Old 97's released the opening track, "The Dropouts," from their upcoming Twelfth," coming Aug. 21 on ATO.
"'The Dropouts'" follows the previously released first single and video "Turn Off The TV," which features cameos from Puddles Pity Party, Janeane Garofalo, Jenna Fischer, Paul F. Tompkins and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. A lyric video of the song was released.
"We experienced some close calls over the last few years," said Miller, "and I think that led us to this dawning realization of the fragility of it all. At the same time, it also led us to this increased gratitude for the music and the brotherhood we've been so lucky to share. I think all of that combined to make recording this album one of the most intensely joyful experiences we've ever had as a band."
Working out of Sputnik Sound in Nashville, Miller and his longtime bandmates - bassist Murry Hammond, guitarist Ken Bethea and drummer Philip Peeples - teamed up once again with producer Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White).
Miller wrote all the songs himself except for the Spaghetti Western-esque "Happy Hour" and hypnotic album closer "Why Don't We Ever Say We're Sorry," which were both written and sung by Hammond.
"You have to take pride in the unlikeliness of it all," said Miller. "It's mind boggling to think that we've been able to last this long, that we've been able to support ourselves and our families on our own terms for almost 30 years. Twelve is a lot of records."
"Love the Holidays" may read like one of those old timey Christmas album titles. You know, those sanitized, safe for the whole family song sets. Granted, there's nothing particularly family unfriendly on this seasonal collection; however, it's still a fairly typical Old 97's album. Vocalist Rhett Miller is just too angsty to ever make completely overjoyed, celebratory music. This album is typical Old 97's music, in the best sense of the term.
"Christmas Is »»»
Old 97s' "Graveyard Whistling" is a slight return to form after 2014's "Most Messed Up," which was heavy on profanity, but far too light on charming country songs. "Graveyard Whistling" is a little more innocent and a lot more fun than its predecessor.
"Bad Luck Charm," for instance, finds lead vocalist Rhett Miller playing a familiar role - that of lovable loser. "I'm just another black cat crossing your street," Miller warns, in »»»
Are the Old 97's country? Zydeco? Irish pub rock? Blues?
The bad news is that the 20th anniversary rerelease of the band's 1994 debut album "Hitchhike to Rhome" doesn't do anything to answer that question. The good news is that the rerelease is a fun listen nonetheless.
The reissue comes with bonus demo recordings and cassette versions of the original release, just in case fans of the group didn't feel old enough realizing that its debut is two decades old (the »»»