fan to being the Old 97’s #1 fan. I’m sure other fans may fight me for the title, but there is plenty of room for all of us to share that title.”

We’re all giant fans of this band of uber talented Texans, but Dorin definitely has the cred to be #1. By her own account, aside from a few Naomi gigs at their start, Dorin’s been to every Dallas show. She’s seen the 97’s and Rhett solo all over Texas and up north in Ohio and Pennsylvania when she visits her Mom in Boardman. Rhett himself recently acknowledged her role as muse in an IG message:

And if you still need validation from the horse’s mouth, here’s video proof:

So next time you stand near a striking, flaxen-haired Teutonic beauty in the front row of the Melt Show, give Dorin a little shout out of thanks (and a whiskey sour) for inspiring one of the greatest songs in the Old 97’s catalog.

And don’t forget the 3rd Annual Old 97’s County Fair is right around the corner on April 14th! This year’s line up includes Valerie June, Lord Huron and the Mavericks. See you there!!

And be sure to check for upcoming tour dates starting the week of April 15th on our tour page.

(photos courtesy of Dorin Schadel)

Third time’s the charm! Coming April 14, 2018, this one-stage, one-day festival in downtown Dallas features an array of alt-country bands that would made any jukebox happy, a 40 foot Ferris wheel, corn dogs to hold you over until Big Tex is back, and plenty of opportunities to try your luck in the midway.

PRE-SALE TIX AVAILABLE NOW!

GENERAL ADMISSION: $50 | POSTER BUNDLE: $65 | VIP: $125

VIP TICKETS INCLUDE:
VIP RESTROOMS
VIP SHADED AREA
VIP RAISED VIEWING DECK
2 DRINK TICKETS
T-SHIRT

In and out privileges are allowed at Old 97’s County Fair and children under 10 enter for free!

*tap tap tap
Is this thing on?

Holy Crap! Can you believe it’s already mid-August?!? Where did 2017 go? I don’t know about you, but no matter how far away I get from formal schooling, September alwaysalwaysALWAYS feels like the beginning of the year.

So, how was everyone’s winter/spring/summer vacation? Did y’all get a glimpse of the eclipse? Did you don your space glasses? Hope those in the Path of Totality (my new band name, btw) enjoyed the weirdness during the brief bout of afternoon darkness. Original founder of this website, Frank had an enviable view of the rare celestial spectacle from the cockpit of a plane descending into Seattle airport. Cool, huh? Almost as cool as this incredible photo from the ISS.

(Pic removed due to copyright issues. Picture a really amazing shot of Earth from space.)

Let’s take a minute to marvel at the amazing world in which we live, wherein people living in space can take a breathtaking photo and immediately post it on social media.

Let’s also marvel at the outstanding year our favorite foursome had! Almost one year to the day recording ended in Tornillo, TX, Graveyard Whistling was released to rave reviews.

Pop Matters
The Old 97’s have never shied from that internal gray, but it’s never kept them from having a good time, either. Graveyard Whistling is a fitting title and apt image. It’s the work of a band finding complexity in apparent basics, and depth within its play.

American Songwriter
Graveyard Whistling proves that even in the young man’s game of country rocking, growing older is no impediment to creating exciting, even exhilarating music that feels vital, fresh and dangerous.

Glide Magazine
Graveyard Whistling is the unpretentious, deep breath follow-up that is anything but a relaxing, post-tour coast. It’s rambunctious, loud rock and roll and it is just what the doctor ordered.

And here’s a very compelling read masterfully penned by our own Mr. Miller which starts off thusly:

There is the guy, and then there is the guy in the song. The guy has a real life—messy and convoluted, marked by devastation and success. The guy in the song has a single moment that exists within the framework of the song and in the imagination of the listener. The guy will die someday. The guy in the song lives forever. They are both deeply flawed.

He speaks of blurring the line between narrator and self, sitting alone in the back of the bus, writing All Who Wander.

You’re gonna want to read this Relix piece.

Most Messed Up was such a powerful, thematic album, it was a tough act to follow. But, man, did GW answer the call and then some. Such a strong, sound collection of work that Rhett has dubbed the hungover morning after MMU’s night of debauchery. The strength of this album propelled the 97’s to bust into Billboard’s top 10 rock chart for the first time ever and put them at #1 on the Americana chart!! Hot DAYUM!!!

#1, BABY!!

The band performed on three networks within two weeks; Seth Meyers, Saturday Sessions on CBS, Conan on the West Coast, and in between, they embarked on their first ever Rock Cruise sponsored by Sirius Outlaw Radio. Rhett gave attendees a preview performance at the Sixth Man studios.

Here’s Good With God from their headlining show on the deck.

Back on terra firma, our fave Texans toured the West before heading back to Dallas for the 2nd annual Old 97’s County Fair. The ferris wheel was back, along with carnival games, artist booths and a photo camper. This year’s line up had YUUUGE talent, including The Jayhawks, Lucinda Williams and the incomparable Mavis Staples. Her set brought ALL of the VIP types out from backstage to drink in the power that is Mavis. When she departed the stage, EVERY performer took turns taking a selfie with this musical legend.

The evening culminated with a well-deserved proclamation of thanks from the State of Texas presented to the 97’s by the head of the Texas Music Office before our guys took the stage.

No word yet on the date for 2018, but plan on attending. This event has become a meeting of Wreckers far and wide. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this fair next year.

