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oSuJeff97

Old 97's appreciation thread

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So I saw these guys for the (??? insert large number) time this past weekend and I just felt like we needed an appreciation thread.

I've been seeing these guys live for more than 20 years now. I believe the first time I saw them was in Stillwater in maybe 1996 or 1997.... Since then I've seen them countless times at Cain's, plus various venues in Dallas, Kansas City, Austin and I saw them open for Turnpike Troubadours at Red Rocks.

I don't know that I've ever had a moment when they were my singular "favorite band" but it's neck-and-neck between them and Wilco as my favorite bands to see live for most of my adult life.

I'm super impressed how they just bring energy, enthusiasm and put on a great show no matter the venue or crowd.

Take last Saturday... they played at the Osage Casino that's a few miles northwest of downtown Tulsa.  It was an early show at a terrible venue and the crowd was pretty light.  So what.  They still put on a fantastic show with all of normal energy like it was a packed venue.

Also - they keep on making great new music. I've loved their last two albums and I even think "Most Messed Up" is up there with the best stuff they've ever made.

TL;DR: Old 97's!  Fuck yeah!
 

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I used to be super-into them, but as I've gotten older, kind of tapered off, just due to life, lack of time, etc.  I checked out a couple of their later albums a while back on Spotify and really liked them, will have to give them another listen.  My brother was a roadie for them for a while, and they helped us out a lot when he passed, I'll always be thankful to them for that.

As for the music, I've always been partial to the early stuff, I guess just because that's when I was most into them.  Gonna have to make an effort to go see them live again.  Probably my top 3 favs (today, anyway...)

 

 

 

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Have seen Old 97's live more times (probably 30 or more times if you count Rhett solo and Ranchero Brothers shows) than any other band with the first show in 1998 or 1999. I've never seen them do a bad show. Love the Old 97's. Think they're playing in Plano later this month and I plan on being there for that.

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1 hour ago, UTCzech III said:

I used to be super-into them, but as I've gotten older, kind of tapered off, just due to life, lack of time, etc.  I checked out a couple of their later albums a while back on Spotify and really liked them, will have to give them another listen.  My brother was a roadie for them for a while, and they helped us out a lot when he passed, I'll always be thankful to them for that.

As for the music, I've always been partial to the early stuff, I guess just because that's when I was most into them.  Gonna have to make an effort to go see them live again.  Probably my top 3 favs (today, anyway...)

 

 

If you like their early stuff, give "Most Messed Up" a listen or two. It's totally a throwback to Too Far to Care/Wreck Your Life-era Old 97's, as opposed to their "mid-career" stuff like Satellite Rides or Blame it on Gravity that are a little more "poppy."

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2 minutes ago, oSuJeff97 said:

 

If you like their early stuff, give "Most Messed Up" a listen or two. It's totally a throwback to Too Far to Care/Wreck Your Life-era Old 97's, as opposed to their "mid-career" stuff like Satellite Rides or Blame it on Gravity that are a little more "poppy."

Thanks, I'll give it a listen.  Satellite Rides is actually one of my favorites, Blame It not so much.  I like a balance, some of the pop stuff is good if it's done right, but I need my "If My Heart Was a Car" chuggers as well, and pretty much anything Murry does is good with me.

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I think both of their last two albums (Most Messed Up and Graveyard Whistling) actually do a pretty decent job of striking that balance.... probably GW more than MMU, which is mostly foot-stomping/whiskey soaked alt-country.

There's a great Murray song on both records... "The Ex of All You See" on MMU and "Nobody" on GW.

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I'm a fan too, though haven't kept up with them (or pretty much anyone else) for the past 5-8 years, due to life and stuff.  I'll check out their latest.  I really liked their old stuff, but also the more poppy stuff on Fight Songs, Satellite, and Gravity.  And that's the last album of theirs I bought, so it's obviously time for me to check back in on them.

 

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The double live album (Alive & Wired) they put out in 2005 is absolutely incredible.

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Actually, in looking at upcoming tour dates I'm thinking it would be fun to see them at Gruene Hall in mid-July.

