They’re alive! Last week, Rhett dropped and line and to say “that the projected release for the new 97’s album has been pushed back to early ’04. This is due to uncertainty about what label it will appear on, Murry and Grey’s travel schedule in October, and my son’s looming birth…”

So while it’s OK to be a bit bummed, you gotta admit there are some good causes. Also, as 2003 marks the Old 97’s 10 year anniversary as a band, there’s a decent possibility of an Anniversary show, perhaps one in Dallas around the time of the 97’s appearance at the ACL Fest. “Maybe,” says Papa Rhett, “a storytellers/acoustic type of deal.”

Then yesterday, Ken Bethea checked in on Hitchhiking with this:

hey ya’ll,

I’ve been kind of sick and not been dinking around on the web the past few weeks as much as normal. So I made it here and after reading a few posts thought I would chime in.

The Antones and of course ACL shows are confirmed. I’m 90% sure the Sons of Herman in Dallas is. It was my big idea to (since September is our 10th year anniversary WITH Philip (technically I supposed murry, rhett, Darin Wood and myself were going by The Old 97’s for the previous six months but that was more or less one long sad sound check) play instore/storyteller/unplugged/whatever you want to call it style and mainly play songs off our first two cds. We’ll talk about them and tell some tales. I think it will be fun.

The show in Dallas in early August was nice but like the poster said, very hot. I got sick after it… some kind of virus for a week. We were pretty ratty performance wise… I think we’ve kind of gotten out of practice because of the lay off. I never could make my guitar sound right. I think most likely this was just due to the time off from hearing it. I had the settings set the same as I always do.

As far as new material goes, we haven’t, as a band, worked on any. Rhett and Murry have written songs but they always write songs. So I’m not sure when we will get a chance to sit down and start playing some together. It’s tough. Rhett lives in NY now and Murry is still in Burbank. Philip and I are both here with 2 kids each. We’re sort of stuck in a way where the band has done well enough to keep it going, but we’re not rich at all so it’s kind of hard to get the time to get together and play. For one thing… Philip and I would have to round up babysitter$$$ 🙂 Not too mention Rhett is going to be a dad in November.

Anyway, I guess I’ll get some sleep. If you have any questions post them and I’ll check back here for the next week or so. If you have any special requests for the sons show post them as well but don’t expect much in the way of super obscure type songs like ray charles because frankly, we don’t really know them. We know the songs on hitchhike and wreck of course.

Hmmmm… except maybe dressing room walls. I’m not sure how we would do with that one. Been a while.

Oh yeah… totally off the subject but is anyone an electrician? I have a problem trying to install my ceiling fan.


night night…

ken bethea