Archive for June, 2004

From Hitchhiking comes lots of news this week. First up is this: On Monday July 12 at 9 a.m., “City Folk Live” with Claudia Marshall welcomes Old 97’s to Studio A on WFUV 90.7 FM in the NYC area and streaming online at

Second, Ken’s been checking in a regular basis too, something he’s done pretty regularly leading up to the last few 97’s releases. Answering a question from someone with a pre-release copy of Drag It Up, about who (Rhett or Ken) is playing the finger-style guitar on the drop-dead beautiful ballad “Adelaide,” Ken wrote this:

Yeah that’s me playing Murry’s little Silvertone acoustic guitar. There are 4 breaks in the song, an intro part that I repeat again later then a kind of a solo section, then some outro noodling. The solo section was a total bitch to play. Took me over an hour. (We couldn’t really punch in, if you know what that means. The technology predated my ’64 Corvair). There is a version of “Question” with some of that type of guitar playing on it but it got left on the cutting room floor :-(.

FYI, I’m not sure whether this is in the notes but that’s Slamming Murry Hammond from Boyd, TX taking the second break in “Bloomington.” Very cool… it’s the one with the tremolo sound.

As far as I can remember, I play all but two guitar solo’s on our songs.

1) On “Wish the Worst,” I broke my arm playing baseball in an over 30 hardball league that summer so I missed the second session. Clark Vogeler (Funland, Toadies) and Alan Wooley (Killbilly) fill in.

2) “Doreen” on Wreck Your Life – That’s Jon Langford playing the outro solo.



NP: Salim Nourallah’s Polaroid – When people ask me on tour what new music I’m listening too, I always shrug and give the same answer. “I don’t listen to much because new music sucks.” This, however, most definitely doesn’t. It’s kind of thoughtful singer/songwriter psychedelia like Sparklehorse but more accessible (what isn’t?)I think you can get it at

Salim was Rhett’s bass player in The Instigators. He’s opening our Dallas Gypsy show on the 25th and if things work out, some dates in the fall.

I should also mention that we’ve made some tweaks here at HBAT to make it easier for the guys to post here to the news page on their own, to which Ken said, “…so I’ll probably start posting there once we start touring. NEXT WEEK!!! Yikes my fingers have only touched keyboards and video game controllers.”

Now, have you guys just been clicking past the splash page her at Hit By A Train? If so you may have missed the links to pre-order tickets for the upcoming Old 97’s tour, and even better to pre-order Drag It Up. Plus if you order off the website, you’re automatically entered to win the following prizes:

Grand Prize: One Gibson EPI DR-100 guitar autographed by the band, a CD autographed by the band, and a t-shirt!

First Runner Up: A CD autographed by the band and a t-shirt!

Second Runner Ups: Five t-shirts!

Now come on, wouldn’t you like the chance to put off doing laundry for another week? Well, now you can, as the proud new owner of five, count ’em FIVE, Old 97’s t-shirts. Or maybe that’s five second runner-up who each get one t-shirts. Hmmm. Still, why not click on over and pre-order your copy of Drag It Up today?

Also, back on June 29, 2003, Rhett Miller gave a solo acoustic performance at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, opening for Nickel Creek, and Rhett’s entire performance is available via RealVideo on the Kennedy Center website. Hat tip to Lauree McArdle for the link!

Finally, remember that oddball anime poster advertising one of Rhett’s solo shows in Japan? Well Jackie Jaimes was kind enough to get on a Japanese language message board and request a translation. To say that the result is a mish-mash of pop-culture non sequiturs would be an understatement, I mean talk about lost in translation. Says the translator of the cartoon: “[It] is part of a continuing series by the author, Chika, who is also probably Woman 2 [and] a series of one-shots based on the author’s concert exploits. There is little to nothing about Rhett Miller in here at all. So without further ado…” click here.

Set yo TiVo’s kids, because this just in…

The Old 97’s will be closing out the Drag It Up street date, July 27, with an appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn!

Also, you’ll notice I’ve added a “comments” feature beneath each post, so you can have your say on the latest 97’s news. It’s just a test, so please talk nice so I can leave it up and not worry about editing or deleting comments from some (old school) Ryan Adams wannabe 😉

Did you know

June 1, 2004

Did you know…

…That you can already pre-order your copy of Drag It Up right here!

…And you can pre-order you Old 97’s show tickets right here!

…And that three songs recorded but not included on Drag It Up were: “She Loves the Sunset”, “Wreck of the Old 97”, and a cover of the Beatles “I’ll Cry Instead”? Makes you pine for a time when record companies made “B-Sides,” no?

…And that the Old 97’s also have a DVD coming soon? That’s right. Tentatively titled “Live at the Troubadour,” the DVD will document the way the Old 97’s have to be seen to be fully appreciated: Live and on-stage.

…And finally, that you can get yourself dinner, a soundcheck, and a a show with the Old 97’s? Check this out, from the good folks at Twangfest:

A Night with Old 97’s: Soundcheck, Dinner, and a Gig!

Join the band for a show on the 2004 tour. YOU and your GUEST will get:

– Admission to an Old 97s show of your choice on the 2004 Tour, starting on July 1st. See for up-to-the-minute details on tour dates this summer and fall in support of the soon-to-be-released album, “Drag It Up.”

– Access to the band’s soundcheck before the show. Sure, you’ll find out just how long it takes to get the drum levels right, but you may also catch songs you’ll never hear during the regular show!

– After soundcheck, join guitarist Ken Bethea, and other band members who may be available, for a typical pre-show dinner of Mickey’s Big Mouths and corn chips, with the band picking up the tab. OK, we’re kidding about the beer and chips, but not about the dinner.

– A guaranteed opportunity to meet the whole band and have your merchandise signed. If you’re an Old 97’s fan, this is one heck of a sweet package. And since it’s good for two, you can always split your cost with a friend or loved one. Best of all, every bit of the proceeds go to benefit Twangfest, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the best of roots, pop, country, and rock. Check us out at!