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For fun... my top 10 favorite Old 97's songs... in no particular order other than when they pop into my head:

1. Bel Air

2. Barrier Reef

3. Melt Show

4. Jagged

5. Big Brown Eyes

6. Stoned

7. Good with God

8. Nashville

9. Nite Club

10. Won't Be Home

 

Bonus - my favorite Murray songs:

1. Valentine

2. West TX Teardrops

3. Crush on the Barrelhead

4. Up the Devil's Pay

5. The Ex of All You See

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1 hour ago, oSuJeff97 said:

For fun... my top 10 favorite Old 97's songs... in no particular order other than when they pop into my head:

1. Bel Air

2. Barrier Reef

3. Melt Show

4. Jagged

5. Big Brown Eyes

6. Stoned

7. Good with God

8. Nashville

9. Nite Club

10. Won't Be Home

 

Bonus - my favorite Murray songs:

1. Valentine

2. West TX Teardrops

3. Crush on the Barrelhead

4. Up the Devil's Pay

5. The Ex of All You See

Can't quibble with any of those.

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Too Far to Care was the first "alt country" album I ever heard, and it blew my doors off.  Seen them several times, as recently as last summer.  They always smoke.

Big Brown Eyes

Champaign, IL

Give It Time

Designs on You

Timebomb

Barrier Reef

Nineteen

Nashville

Bad Luck Charm

Niteclub

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One thing I forgot to mention about the show last Saturday was that I got to hear them play "State of Texas" live for the first time ever.  I think they normally only play that song while they're in Texas, and the couple of times I saw them in Texas was before the Grand Theater albums.... so it was real treat to hear them play their "love letter to Texas" finally.  Great tune.

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Hell yes. Love Victoria and Doreen.  That list I made above was just off the top of my head... If I made it again, it would probably include both. :) 

Something else Old 97's related: Rhett Miller started a podcast several months ago called "Wheels Off."  It's pretty good.  He talks to various artists about the creative process... most are pretty short and sweet... only like 20 minutes or so.  Some good stuff.

 

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I've probably listened to Satellite Rides 20 times by proxy because it's probably one of my dad's favorite albums.

Up the Devil's Pay is a phenomenal track yet to be mentioned. And obviously Question is great if not a little overplayed.  

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1 hour ago, ztejas said:

I've probably listened to Satellite Rides 20 times by proxy because it's probably one of my dad's favorite albums.

Up the Devil's Pay is a phenomenal track yet to be mentioned. And obviously Question is great if not a little overplayed.  

It's on my list of top 5 Murray songs. ;)

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I played in a band for a long time.  We had horns.  We recorded at a studio in Austin called Texas Treefort, which is a crazy old rich dude's house near the Pennybacker Bridge.  Old 97's recorded there (wanna say.... Grand Theater volume 1 maybe 2 as well) with an engineer (Jim) who produced a few of our albums.  Jim called up our horn players and asked if they wanted to record some horn parts on an Old 97s records.

I was so.... fucking... jealous.

But apparently it was Rhett's idea and Murray hated it.  The horns didn't make the cut.  The horn guys were talking up how awesome it was but I found out from Jim that the guys in the band were on tour and he just had the horns come in to record over what they already had.

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20 hours ago, Celery Man said:

I played in a band for a long time.  We had horns.  We recorded at a studio in Austin called Texas Treefort, which is a crazy old rich dude's house near the Pennybacker Bridge.  Old 97's recorded there (wanna say.... Grand Theater volume 1 maybe 2 as well) with an engineer (Jim) who produced a few of our albums.  Jim called up our horn players and asked if they wanted to record some horn parts on an Old 97s records.

I was so.... fucking... jealous.

But apparently it was Rhett's idea and Murray hated it.  The horns didn't make the cut.  The horn guys were talking up how awesome it was but I found out from Jim that the guys in the band were on tour and he just had the horns come in to record over what they already had.

tenor.gif?itemid=5225357

 

I kid.

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Never been disappointed in an Old 97's show. Amazing how much energy they have every single time. Been a long time since I've seen them or checked out an album though. Will need to revisit.

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Cool performance of Time Bomb on the Texas Music Scene here.... there's some pre-show chit-chat... performance starts around 2:20 if you want to fast forward. This looks like one of the shows from last year when they were opening for Turnpike Troubadours.... (you can see the Oklahoma flag on the road case and that bird logo thing in the back.).  Awesome performance.  (See Rhett's "old age half-ass arm spiraling" at 3:50 :D )

 

Edited by oSuJeff97

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I'll jerk it in this circle. 

Haven't seen them as most of many of you as they don't make it out west on every tour. 

But they are part of the soundtrack of my daughter's childhood. There were always old 97s songs in the CD changer in the car during road trips and to this day, 20 years later I will still get a text from her with a random old 97s lyric (probably Bloomington or roller skate skinny) and I fucking love it. 

