IT’S ALIVE!!! The Old 97’s laid low for a couple of months, so your webmaster did too. But now, the Old 97’s are playing again, baby! See ‘em October 12th at The Granada in Dallas, on the 13th at Stubb’s in Austin, and on October 14th in beautiful Shiner, Texas, for the Shiner Bocktoberfest! Will there be more dates announced? I don’t know, maybe so.
BTW, folks on the official Old 97’s mailing list got first word last week that the 97’s would be back up and running this fall, so don’t be left out when 97’s news breaks! Sign up for the official Old 97’s mailing list by clicking here, or just sending an e-mail to: Old97s_List-subscribe AT yahoogroups.com
As for the Shiner Bocktoberfest, folks in Texas may have already heard recent radio ads featuring the Old 97’s for Shiner Beer (The Official State Beer of Texas, or at least it would be if I were in charge – f.e.). But in case you missed it, there’s also an accompanying web campaign, featuring a nifty video interview with our own Rhett Miller. I’ve seen a million of these things, but even I learned some cool stuff from this one, for example about one little-known band, The Hot Rockin’ Fonzies.
Also, on October 10th, the 97’s old label, Bloodshot releases its first-ever DVD, Bloodied But Unbowed: Bloodshot Records’ Life in the Trenches, a “collection of obscure live performances and behind-the-scenes looks at Ryan Adams, Old 97’s, Neko Case and Graham Parker among others. Many of these have never been seen outside of Bloodshot HQ.” The 97’s contribution? “Over The Cliff” at Chicago’s late, great at Lounge Axe.
And speaking of DVD’s, you may recall that in early 2005, the Old 97’s and several other great Texas bands put on a benefit concert which raised nearly $25,000 to help pay medical expenses for David Cuniff. The concert itself was later televised by Mark Cuban’s hi-def network, HDNet.
Now flash forward to this summer. Suddenly a DVD goes on sale, with Dale Earnhart Jr. on the cover, and featuring Old 97’s and O.A.R.. “Uh… whuh?” you say. Or at least that’s what I said. Turns out the Mr. Cuban’s minions sliced and diced up that concert footage, mixed it with any manner of other hi-def footage, and put it up for sale. As best we can tell, the amount from the sale of the DVD which has gone to Mr. Cuniff, or to the acts involved, is exactly $0. Thankfully, Texasgigs.com has been on this story like white on rice. Read all about it here.
Find out how one critic fell in love with the Old 97’s in this review of their “best of,” Hit By A Train. Another critic explains that, “If you’re already a fan of the Old 97’s, Hit By A Train: The Best of Old 97’s, will remind you why and it will send new fans on a mad dash to buy all of the bands previous recordings.” Another agrees, adding, “This is an eighteen song compilation, and I don’t think there is a clunker in the batch.” Amen.
Also, here’s old – though new-to-me, and great – interview with Rhett from 2004, and a recent reposting of another great interview, this one with Ken Bethea. Also, remember back in April when we mentioned how this Swiss band, The Peacocks, had
covered stolen Ken Bethea’s “Timebomb” riff? Well, there are legit 97’s covers out there, one of the most fun being a jumped-up, punk-rock version of “Designs on You” from Love’s Proxy. Check it out.
I know I mentioned in the last update that we’d have more information on 97’s ringtones. And we do. Just not as much as I’d hoped. Those of you who’ve done your civic duty and purchased Hit By A Train might have noticed an insert therein which said, “Text OLD to 74466 & get Old 97’s ringtones & wallpapers.” Cool, right? Well I use Sprint. I tried it. I didn’t work for me. Hmm. However, I did run across a limited selection of Old 97’s ringtones here and here, and Rhett Miller ringtones here. More news on this as it comes in.
Finally, as frequently seems the case these past few years, the Old 97’s have been hard at work on New 97’s. On April 27th, Rhett and Erica welcomed Soleil Ahnece Miller into the world, while in January, Murry and Grey will become father and mother to their first child. So huge and heartfelt congratulations to Rhett, Erica, Murry, and Grey!
Now, I promise you won’t have to wait another eight weeks for an update, and we’ll soon have a second-of-its-kind offer to boot, so check back soon!