Speaking of Wreckers, a couple of our tribe have been brainstorming names for Old 97’s themed beer over on our Forum. Some of their suggestions so far are Big Brown Ale, Trainwreck (a dank, raucus double IPA), and Color of a Lonely Heart (blueberry ale). I don’t know, sounds like a fine idea for Old 97’s County Fair 2018.

You can read more about the County fair, as well as peruse photos here and here and here.

The one and only, Miss Mavis Staples. The crowd was putty in her hands.

The guys brought out Heather Stalling on fiddle, John Pedigo on banjo, and Joe Butcher on pedal steel to add a different level of energy to House That Used To Be. Fantastic!

Throughout the tours so far this year, the band and/or Rhett visited a number of radio stations. Here are just a few:

88.9 Studio Milwaukee

Rhett at Paste Magazine

KUTX

Talking with newcomer, Talia Schlanger of WXPN

Rockin’ out in Seattle at KEXP’s new facility:

and finally, a fab performance in the 412 (home of the back-to-back Stanley Cup winning Pittsburgh Penguins!) at WYEP

Ever the insightful interview, Rhett also took time out in Austin to have a thoughtful conversation with KUTX’s Elizabeth McQueen on her This Song podcast. Rhett’s choice will surprise you. The link to that convo is here.

And here’s a fun video of Nikki Lane and Rhett singing Good With God for KUTX in Austin back in May.

Here’s a little reward for your tenacity to sticking with this beast:

Murry picks up the interview baton to discuss libraries, Graveyard Whistling, and gratitude for his life in music.

“When I get onstage, I look at people and they’re so beautiful. You look at faces and see all the humanity in front of you … I’ll look at the crowd and see a face and it’s like seeing a painting. “That face, right there, that’s it! That’s the perfect face.” It’s so valuable. I’m happy and grateful that I’m in this life where that’s a part of my workday. I’ve had some shitty jobs in my life but that right there is part of my workday. The more you run into that the more you go, “Life is good.”

In the words of Sally Field, “He likes us! He really likes us!” So next time you’re in the front row, give Murry a little wave.

And last, but not least, I can’t end this missive without a giant shout out of thanks to our tech extraordinaire, Jason Garner for stepping out from behind the stage to step behind the kit when Philip was recovering from his frightening fall. You are an invaluable talent, friend and gem of a human. We all heart you bigly. Thanks, buddy!

Dates are out through October. Enjoy the waning days of summer. See y’all on the road!

OLD 97’S RELEASE NEW ALBUM ‘GRAVEYARD WHISTLING’ TODAY VIA ATO RECORDS

NEW “GOOD WITH GOD” OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FEATURING FRED ARMISEN + JENNA FISCHER OUT NOW, WATCH HERE

 WATCH PERFORMANCE OF “GOOD WITH GOD” FEATURING NIKKI LANE ON ‘LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS’ HERE

 TOMORROW: NATIONWIDE TOUR BEGINS + ‘CBS THIS MORNING: SATURDAY’ PERFORMANCE AIRS, CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS

“‘Graveyard Whistling’ proves that even in the young man’s game of country rocking, growing older is no impediment to creating exciting, even exhilarating music that feels vital, fresh and dangerous.” – American Songwriter

 “Graveyard [Whistling] might actually be the most country Old 97’s record in years, while maintaining the sticky sweet melodies the band has always nailed.” – Paste

 Dallas four-piece Old 97’s is a pioneer of the alt-country movement. Years of hard work has earned them respect and veneration, yet they still retain the raucous energy, deceptive cleverness, and knockabout spirit that first distinguished them from the pack. This attitude continues on their 11th studio album, Graveyard Whistling, out today.

Today the band released its music video for rollicking single “Good with God” and courtesy of Pitchfork you can watch it HERE. Directed by Lee Kirk, the video is a parody of MTV’s ‘120 Minutes’ featuring an interview and live-tracked performance with Fred Armisen (Portlandia, Late Night With Seth Meyers) and Jenna Fischer (The Office). “Good with God” has also been a breakout at radio and is inside the top 20 on the AAA Chart.

“Lee Kirk and his team had written a great script and arranged for what would have been a very cool video when we discovered at the last minute that our drummer would not be able to take part in the filming,” explained lead singer and songwriter Rhett Miller. “Thank god that Fred Armisen is a world-class drummer in addition to being literally the funniest man on the planet. What we wound up with was unexpected and amazing. This video could have been an hour long given all of the hilarious improv that Jenna and Fred did.”

Old 97’s will be performing this track and the new songs “All Who Wander” and “She Hates Everybody” on CBS This Morning: Saturday tomorrow. Check local listings for airtime.

On vinyl, Graveyard Whistling is now available in four different cover color options – red, blue, green and silver – with four matching vinyl colors in translucent red, translucent blue, translucent green, and clear. You can pre-order the album physically or digitally HERE and head below to check out Old 97’s 2017 tour dates including the Old 97’s County Fair in their hometown of Dallas.

New Song Preview #2!

January 24, 2017

We still have a short while to wait before Graveyard Whistling is in our greedy little hands, but we don’t have to wait to hear another song from the album! Following up the first single “Good with God” is “All Who Wander,” a slice of wistful Americana sizzle guaranteed to worm its way deep into your inner ear. Enjoy! 

 

 

Tour dates for May were announced today as well. The second leg of the tour is a tireless swing down the east coast and into the heartland. And don’t worry, if your hometown isn’t on the list, chances are we’ll be seeing you pretty soon!