 

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5 hours ago, pops said:

But they are part of the soundtrack of my daughter's childhood. There were always old 97s songs in the CD changer in the car during road trips and to this day, 20 years later I will still get a text from her with a random old 97s lyric (probably Bloomington or roller skate skinny) and I fucking love it. 

Dad is that you? 

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7 hours ago, lockport said:

One of the best post-breakup songs ever written imo.

 

Another

 

 

Didn’t realize Rhett got sober.  Good for him.  I should listen to that solo album - there was a song I liked off of the one he put out in.... 2006ish

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Rhett didn't really publicize his sobriety because he wasn't an addict.  He just kinda got over partying, and doesn't seem to see it as a big deal.  It wasn't like Isbell, for example.

 

And for the record, I love the half ass arm strum.  His lower arm functions like its own independent organism.

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On 6/8/2019 at 7:36 AM, Al_4_ISU said:

Rhett didn't really publicize his sobriety because he wasn't an addict.  He just kinda got over partying, and doesn't seem to see it as a big deal.  It wasn't like Isbell, for example.

Yeah he talked about it on his podcast.

He said that he didn't feel like he ever had any kind of a problem, but his kids were getting into their pre-teen years and he said he felt that it was important to be "fully present" for them in those years.  Smart dude.

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Has anyone else been tuning in to Rhett Miller's Stageit.com concerts?  He's been streaming them from the basement of his home.  He did the first one last Wednesday and now he's set up a regular schedule.... on Monday nights, he's playing an album in full (he did "Too Far to Care" the other night) then he does "Wednesday weirdness" which is like a bunch of deep cuts and cover and then on Friday it's like a mix of Old 97's and his solo favorites.

The shows last about 40 minutes and it's a "pay what you want" deal with the minimum being $5.  I watched the first show and the Too Far to Care show on Monday.

The video quality isn't super because he's just streaming it from his home wifi, but the shows are a lot of fun.  I've been playing them on my phone and then streaming them to my AppleTV no problem.

If you're a fan of Rhett or the Old 97's I highly recommend tuning in.  It's almost like one of those "storyteller" shows because as he went through the set the other night he talked about how/where/why he wrote most of the songs.  One of the most interesting ones I thought was "Curtain Calls."  He wrote that when he spent the weekend with his brother in Colorado... they had gone out to the bars and he wrote it while sitting on his brother's back porch looking at the mountains while sort of daydreaming about moving there.  Another interesting one was "Just Like California" which he wrote imagining a relationship with a record company A&R girl he had a crush on, lol.

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Posted (edited)

Dammit.  I missed the Monday show.  Wanted to watch that.  They are also in the studio as a band working on the new album.  

Thanks for the reminder.  

BJ Barham, tonight at 8pm.

Edited by hullabelew

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3 hours ago, hullabelew said:

Dammit.  I missed the Monday show.  Wanted to watch that.  They are also in the studio as a band working on the new album.  

Thanks for the reminder.  

Well they were... not now... :)

Rhett is home in upstate NY, Murray is in Pasadena and Phillip and Ken are in Dallas. (Per Rhett the other night)

It was funny for the show the other night, Rhett was getting ready to play "West TX Teardrops" and he was looking at his phone and he was like, "well I've sung backup on this song a million times, but never done it solo so I texted Murray to make sure he's Ok...... and...... just in the nick of time! Murray says OK!"  :D 

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The StageIt shows have been fun. It's just weird to not hear Ken's blaring intro riffs on Timebomb and Barrier Reef.

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Just finished the Fight Songs show. Fucking great.

Related - yesterday Rhett posted something about the show on Instagram and I made a comment that I hoped we would get Fight Songs on vinyl at some point and he replied to me and said "working on it!"  :) :) :)   Super fucking pumped about that.

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On 3/29/2020 at 2:49 PM, drewcifer said:

The StageIt shows have been fun. It's just weird to not hear Ken's blaring intro riffs on Timebomb and Barrier Reef.


I saw so many of Rhett's shows at Largo in LA (late '99/early 2000s) that I'm used to all Old 97s & his solo work done on an acoustic guitar.

His Stageit shows have reportedly been very well received.

Also, have seen him with the band or solo possibly more than all other shows put together. First time I saw him play was French 1 class (I had to repeat, because I didn't do the whole studying the language thing my first year of French 1). He brought a guitar to class for his 2 minute presentation. He started off:

"Je m'appelle Rhett. Je joue le guitar." 

