Archive for 2018

Whaddup, ma Wreckers?

As you may, nay, SHOULD know, yesterday was the launch of our very own songsmith’s 7th, yes, SEVENTH solo album. Unbelievable how prolific Rhett is these days.

Anywho, our frontman has been getting some great early press like this one from No Depression.

If you haven’t bought your own copy yet, here’s a link to all the tracks of The Messenger courtesy of YouTube to tide you over until you get your paws on your own disc.

And don’t forget, the first ever Old 97’s Christmas album drops next week!! And by the sounds of the first release, Love the Holidays, this collection is going to rock your Santa hat CLEAN OFF!!

And how about that hilarious photo? You gotta love them. Ho Ho How did we live without a 97’s candy cane Christmas LP to love the holidays before?

So to recap, we are blessed with a new Rhett solo album and a soon-to-be released 97’s Christmas collection by which to ring in the season. While you’re at it, don’t forget to get your tickets to one, two or many of the holiday extravaganza shows beginning November 28th. Check out the rest of the dates here. And keep an eye out for more solo dates and upcoming literary dates for Rhett’s book tour in 2019.

See you on the road!!










The Old 97’s are excited to announce the release of their first ever collection of original Christmas songs, LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. Out Friday, November 16 via ATO, the album was produced, mixed & engineered by John Pedigo in the band’s home state of Texas. The LP presents a sack full of rockin’ new Yuletide favorites, as well as Old 97’s take on the New Year’s Eve standard, “Auld Lang Syne.” Among its many highlights are the title track, co-written with Kevin Russell (The Gourds, Shinyribs), “Gotta Love Being A Kid (Merry Christmas)” and “Snow Angels,” both co-written with acclaimed writer Ben Greenman, and the continuing saga of everyone’s favorite reindeer, “Rudolph Is Blue,” co-written by Old 97’s and Dan Bern.


A week earlier, on November 9, also via ATO, Old 97’s founding member Rhett Miller will be releasing his new solo album, THE MESSENGER. Pre–orders are available now HERE, joined by an instant grat download of the LP’s electrifying first single, “Total Disaster.” Additional track releases will follow.

Recorded earlier this year over five days at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY with producer/musician Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker), THE MESSENGER sees Miller playing it faster and looser than perhaps any other time in his quarter century career, instilling what might be his most personal songs to date with a groovy limberness that belies the reflective darkness within. Backed by a white hot backing combo comprised of Cohen (Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Pedal Steel Guitar, Piano, Organ, Second Drumset), Brian Betancourt (Bass), and Ray Rizzo (Drums), Miller goes deep into his own youthful experiences with suicide and depression, placing “a long distance phone call to myself as a 14-year-old” on surprisingly buoyant new songs like “The Human Condition” and “Permanent Damage.”



“I wanted this record to be less safe,” Miller says. “I wanted to put myself in the hands of a producer who was going to do things that I didn’t expect; I wanted to play with people I didn’t know and be surprised by what they came up with. And all of that really came to pass. That’s what you’re getting this record. You’re getting this locked-in rhythm section with a crazy, psychedelic guitar maestro playing along with me singing my songs about depression and insecurity.”


Miller and Old 97’s will celebrate both LPs with an eagerly anticipated U.S. holiday tour, headlined by Old 97’s and opened by a solo acoustic set from Miller. The dates begin November 28 at The Neptune in Seattle, WA and then continue through late December.

“We’re going to hit the road right after Thanksgiving,” Miller says. “The evening will begin with me doing an acoustic set. I’ll play some of my new songs, some from my solo catalogue, and probably a few oddball songs too. Then I’ll leave the stage, Michael Casey will come out, he’s a punk rock magician from Raleigh, NC, he’s super-brilliant, he’s going to do a magic show before I come back out with the Old 97’s and we do the full Old 97’s Holiday Extravaganza.”

Meanwhile, Old 97’s are currently traveling America on their own perpetual tour, with dates scheduled through early October. In addition, the band has already announced its first live date of 2019, set for January 26 at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Ponte Vedra, FL and featuring support from special guest Shooter Jennings. Additional dates will be unveiled soon. For complete details, please visit Besides these dates, Miller has slated a number of solo acoustic performances, including a pair of eagerly awaited dates in the great state of Alaska, set for September 29 at Anchorage’s Sydney Laurence Theater and September 30 at Palmer, AK’s Vagabond Blues. For complete details, please visit He has also teamed with Caldecott Medalist and bestselling artist Dan Santat for No More Poems, a riotous collection of irreverent poems for modern families to be published March 5, 2019 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers.



19 – Winston-Salem, NC – The Ramkat

20 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall

21 – Columbia, SC – The Senate

22 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground

23 – Bristol, TN – Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion (State Street Stage)



3 – Tempe, AZ – Coca-Cola Sun Deck at Sun Devil Stadium



28 – Seattle, WA – The Neptune w/Rhett Miller solo

29 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom w/Rhett Miller solo

30 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore w/Rhett Miller solo



1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Troubadour w/Rhett Miller solo

2 – Solana Beach, CA – The Belly Up w/Rhett Miller solo

6 – Richmond, VA – The National w/Rhett Miller solo

7 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA w/Rhett Miller solo

8 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live! w/Rhett Miller solo

9 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair w/Rhett Miller solo

13 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Wonder Bar w/Rhett Miller solo

14 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza w/Rhett Miller solo

15 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr Smalls w/Rhett Miller solo

