Archive for October, 2007

So Saturday’s Carter Albrecht Memorial show was, by all accounts, a smashing success. But your chance to help isn’t over yet. By clicking here you can donate to the Carter Albrecht Music Foundation. In exchange for each donation, feel free to download one of the many full-length, hi-bandwidth video’s of Saturday’s performances.

That’s a good deal for a great cause.

Here’s another: On November 17, Rhett is playing solo at the Granada, this time benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as part of their Breath Easy Concert Series, to help find and fund the cure for Cystic Fibrosis. And now, there’s an added bonus for this show too. One Murry Hammond will be opening, previewing tracks from his new solo album, I Don’t Know Where I’m Going But I’m On My Way, with the CD itself being on sale afterwards. Then for the encore of Rhett’s set, expect a mini-set from the mighty, mighty Ranchero Brothers. Rhett and Murry played a show in a similar format at LA’s Largo earlier this year, and the reviews from those attending that night describe one of the most magical nights of music they’d ever experienced.

So as if you needed another good reason to attend what was already set to be a great night of music, well now you have a basketful: Rhett, Murry, and the Rancheros; all for a great cause. And why don’t you have your tickets yet?

More soon!

From Mike Daniel in today’s Dallas Morning News and its music blog:

Saturday’s Carter Albrecht Memorial Concert at the Granada Theater is turning out to be a doozy.

First selling point: Dallas’ dreamiest alt-country sons, the Old 97’s (yep, the comma’s still in the name these days, folks) is headlining it. The Old 97’s sold out House of Blues’ Music Hall, which holds 600 more patrons than the 1,000-capacity Granada, back in May. Shaaa!

Second: Sorta — the band that Mr. Albrecht was so intimately intertwined in when he was shot dead through a door on Labor Day — will perform for the first time since his passing. And word on the street is that the nearly completed next Sorta CD is now actually completed. I’m still in awe that has come to pass already.

Third: all proceeds will benefit the Carter Albrecht Music Foundation, which now has at least one defined aim; to aid emerging and independent Dallas-area pop music talent in both obtaining and paying for studio time to make and distribute recordings. Sensational, I say.

Finally: the roster below the headliners is crazy strong: the Drams (or: Slobberbone, v2.0), Salim Nourallah (the city’s best songwriter, and a kind man to boot), Stephen Collins of Deadman (post-alt morosity a la Gram Parsons; and boy, does a set by this guy fit here) and Chris Holt’s super new project, the Slack.

Get yer 30-buck passes quick, folks. If you still can.

Dreamy, eh?

Well, it could hardly be for a better cause. “Sensational” even. And the “crazy strong” bill bit is right on the money too. So we’ll let “dreamiest” bit slide. This time 😉

(p.s. – 10.19.07: According to Pegasus News, the concert “will be recorded with downloads available at Pegasus News, donations of which will also go to the foundation.”)

Also, I just found something really cool. Go to the iTunes store, and search for the Old 97’s. Then scroll down to “Podcasts” and check out the “Podcast with Old 97’s.” Recorded earlier this year at the Fillmore in San Francisco, it’s a great interview with Rhett and Murry, with stuff about the new CD; their favorite 97’s albums; touring; the internet and the record business; and an extended description about their most memorable show: The wild and oversold (and closed down by the fire marshal) Denton show in the summer of 1999, where Murry passed out cold on-stage. Check it out.

Finally, there’s finally a big, update to the “Discography” page. It should now include most, if not all, commercially available Old 97’s releases, be they albums, comps, singles, soundtracks, EP’s, DVD’s, and even those fairly rare promo discs that pop up on Ebay. But I sometimes hear about releases that have escaped me, so if you see something missing, please do speak up!

So if there’s some tweaking yet to do, there’s still another big project on tap: A push to round out or complete the lyrics, chords, and tabs page. If you’ve got the time to submit lyrics not yet shown on the site, please feel free. In addition, any budding guitar gods who might be willing to tab out or submit chords for Old 97’s songs, well, we’d love to have your submissions too. It would be especially helpful if they were in a simple .txt file, in the same manner as those already on the site. Contributions would of course be fully credited.

See, for many years now, this has been one of the few “official” band sites, that’s also a “fan” site, and from the earliest days of Hit By A Train, it’s been your submissions, suggestions, hints, and tips that have helped to keep the site fresh.

Well there’s a new CD coming (The first new studio album in… nearly four years! Can that possibly be right? – f.e.) and no better time than to keep freshening up the site. So thanks in advance for your feedback and assistance!

Notice anything different? If not yet, you will soon, like tonight hopefully. It’s a great new site tweak from Jeff Neely and Larry Lane, creators of the best Hit By A Train design ever, the Satellite Rides version from 2001, this time featuring concert photography from the amazing Alex Myers. I think you’ll agree that the site is much more fresh and readable, to say nothing of the fact that each time you visit, you’ll see a great new shot of the Old 97’s in action, including a couple of excellent snaps of the nearly-impossible to capture Philip Peeples.

Now this won’t be the only new feature at, as the band looks to be prepping a much-expanded web presence in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned for that.

And that’s small beans compared to the big news: Starting this past Monday, October 8, the Old 97’s are finally back in the studio, baby, laying down tracks for their first album of all-new material since 2004’s Drag It Up! More details soon as we see if we can’t wheedle some updates out of the guys themselves as they roll along, though here’s a sneak peak on the process in a recent interview with Rhett Miller.

You lucky Gothamites might might have had the chance to catch the band late last month, in what was called a great outdoor set, as part of the new, 7 World Trade Center concert series. Rhett, who lived just two blocks from the WTC on 9/11, returned with Ken, Philip, and Murry to lower Manhattan, and in this YouTube clip, the Old 97’s exorcise the demons within earshot of Ground Zero, in a blistering take of “Doreen.”

In other news, the Old 97’s will be heading up a fantastic bill at Dallas’ Granada Theater on Saturday, October 20. It’s a Carter Albrecht Memorial show, and besides the 97’s, features The Drams, Salim Nourallah, Junky Southern, The Slack, Slider Pines, and of course, Carter’s band, Sorta. (BTW, over on Rhett’s MySpace page, he’s got available a great version of “Ain’t That Strange” featuring Carter on guitar, available not only for listening, but for downloading too.)

Then on Saturday, November 17, Rhett returns to the Granada, for a solo show benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Now that’s two great nights of music for two outstanding causes.

Next up: Public servants and Old 97’s, and why many of the former love the latter. First up is this squib on a youngish candidate for the US Congress from Madison, WI, who’s favorite band is… well, you know.

Better still is this blog from one Michael Tomberlin, erstwhile reporter for The Birmingham News, and long-time, self-confessed fan of the Old 97’s, who several months back shed his civvies and the safety of home, for the uniform of a major in the Army National Guard and a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Since arriving he’s kept up his on-line journal, with great descriptions of life on the ground in his sector, and some great photographs too. Scroll down to his October 5 entry. I just hope that spreading hope and good-will to the Afghan people doesn’t include translating a certain loud song for one young Afghan boy. Because really, what would he make of “Timebomb”?

Maybe we can’t all run for Congress or (re)join the Army, but you can do a public service. Why not take a second to click over to They’re doing a poll of listeners all-time “essential artists”, as well as most taking you vote for the “most overrated.” You can vote here.

OK, there’ll be more soon, including some great new photos from Jeff Uleau. Yeah, I know, I’ve been promising those for two months, but wanted to wait for the redesign before adding them to the site. I also need to tweak some site and comments templates before heading out to fly again. Anyhow, check back soon!