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With just four weeks to go before the release of The Grand Theatre Vol. 2, the Old 97’s are back on the road, giving fans on the West Coast a preview of the songs that we have been eagerly anticipating for months.

From the May 27th show at the Bluebird Theatre, a Denver fan captured a performance of “Brown Haired Daughter” and was kind enough to share it with the Internets.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oCJFKn2XJo&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

Very nice. So what else do we have to look forward to in Volume Two? In this interview from www.newsreview.com,  Rhett said, “There’s a song called ‘The Actor’ that’s more punk rock than anything we’ve ever done… I guess there are moments of insanity not found on Volume One.”  According to Marc Lore, Volume Two, “might be one of their best yet,” with “Pogues-ish “White Port”, “the train shuffle of “Ivy” and the sweet and strummy “How Lovely All It Was.” I’m not one to wish a month of summer away, but July cannot get here soon enough.

On Memorial Day, the Old 97’s played the Sasquatch Festival, on what looks to have been a beautiful day at The Gorge in Washington. What did they do in their down time? Well, we know that Rhett has rhythm and we know that he can jump. What happens when he tries to combine the two in a round of double dutch? I wouldn’t have guessed this: http://opbmusic.org/blog/sasquatch_2011_rhett_miller_in_doubledutch

A couple of months ago, before the Rochester show, I had a quick chat with Ken who was telling me that his kids are only allowed to listen to good music. It looks like young Audie and his friend Scott have developed excellent taste in music, as a result. Here they are at their school talent show, performing “St. Ignatius.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbTKZsZTsg[/youtube]

You guys rock! You’re learning from the best, boys! 97’s fans will be hearing more from Audie Bethea, very soon. Pay special attention to the intro chord of “White Port” when you finally get your hands on TGTV2 for the Audie’s album debut. How cool is that?

FYI: Another guest guitarist appears on the new album. Philip trades his drumsticks for a guitar to strum the outro chords of “Brown Haired Daughter.” The Beatles had Eric Clapton, but we have Audie Bethea and Philip Peeples!

Tonight and tomorrow night, Arizonan fans will get their long-awaited fill of 97’s heaven before the centrifugal force of Texas pulls the guys back to their home state to wrap up this leg of the tour. A couple of days after the new album is released next month, the guys will hit the road again. If you follow the band of Facebook, you know that they have been giving away Meet and Greet passes and CD’s in each town. To enter the contest, visit their events page and RSVP for the show that you can attend. Good luck!