29 – Dallas, TX – Statler Ballroom w/Rhett Miller solo



26 – Ponte Vedra, FL – Ponte Vedra Concert Hall w/Shooter Jennings






29 – Anchorage, AK – Sydney Laurence Theater

30 – Palmer, AK – Vagabond Blues



5 – Garwood, NJ – Crossroads

6 – Ardmore, PA – Ardmore Music Hall

20 – Oklahoma City, OK – Tower Theatre

24 – Tomball, TX – Main Street Crossing

25 – Abilene, TX – The Grace Museum Rooftop


OLD 97’S



Release Date: November 16, 2018

  1. Love The Holidays
  2. I Believe In Santa Claus
  3. Gotta Love Being A Kid (Merry Christmas)
  4. Snow Angels
  5. Christmas Is Coming
  6. Wintertime In The City
  7. Rudolph Was Blue
  8. Here It Is Christmastime
  9. Hobo Christmas Song
  10. Auld Lang Syne





Release Date:  November 9, 2018

  1. Total Disaster
  2. Did I Lose You At I Love You
  3. Wheels
  4. You Were A Stranger
  5. The Human Condition
  6. Close Most Of The Time
  7. I Used To Write In Notebooks
  8. Permanent Damage
  9. I Can’t Change
  10. Bitter/Sweet
  11. We’re In Trouble
  12. Broken


We’ve added a couple of new playlists on Spotify (and soon on Apple Music as well). One is “Best Of” and one is “Deep Cuts.” The question is, what did we leave off of the Deep Cuts one that you think we should add? Head over to Facebook and weigh in by commenting on the post! 

A couple of lucky commenters will get a lil’ happy in the mail! 

List the the playlist on Spotify

Celeste, Rose Marie, that lucky creature, Annette.

Have you ever wondered if there are real, corporal counterparts to the women referenced in your favorite Old 97’s songs?

Well, if you’ve ever stood next to a striking, flaxen-haired, Teutonic beauty in the front row, you’ve met Doreen. THE Doreen who has a penchant for downing whiskey sours and galloping through boroughs like a thoroughbred, in song anyway.

The one and only, Dorin

Meet Dorin Schadel, long-time fan from the band’s infancy. Originally from Boardman, Ohio, Dorin migrated south to Dallas in 1987 when her company relocated to Plano, Texas. Young and spirited, Dorin frequented the local music scene in Deep Ellum every chance she got. There, she fell for a rapid-fire blue grass/killer hillbilly band by the name of Killbilly.

(That’s Dorin, front and center at 1:46 in the video above.)

In 1994, Killbilly had two band members who couldn’t tour due to health issues. That’s when they asked a myopic former teen folk heartthrob with a lightning quick strum, and a long-haired, bespectacled, punk-loving bassist with fast fingers; better known as Rhett and Murry, to join their tour.

Dorin first met Rhett at a Killbilly show at Ozona’s, and then again at a Fort Worth show.

Rhett with Killbilly
circa 1994

okay, not so long-haired, but definitely bespectacled. murry’s frames have longevity

So how does one go from fan to musical muse? We asked the Muse herself.

note the kitty notebook 🙂

“They (Killbilly) went on tour, and I received a postcard from a Killbilly band mate informing me that Rhett wrote a song about me. When they returned to Dallas, Rhett asked me to stay until the end of the show (as if I wouldn’t!) because he wrote a special song for me!”

in-store performance at Bill’s Records
circa 1995

Club Clearview
circa 1995

Rick’s in Denton
circa 1995

“Rhett performed ‘Doreen’ for the first time with Killbilly on June 4th at Club Clearview in Deep Ellum. I was told the song was about a girlfriend he suspected was cheating on him. After first meeting me a few months earlier, he had a dream about me and upon wakening, he realized my name worked for the song.”

Rick’s in Denton
circa 1998

The Barley House with John Doe
circa 1999

Club Clearview
wow. check out the marine cut on Rhett. shortest ever?
circa 1995

Rhett’s sticker game has always been strong

When asked about her feelings being immortalized in this iconic Old 97’s gem, she had this to say:

“I’m EXTREMELY flattered and feel SO lucky to not only have a song written for me, but that the song was a creation of Rhett’s. And it’s a bad-ass Old 97’s song, to boot! It’s a wonderful part of my 15 minutes of fame! I am forever grateful and blessed to have such good friends in these guys. All of them have brought so much joy and great music into my life. To me, I went from being Killybilly’s #1 fan to being the Old 97’s #1 fan. I’m sure other fans may fight me for the title, but there is plenty of room for all of us to share that title.”

We’re all giant fans of this band of uber talented Texans, but Dorin definitely has the cred to be #1. By her own account, aside from a few Naomi gigs at their start, Dorin’s been to every Dallas show. She’s seen the 97’s and Rhett solo all over Texas and up north in Ohio and Pennsylvania when she visits her Mom in Boardman. Rhett himself recently acknowledged her role as muse in an IG message:

And if you still need validation from the horse’s mouth, here’s video proof:

So next time you stand near a striking, flaxen-haired Teutonic beauty in the front row of the Melt Show, give Dorin a little shout out of thanks (and a whiskey sour) for inspiring one of the greatest songs in the Old 97’s catalog.

And don’t forget the 3rd Annual Old 97’s County Fair is right around the corner on April 14th! This year’s line up includes Valerie June, Lord Huron and the Mavericks. See you there!!

And be sure to check for upcoming tour dates starting the week of April 15th on our tour page.

(photos courtesy of Dorin Schadel)

Third time’s the charm! Coming April 14, 2018, this one-stage, one-day festival in downtown Dallas features an array of alt-country bands that would made any jukebox happy, a 40 foot Ferris wheel, corn dogs to hold you over until Big Tex is back, and plenty of opportunities to try your luck in the midway.




In and out privileges are allowed at Old 97’s County Fair and children under 10 enter for free!