Archive for August, 2007

On top all the recent Old 97’s shows, boy do we have some solo shows on tap. First up is Murry, playing the Sunday 8/26 in El Lay at the Hotel Cafe. Says Murry, “We’re mixing the solo CD, and I wanted to do a set to polish up my stage legs.”

Then on September 20-23, Rhett plays a series of solo shows in NYC, Chicago, and Milwaukee, including two sets on September 20 at NYC’s Blue Note. Finally, on Saturday, October 27th, the Old 97’s team up for the second time this year with their old friend Willie at Dallas’ Smirnoff Music Center for a “Willie Nelson & Friends” fest. So now I can finally forgive Willie for taking his Fourth of July picnic up to Washington state!

And in album news, late word is that Texas wunderkind (and Instigator on Rhett’s 2002 solo CD of the same name) Salim Nourallah is set to helm the boards as producer of the upcoming Old 97’s CD. You probably heard his earlier work with the 97’s when he produced their cover of the Kinks “She’s Got Everything” on Sweetheart, the 2005 Valentines comp from Starbucks. Check it out, if you haven’t already. And check back soon, as we’ll have more news and some great new band photos from Jeff Uleau. Until then, don’t forget that you can contribute your photos and videos by simply e-mailing them to olds97s AT cellblock DOT com. That’s it for now!

“Tonight, Live at Red Rocks, it’s… The West Texas Teardrops???”

So last week, y’all might remember that the Old 97’s were scheduled to play a great bill at the amazing Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver. (Rent the classic “U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky” if you have any questions about the venue.)

You might also be familiar with the West Texas Teardrops, a rock-pop-punk-country trio consisting of Philip Peeples, Ken Bethea, and Murry Hammond, who’ve played a handful of club dates over the past couple of years, during times when their erstwhile collaborator, Rhett Miller, is otherwise occupied.

From here it’s probably best to let Murry pick up the story:

One of Rhett’s flights was cancelled day of Red Rocks and word was he wasn’t going to make the gig. We were soundchecking at 1 and got word he was still in Boston. A long ways away from Denver, in airport time, especially for a 6pm play. So – we voted him out of the band over the deal.

Then it was just Ken, Philip and me. It was a harsh penalty to impose, as you know Rhett had a lot of promise as a 97, but we have always required East Germany-style punctuality. Old school. Rhett knew it, and the punishment. Then, before the 97’s corpse had even cooled, we formed The West Texas Teardrops, made a set (mostly – well, all – 97’s tunes because we were fairly new at that point) and went on during the slot the 97’s were to play. We explained it all to the crowd and asked them to root for us as we stepped into an uncertain, but almost certainly successful future.

We were doing real good, too, and were already into our fifth song when HIS MAJESTY comes sauntering in, purple robes flowing, as if we had never thrown him out. We had forgot to tell him of his ousting, which is the one loophole in our punctuality rule, but anyway – through some sort of mind power, he got us to end our song on the spot, and we went into “Barrier Reef”, forgetting about the whole scary, scary day…

Now that is a classic 97’s story, made all the better by the telling, but it got me wondering if there wasn’t some weird vibe between the 97’s and Denver. See, back in ’97 or so, Philip took sick on tour, and the 97’s were forced to play a series of dates with Mike Schwedler – their manager at the time and fortunately for all, a drummer in his earlier years – handling the skins. Just before their Denver show though, Philip – a few pounds lighter, and a shade to two paler, but otherwise none worse for the wear – made his return to the kit.

So there you go: You never know who’ll turn up when the Old 97’s play Denver. Now y’all stay cool (physically I mean; it’s hot out there!) and check back soon.

Well, after much dawdling we’ve added a new feature here at Hit By A Train, whereby you can add your favorite Old 97’s pics and video clips to the site! Just attachment them to any standard email, or even txt/mms from your cell-phone, and send to them olds97s AT cellblock DOT com . The text that you enter for the subject line of your message will be automatically added as the caption for your photo or video, and they’ll show up automatically on our New Images page.

You can post individual photos of up to to 10MB, in BMP, JPG, GIF, and PNG formats.

And we’ll also post your video clips of up to 10MB, in 3G2, AVI, MOV, and WMV formats.

Also, please know that webmaster must approve all new content before it shows up. (i.e., no off-topic or nekid pics allowed, you randy monkeys!) So please be patient if it takes a while for your photos to appear, and know that could be hours or even days, if your webmaster’s out on long trip.

Finally, don’t miss some amazing fan photos taken at the guys’ Lancaster, PA show a week or so ago, and posted in the comments section of the Old 97’s MySpace page. Enjoy!

I think we could call this post Why I love Old 97’s (Vol XXXVI), by Jason Hood. And we’ll let Jason tell it because A) He’s a journalist and writes better than you and I; and B) It’s in the newspaper and I can link to it! Take it away, Jason:

Some times you need a cold beer, a shot of tequila and a honky-tonk love song to get you through the night. Hell, sometimes you need these things to get you through an extraordinarily trying breakfast hour break-up.

Once upon a hard-luck time you could find that honky-tonk love song on the first record of your father’s vinyl collection, every third track played by some high desert radio station or by throwing loose change in the direction of a familiar pool hall jukebox.

Perhaps you’ll stumble across the perfect song -— the song that validates your loneliness and pain -— in a smoky backwater dive, with its creaky barstools and peanut shell floor, thick with too tight miniskirts and boozy recklessness. I’ve been there and so has my buddy Jimmy the Pitbull. In fact, ol’ Jimmy went through three straight relationships and subsequent break-up songs, all in the course of one drunken and worrisome evening in West Tennessee.

But there’s one thing about heartbreak songs, liquor-fueled retrospection and a sticky-damp motel barroom: you tend to never forget them.

On Saturday, Aug. 4, at Belly Up, I know that The Old 97’s will play that unforgettable song.

You gotta read the rest, including his interview with Rhett, right here. And of course if you’re in the greater Aspen metropolitan area, or can get there in the next few hours, there’s that great Old 97’s show. Tonight!

Also we’ve got a few new dates posted, and additional info on others posted on the Tour Dates page. Check it out, and stand by for more here, soon!