The Old 97's closed out 2009 in fairly spectacular fashion, performing for four straight nights at Sons of Hermann Hall in Deep Ellum and recording those sessions for release at a later date. Unfortunately, the band has thus far only released three of the tracks from those performances via a Facebook giveaway.
But the stay at the venue proved fulfilling enough that the band chose to return to the venue's grounds in April to start tracking out the songs for their Austin-recorded, October-released album, The Grand Theatre, Volume One. The band's comfort can be heard throughout that disc, which stands sa a return-to-form in every sense. The best the 97's have released in over a decade, the album is filled with the kind of party romps and driving Texas anthems that made the band such an endearing mainstay in the first place.
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So maybe it's a little surprising to find out that this year the band is again returning home to close out the year but isn't doing so at Sons of Hermann Hall. Instead, they'll be ringing in 2011 at the House of Blues, with some help from a couple similarly country-tinged locals who've supported the band on past bills: the Whiskey Folk Ramblers and The O's, which, along with the 97's, happen to be among the best live performers in the region.