From Hitchhiking comes lots of news this week. First up is this: On Monday July 12 at 9 a.m., “City Folk Live” with Claudia Marshall welcomes Old 97’s to Studio A on WFUV 90.7 FM in the NYC area and streaming online at

Second, Ken’s been checking in a regular basis too, something he’s done pretty regularly leading up to the last few 97’s releases. Answering a question from someone with a pre-release copy of Drag It Up, about who (Rhett or Ken) is playing the finger-style guitar on the drop-dead beautiful ballad “Adelaide,” Ken wrote this:

Yeah that’s me playing Murry’s little Silvertone acoustic guitar. There are 4 breaks in the song, an intro part that I repeat again later then a kind of a solo section, then some outro noodling. The solo section was a total bitch to play. Took me over an hour. (We couldn’t really punch in, if you know what that means. The technology predated my ’64 Corvair). There is a version of “Question” with some of that type of guitar playing on it but it got left on the cutting room floor :-(.

FYI, I’m not sure whether this is in the notes but that’s Slamming Murry Hammond from Boyd, TX taking the second break in “Bloomington.” Very cool… it’s the one with the tremolo sound.

As far as I can remember, I play all but two guitar solo’s on our songs.

1) On “Wish the Worst,” I broke my arm playing baseball in an over 30 hardball league that summer so I missed the second session. Clark Vogeler (Funland, Toadies) and Alan Wooley (Killbilly) fill in.

2) “Doreen” on Wreck Your Life – That’s Jon Langford playing the outro solo.



NP: Salim Nourallah’s Polaroid – When people ask me on tour what new music I’m listening too, I always shrug and give the same answer. “I don’t listen to much because new music sucks.” This, however, most definitely doesn’t. It’s kind of thoughtful singer/songwriter psychedelia like Sparklehorse but more accessible (what isn’t?)I think you can get it at

Salim was Rhett’s bass player in The Instigators. He’s opening our Dallas Gypsy show on the 25th and if things work out, some dates in the fall.

I should also mention that we’ve made some tweaks here at HBAT to make it easier for the guys to post here to the news page on their own, to which Ken said, “…so I’ll probably start posting there once we start touring. NEXT WEEK!!! Yikes my fingers have only touched keyboards and video game controllers.”

Now, have you guys just been clicking past the splash page her at Hit By A Train? If so you may have missed the links to pre-order tickets for the upcoming Old 97’s tour, and even better to pre-order Drag It Up. Plus if you order off the website, you’re automatically entered to win the following prizes:

Grand Prize: One Gibson EPI DR-100 guitar autographed by the band, a CD autographed by the band, and a t-shirt!

First Runner Up: A CD autographed by the band and a t-shirt!

Second Runner Ups: Five t-shirts!

Now come on, wouldn’t you like the chance to put off doing laundry for another week? Well, now you can, as the proud new owner of five, count ’em FIVE, Old 97’s t-shirts. Or maybe that’s five second runner-up who each get one t-shirts. Hmmm. Still, why not click on over and pre-order your copy of Drag It Up today?

Also, back on June 29, 2003, Rhett Miller gave a solo acoustic performance at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, opening for Nickel Creek, and Rhett’s entire performance is available via RealVideo on the Kennedy Center website. Hat tip to Lauree McArdle for the link!

Finally, remember that oddball anime poster advertising one of Rhett’s solo shows in Japan? Well Jackie Jaimes was kind enough to get on a Japanese language message board and request a translation. To say that the result is a mish-mash of pop-culture non sequiturs would be an understatement, I mean talk about lost in translation. Says the translator of the cartoon: “[It] is part of a continuing series by the author, Chika, who is also probably Woman 2 [and] a series of one-shots based on the author’s concert exploits. There is little to nothing about Rhett Miller in here at all. So without further ado…” click here.