And then started playing in hopes that the teacher would let him play his way through the 2 minutes.... WRONG!

She cut him off after about 10 to 15 seconds.

First time with one of his classmates was at a high school parents' organized school party when he was a junior (maybe a sophomore). Saw him first perform an actual venue at the Arcadia in the late '80s. First time with Old 97s was in '94 at Club Clearview (Deep Ellum), which might have been their first show. The next time I saw them was at Sons of Hermann Hall and there were about 400 people belting out every word and I was like "Fuck! This is a far cry from 30 people at Clearview a couple of years ago. Holy shit, there's something happening here."

These guys are good guys. They play hard, put on a great show, and virtually every person who sees them live for the first time turns to someone in our group and asks: "How come these guys aren't huge? They fucking kick ass!"

We've never figure that out, but I'll always support them.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Napoleon said:


I saw so many of Rhett's shows at Largo in LA (late '99/early 2000s) that I'm used to all Old 97s & his solo work done on an acoustic guitar.

His Stageit shows have reportedly been very well received.

Also, have seen him with the band or solo possibly more than all other shows put together. First time I saw him play was French 1 class (I had to repeat, because I didn't do the whole studying the language thing my first year of French 1). He brought a guitar to class for his 2 minute presentation. He started off:

"Je m'appelle Rhett. Je joue le guitar." 

And then started playing in hopes that the teacher would let him play his way through the 2 minutes.... WRONG!

She cut him off after about 10 to 15 seconds.

First time with one of his classmates was at a high school parents' organized school party when he was a junior (maybe a sophomore). Saw him first perform an actual venue at the Arcadia in the late '80s. First time with Old 97s was in '94 at Club Clearview (Deep Ellum), which might have been their first show. The next time I saw them was at Sons of Hermann Hall and there were about 400 people belting out every word and I was like "Fuck! This is a far cry from 30 people at Clearview a couple of years ago. Holy shit, there's something happening here."

These guys are good guys. They play hard, put on a great show, and virtually every person who sees them live for the first time turns to someone in our group and asks: "How come these guys aren't huge? They fucking kick ass!"

We've never figure that out, but I'll always support them.

You're right, they are good guys.  I'll probably out myself by posting this but I don't give a fuck.  These are the end times and I'm drunk on margaritas right now.  

I posted this on the old (shit) site, but my brother was a roadie for them, and when he was killed by a drunk driver, they wrote a song for him.  (BTW, I'm sitting at home right now, so no irony, ok...) Probably the most depressing song they ever wrote, I've listened to it maybe 3 times ever, it literally describes his death, but in a peaceful way.

It's such a vicious circle , my brother is the one who got me hooked on them, and then they're chronicling his death...  Yeah, my head is pretty fucked up right now...  

But fuck, I can put on Broadway or Ray Charles or If My Heart Was a Car, or Doreen (the original bluegrass version) or In the Satellite Rides a Star and crank that shit up.  I really quit listening after my brother died, but I'll catch up.  Life rolls on, but I know someday I'll see them live again and shake their hands and connect the circle once again.  And tears will be shed, just as they are now, sorry...

(ETA: this song is what set me off, nothing to do with my brother but it just hits me in the heart...)  

 

Edited by UTCzech III

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Thanks man.  Just getting over that bender, half a bottle of tequila and almost 54 years of age didn't work out too well for me.  To quote Crash Davis, I have been known to howl at the moon...

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Murray Hammond is putting on a show from his kitchen right now.

He's on an acoustic guitar and he's got a lady ("Annie") accompanying him on keys.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Ha nice... I came here to bump this with new album info. LOVE the cover art. 

Here's the first single - "Turn off the TV"

 

EDIT - also just ordered the "Texas edition" vinyl from Waterloo.  Thanks for the link!

Edited by oSuJeff97

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, oSuJeff97 said:

Ha nice... I came here to bump this with new album info. LOVE the cover art. 

Here's the first single - "Turn off the TV"

 

EDIT - also just ordered the "Texas edition" vinyl from Waterloo.  Thanks for the link!

Holy Shit.  Mike Geier, aka Puddles!  Jenna Fischer, Janine Garofalo ?, Rick Nielson.  

Edited by hullabelew

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24 minutes ago, hullabelew said:

Love this show on youtube.... and absolutely LOVE Ben Marsden in this clip. 

 

That's fantastic.

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