With God as my witness, I will never go so long between updates again. Sorry to go all Gone With The Wind on ya’, and I won’t bore you with stories about the IRS, laptops, the airline industry, and visits to the doctors. Let’s talk Old 97’s shall we? The guys have been busy, with Rhett (to whom Stephen King gives a shout-out in a recent edition of Entertainment Weekly) in the studio to record the follow-up to 2002’s The instigator.

And y’all know that June’s shows will see the guys the recording their first ever live CD (of course their first live DVD, “Old 97’s Live” was released in January.) Just check the list of upcoming tour dates, and if you can get to central Texas, you really ought to try to hit the guy’s shows on June 17 or 18 in Texas oldest continually operating dance hall, the great old Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas.

Then in July, the band reconvenes in the studio to wax what ought to be a treat for both for their little kids, and for overgrown kids like yours truly: an Old 97’s Christmas album. Anyone who’s ever heard their 1995 takes on “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” knows this idea is a natural. Murry Hammond also hits the studio in the weeks ahead to complete his third solo album. Notes Wrecker Lisa H.:

The first one was The Waterling Wheel and the second one was It’s a Twelve Twelve Twelve (etc.) String World. WW is from 1988. 12 String is from ’91.

12 String includes early versions of “Can’t Get a Line” AND “Smokers,” plus a song called “Song for Bervia Plunk” that [was re-recorded] on Waterling Wheel as “Summer ’84,” which Rhett has been known to cover from time to time (and I think quoted in his high school yearbook). It’s really purty.

It IS really purty, and better yet is that “Summer ’84” may finally get to shine on CD, as a cut on Murry’s upcoming album.

Oh yeah, did you happen to catch the nod from Bizarro author Dan Piraro to the Old 97’s in last month’s funny papers? Here ’tis.

Finally, no more goofing around here. Your guarantee for the summer? Check back each week, as I promise you’ll get at least one news update every seven days. So see you in a few!