You know, a few years back we had the original videos for “St. Ignatius” and “Jagged” up here at Hit By A Train, posted in the gawdawful RealVideo format. Unfortunately, technical issues and bandwidth limitations on our old server brought those clips to a crashing end just months after their debut. Since then, a third video, for “In The Satellite Rides A Star,” has been added to the Old 97’s catalog; and now thanks to the gloriously free bandwidth and money-hemorrhaging owners at YouTube, all three Old 97’s videos are back on-line, and available right on the Old 97’s MySpace page!

Take one look and you’ll realize that Rhett was just 12 years-old when the band cut the “St. Ignatius” vid back in ’93 (or at least it looks that way) and that audio is actually from The Old 97’s cassette EP sessions, on which Lisa Pankritz had handled percussion. So for the video, one Lisa Delarios was filmed miming the drum part, while Philip Peeples’ bits were taped and edited in afterwards, in the weeks after he joined the band.

For those of you just tuning in at home, here’s the latest:

Ranchero Brothers (rän·che·rô   bruth’·erz) n. 1. acoustic folk-country music duo, comprised of Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond of the Old 97’s. Best known for raucous live shows, and for previewing new, and reworking older, Old 97’s songs, the Ranchero Brothers recorded their own debut album in 2000, though that project was shelved prior to its release. Several Ranchero’s songs have made their way onto Old 97’s albums, though only two cuts from the aborted Ranchero album, “Sweet Thing Pine Bluff,” and “I’d Be Lonesome” (orig. Robbie Fulks) have been released, on two limited-edition compilation albums.

Ranchero Brothers’ appearances, like Old 97’s shows, have been somewhat less frequent the last couple of years, but mid-January, you’ve got an excellent chance of seeing them live.

At least if you’re in southern California.

That’s because next Tuesday, January 16th, Murry Hammond joins Rhett Miller on the bill at Largo, in West Hollywood (ph: 323.852.1073). Writes Murry, “…If Grey doesn’t go into labor by 9pm that night, I’ll do a set, then Rhett, and then Rhett and I will likely dust off our old Ranchero Brothers duo routine to finish the night.”

Also, I have a favor to ask of anyone reading this who makes Murry’s opening set: Please send in a review, as this will likely be the first of many Murry shows to come. The reason? Murry’s just finished recording his third solo album (behind the out-of-print The Waterling Wheel from 1988, and 1991’s It’s a Twelve String World) and will be debuting several of his new numbers on the 16th, along with at least one of the songs he’s got in the hopper for the next Old 97’s album. And, if y’all know what’s good for you, you Largo attendees should ask Murry to trot out “Summer ’84,” a lovely stunner from his earlier days, which was rumored, nearly two years ago, to be headed in updated form for the track-listing of his new CD.

Philip and the boys in I Love Math have been busy of late too, risking life and limb on icy roads for their first-ever out-of-Texas gig last month, and for an upcoming mini-tour with Bobby Bare Jr. in February. And speaking of ILM, though their new album doesn’t drop until spring, you can see a video for their upcoming single, “Josephine Street,” on their MySpace page, right now. It’s terrific!

Finally, you can do your ears and your world a favor by pre-ordering that outstanding new CD benefiting the Dallas mayoral campaign of former Dallas Observer wordsmith, Zac Crain. The two-disc set includes the Rhett Miller original, “She Loves the Sunset,” along with 31 other great tracks! And before you, don’t forget to check out all the new show dates from Rhett, Murry, and I Love Math.

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