News

There’s a New 97! From Murry’s MySpace page:

We had our baby.

Jefferson Texas “Tex” Hammond
January 31, 2007
7 lbs., 8 oz.
20 inches long

Grey says he looks exactly like me, and sees very little her in him. I have to say, it is a little uncanny to look at him, as he looks like a 3-D color version of an old black and white photo of “newborn me” from 1964, but – the coming months will certainly alter his appearance some, I’m sure, and he may tilt the other way…

He’s mighty cute, y’all. Hardly cries and sleeps a lot, we have to wake him up to feed him. Hopefully that will last awhile…

A good week. Talk to y’all soon as we can.

Murry

So huge congrats to Murry, Grey and baby Jefferson!

In other news ripped from the headlines:

Old 97’s schedule weeknight all-ages show
Teenage fans face conundrum

Or at least that’s how it played on TV, as this week’s Friday Night Lights featured a plot point which revolved around Julie’s desire to go to an Old 97’s show. On a school-night. So Ken, Murry, Philip, and Rhett, in the future, please schedule make-believe all-ages Old 97’s concerts on a weekends, lest you continue to provoke family feuding on one of the better hours of prime-time television.

In real-life Old 97’s concert news, the boys will be playing May 5th at this year’s Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, California. And though one can’t yet say for sure, I’d expect to see other 97’s dates announced during that same period. In the meantime, we’ve got that show, and some fresh Rhett Miller show dates up on the Tour Page, so check that out and stay tuned for more!

And speaking of other real shows, it sounds as if that January 16 at LA’s Largo featuring Murry and Rhett was just as magical as one could have hoped. Over on Hitchhiking, Jack Epsteen and Cori Ray (please correct me if I got those names wrong! – f.e.) wrote in with these impressions:

Jack: Murry played about 40 minutes of mostly new, but some old favorites. On the new side, he mentioned “Color of a Broken Heart is Blue” would probably end up on the next 97’s record. I really hope so. We did get “Summer ’84,” more on that later. Murry played one of my favorites, “Lost At Sea”… Old 97’s songs included a slow, haunting version of “Crash on the Barrelhead,” and a beautiful (as always) “Valentine.” My only criticism would be that I wish the show were longer! Oh, and Grey was in attendance and she looked beautiful!

On to Rhett… it was an energetic, fun show. He played one new song; titled something like “Perfectly Beautiful Day,” which I thought was nice. Lots of 97’s stuff, and solo stuff. The theme of the night became “doing what it takes to feed your family in this f’d up business”, so we got some TV themes, a faithful (and funny) rendition of the Chili’s song, and one more which I’ll discuss in a moment. Lots of talking, and some fun stories.

On to the encore. A Ranchero reunion!! First of all, Rhett mentioned that he wanted to play “Summer ’84,” couldn’t when Murry played it…but he did anyway while Murry plugged his bass in. We got it twice! Really nice. Ranchero set included, “Indefinitely,” “Old Brown Shoe,” “Rollerskate Skinny,” “Barrier Reef,” and “Time Bomb.” Man, it was great to see that… love just the two of them. In fact, this should be a tour: Murray solo, Rhett solo and Ranchero Encore. I might follow that one around.

When the left the stage, the audience kept clapping, and we got an impromptu Rhett encore that started with “Salome.” Then, Rhett continued the theme and played a song (“Wait For Me” ? – f.e.) he was asked to write for Taylor Hicks. Yes, Taylor Hicks. Funny story… After that, he had to end with a “punk rock” song, and (so) finished off with “Four Leaf Clover.” All in all, almost 3 hours of great singer songwriters. Whew, what a fun night.

Cori: Murry was amazing, very poised and his voice totally solid. Like Jack, I didn’t know all the titles, but absolutely loved his rendition of “Crash on the Barrelhead.” The music was mellow, haunting, and poignant. “If you haven’t noticed,” he said, “most of my songs are about death, but in a good way.” He also played multiple instruments including a twelve string guitar and the pump organ that looked older than he was. I also enjoyed the song, “Color of a Broken Heart is Blue,” and thought it sounded most like the band, so when he said he would try to get it on the next 97’s record, it made complete sense.

In terms of Rhett, he began first by giving tons of kudos to Murry and then playing his own set with a lot of humor and conversation (in fact at one point, his wife, who was also there – albeit unseen by me – told him to “shut up”). And although he played with verve, he only broke one guitar string the whole evening, he seemed to be a bit constrained in the small space of the stage – but nevertheless made multiple comments about how great it was to be back “home” at Largo, one of his favorite venues to play…

Finally, let’s end this update by encouraging you to have a gander at the “comments” here at old97s.com. Those posted after the 1.10.2007 update section comprised a pretty intersting conversation about the Old 97’s and what’s going on with the band these days. So if you haven’t already, join the conversation today, and check back soon!