An Evening With The Old 97's

A proud local product, The Old 97's always makes certain to bring its high-energy twang-rock back through town with respectable regularity. But, this week, the band is offering up something truly special: a four-night residency of "evening with" performances at Sons of Hermann Hall.

The evenings' festivities will largely follow the same format the band used while touring the nation under the "an evening with" header over the summer: Frontman Rhett Miller and bassist Murry Hammond will each perform sets of their solo material to start the night off, and each night will end with drummer Philip Peeples and guitarist Ken Bethea re-joining their bandmates up on stage for a performance in the arrangement that made this group successful in the first place. The opening performances should prove a nice treat. Miller's solo material leans to a poppier side of the spectrum, and his 2009-released self-titled album was his finest solo effort to date. Hammond's solo stuff, meanwhile, has a more acoustic, Texas country and faith-based bent.

Seeing these two performances before an Old 97's show should act as fine insight into the band's dynamic--but even this part of the night won't be of the usual sort. The band has confirmed that, aside from one or two tracks repeating through its residency, most nights will feature unique sets. That's great news for fans looking to attend all four of these affairs. Even better news: Earlier this week, Salim Nourallah, who recorded the band's last record (Blame It on Gravity) and will start recording its next one in January, passed along word that he'll be recording all four of the band's shows for posterity. No word yet on any plans for these recordings. But a live record taped in front of a hometown crowd? That just seems like a no-brainer, no?

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman

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