We’ve got tons of new stuff, gang, especially new dates. And this is what you call a good, old-fashioned summer tour! Check ’em out here. And you SoCal types ought not miss the just-announced Rhett solo date this Saturday at the legendary Malibu Inn. And speaking of Rhett Decca has also just released a DVD of one of his 2006 shows, this one for World Cafe Live, with a review of the DVD here.

And from our last posting you may remember that Jill from Arlington, TX scored a couple of free ducats to the Old 97’s inaugural gig at Dallas new House of Blues. Per the deal, Jill came though with a review!

I am a gal of my word, and I am holding up my end of the deal. We had a killer time!

I intended to write a riveting review of the Dallas show, but there is not much to say about the greatness that is the Old 97’s that hasn’t been said before (or that we all don’t already know). So, with that said, I’ll keep this short.

As to be expected, the Old 97’s put on one helluva show. Always a great live band, they played an eclectic set consisting of classic staples and new favorites. A couple of Rhett Miller solo songs and a little duet action by Murry and Rhett rounded out the show.

The House of Blues is a worthwhile addition to the Dallas nightlife scene. Larger than similar bars/nightclubs in the area, the venue still provides a cozy and hip atmosphere. I highly recommend shelling out the extra cash for the reserved balcony seating (kudos Frank!). The general admission standing-room-only area in front of the stage is fairly small; it quickly got packed, sweaty, and messy. We were so glad that we could retreat to the cooler (as in temperature) balcony where we could sit back, relax, and have the waitress bring the drinks right to our seats! Sound-wise, The HOB proves better than most intimate venues: the music was clear, even, and not deafening. I didn’t have to repeat myself to the bartender 10+ times, and after the show I wasn’t left with that horrid ringing sound in my ears.

Now, I realize that The HOB has caught a lot of heat for being a corporate venue, but it wasn’t the icky, overly commercialized, tourist trap that it has been made out to be. It still had the funky, local vibe that one would expect to find in a Dallas venue.

I encourage you to check it out the next time you are in the DFW area. Good times!

In keeping with the deal, Jill even forwarded a couple of pics she managed to snap despite the eagle-eyed HoB security team. Thanks, Jill!; though I still wish it’d been me and not you. Ah well.

Y’all also might remember that last month, the 97’s played what’s been universally described as a fantastic set at the Stagecoach Music Festival, and I got a kick out of reading the festival blogging by the correspondents at the Press-Enterprise here, here, and here. And you can check out photos of the set here. And don’t miss this musing by the Orange County Register on how well the Stagecoach Festival did or didn’t bridge the gap between traditional and new “country” acts.

In 97’s errata – and why I just ran across this now, I’m not sure – here’s a nifty interview with Ken circa Drag It Up, and this more recent chat with Rhett just before the 97’s April gig in Houston.