So yeah, I’m late. Can I make it up to you with the biggest update in months? Thanks, that’s nice of you. Can I touch you there? OK, sorry. On with the news then. See one of the reasons I’m late is that in the never-ending quest to provide you only with quality Old 97’s news you can use, I usually don’t just make stuff up. Usually. And this is one of those times; as when I heard the following tidbits, I had to wait for confirmation from the guys.

So whadya want first, the good news or the bad news? I thought so, I’m the same way: Bad news first. Here we go:

1) The will be no holiday record this year from the 97’s, as the project is being pushed back into 2006. Between the crazy schedules and the upcoming live Live CD from the band and Rhett’s solo CD, it’s thought that there’d be too little time to do the thing properly and perhaps even be too much Old 97’s related product for the store shelves, which is dumb if you ask me. There can never be too much Old 97’s on the shelves.

2) Murry’s solo CD is also being pushed back into next year as well, for perhaps some of the reasons in #1 above, but also because Murry says he’s “been more in the mood to do the music up at church than work on it, but it’s all seasonal, and now the season is starting to come back on where I get to work on it again.” Well OK, I guess, so long as he doesn’t go Brian Wilson on us and let this and the Rancheros CD slide until we’re all old and crazy. BTW, the Tour Dates page has been updated, and you’ll note that both Murry and Grey will each be playing solo on a Dallas bill that includes Slaid Cleaves, on July 28th at the Granada Theater.

Now the good:

1) The Old 97’s Live CD will not be out in 2006 after all. Instead it will be out this September, and if Murry’s right, it’s gonna smoke:

“I went to Austin a few days ago to oversee the mixing of it all and I was shocked at how good it all sounded. It’s going to be the live record we’ve always wanted to put out… And it was good to hear some material that sounds a little slick to me on record, get the rough treatment live.”

Don’t forget to check out these new tidbits from the Gruene Hall tapings, here from the San Antonio News-Express and here, from senior photographer David Reaves of The Deadly Daily Texan, who also passed along these awesome photos of the Gruene shows.

2) Rhett’s solo CD is still on for a Fall release, and Rhett was also in the studio late last month with Dallas whiz-kid musician, producer, and Instigator collaborator, Salim Nourallah, where they cut a cover of John Lennon’s “Girl” for an upcoming Beatles comp.

3) So you wanna to be a rock & roll star? I can’t help you there, but if you’d like to try your hand at being in a movie with your favorite rock & roll stars, well just maybe. There’s no need to recount here the sign of the end-times that was the Brad Pitt – Jennifer Anniston breakup, and the subsequent fallout which ended with photos of the him in sweat-drenched jungles of passion with Angelina Jolie. No, our purpose here is higher! See, Jenn’s easing her pain by working through it, and making a new movie with Vince Vaughn up in Chicago called The Break Up. The “break-up”? Oh, I get it!

So on July 13th and 14th they’re going to be filming a concert scene at Chicago’s Riviera Theater. So who’s going to be in concert? Uhm… wait a minute, let me guess… Yep, the Old 97’s. And they need Old 97’s fans to help populate the show for filming. So, you in? Great! Call the casting company RIGHT NOW at 708-802-1894 for details on how you might be cast as an extra.

Short takes:

One of Murry’s old Epiphone guitars is for sale. No money? Fine. Murry’s also been playing solo nearly every Wednesday night lately.

“I play the pump harmonium, the 12-string guitar, 6-string guitar (mostly), and Grey will play a couple on her autoharp with me most Wednesdays. Best part – we do nothing but the old music. Every week it’s Hank Williams, Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Flatt & Scruggs, Doc Watson, Rev. Charlie Jackson, Mississippi John Hurt, you name it, and the really old stuff like Washington Phillips and a bunch of 1930’s stuff that will raise the hair on the back of your neck. Just all that old music that is so dear to me. And they love it. It has really been special. We call it a ‘dogma free zone’, so I’d describe it as a very comfortable environment to be in, no matter what your spiritual compass points to. We’d sure love to visit with any Old 97’s fans that don’t mind sitting in a church pew and hear me sing.”

The Old 97’s have always been pretty good at coming up with fake band names when they wanted to preview new stuff on the q.t.. This however, is not a fake band. I wonder where the name came from? Y’all check back soon!