Archive for February, 2014

Great interview with Rhett about the new album over on Salon today.


A sample:

Yes, it has been an emotionally draining time for Miller — but a liberating one as well, too. Something in the awfulness of the pain gave him the freedom to speak out and speak his mind. And this autobiographical song cycle is his most honest, revealing and often laugh-out-loud funny yet. “I’ve come to a decision where I don’t have to try and be perfect,” he said over the phone last week, in an exclusive first interview about the album. “I don’t have to try and be nice. I don’t have to try and make everybody happy all the time.”

That’s apparent from the very first song, “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive,” which comes right out and admits to the drinking and pills, to how the road can be “a blast and a bore,” to butting heads with band mates, and to nights onstage where everyone is checking the clock. That directness sets the tone for a total excavation of the heart, all of it set against a return of the careening, train-wildly-off-the-track beat that will make fans of “Too Far to Care” and other early albums rejoice.


You can now pre-order Most Messed Up CDs, LPs and bundles with exclusive t-shirts and posters.


Every pre-order includes:

– Instant free download of the unreleased track “Career Opportunities” (yes, a Clash cover!)

– Early digital MP3 download of the album on Friday, April 25

Pre-order Most Messed Up Now >

There’s also a ton of new tour dates up over on the shows page, so check it out and come see us sometime.

If you enjoyed the streaming preview of “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” from the upcoming Most Messed Up (out 4/29/14), here’s your chance to grab it and make it your very own. All you need is an email address and it’s all yours. Enjoy.

Free stream:

Free download:



Entertainment Weekly Premieres 1st New Song
“Longer Than You’ve Been Alive”

The Old 97’s have confirmed the April 29 release of their new album and ATO debut Most Messed Up — a revealing, 12-track meditation on 20 years in music that finds them at their raucous, boozy best. It’s “a rock opera, a way-off Broadway musical about a musician’s life, loves and lubrication,” says music critic Bill Flanagan. Recorded in Austin and produced by Salim Nourallah, Most Messed Up also features guest appearances by Tommy Stinson (The Replacements, Guns N’ Roses) and Jon Rauhouse (Neko Case) on lap-steel.

Entertainment Weekly just premiered “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive,” the album’s epic, 6-minute opening track that pulls back the curtain on both the excesses and tedium of the world of a touring musician. Listen here.

Titles like “Wasted,” “Intervention,” “Wheels Off,” “Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On,” and “Most Messed Up” hint at the kind of narrators frontman Rhett Miller likes to inhabit — men who possess an appetite for indulgence and won’t let a few bad decisions get in the way of a good story. The magic in Miller’s songwriting lies in the depth that he lends his characters. Upon closer inspection, the hard partying and endless pursuit of a good time often reveals itself to be a Band-Aid covering up deeper wounds and emotional scars. “There’s a lot of darkness hidden in this record,” Miller explains.

The Old 97’s emerged from Dallas twenty years ago at the forefront of a musical movement blending rootsy, country-influenced songwriting with punk rock energy. Most Messed Up follows their recent two-volume set, The Grand Theatre which found the band as “lifers writing for keeps,” according to Rolling Stone, and their 2013 EP featuring Waylon Jennings, Old 97’s & Waylon Jennings.

2014 tour dates will soon be announced.

Most Messed Up Tracklist:
  1. “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive”
  2. “Give It Time”
  3. “Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On”
  4. “This Is The Ballad”
  5. “Wheels Off”
  6. “Nashville”
  7. “Wasted”
  8. “Guadalajara”
  9. “The Disconnect”
  10. “The Ex Of All You See”
  11.  “Intervention”
  12.  “Most Messed Up”