The Old 97s are making their way back to Louisville’s Headliners Music Hall for what I believe is the first time since 2006. It’s difficult to tell exactly how this show is going down, but it appears that the performance is limited to Rhett Miller & Murry Hammond. Nevertheless, the Old 97’s are exactly the type of band that does well in Louisville with their Ryan Adams-ish alt-country style, but in my mind, way more fun. Nevertheless, this is apparently an Old 97’s show with Old 97’s music being performed ad not merely Rhett doing his own thing. If anyone knows or hears differently though, please get in touch.
The Press release follows:
BLAME IT ON GRAVITY
Some bands blast out of the gate and never recapture their early energy. Other bands establish themselves as models of consistency. Still other bands take a while to find themselves. And then there are bands like the Old 97s, who blast out of the gate, establish themselves as models of consistency, take a while to find themselves, and then, fifteen years in, deliver a glorious record that sums up everything about them that fans have always loved. With Blame It On Gravity, the seventh Old 97’s record and the second for New West, the band has made its definitive statement. “It’s really exciting,” says Rhett Miller, the band’s lead singer and songwriter. “I read an interview with Randy Newman where he said that if your work is as good at 50 as it was at 20, you’ve won the battle. We’re nowhere near fifty, but I feel like this collection of songs is the best we’ve ever done. And I LOVED our earlier albums.”
From the opening notes of the first song, “The Fool,” Blame It On Gravity is an archetypal Old 97’s record, only more so. Back in 2004, the band released Drag It Up, which was filled with more personal and contemplative songs; the music adjusted accordingly. At other points throughout the band’s career, it has tilted toward power pop (Fight Songs, from 1999) and the sounds of the British Invasion (Satellite Rides, from 2001). Blame it on Gravity finds the band turning up the amps and returning to the satisfying crunch of its early records. There are triumphant windmilling riffs, squalls of feedback, and upward spirals of guitar noise — and that’s just in “The Fool.” “Bands go through a phase where they age, as people,” Miller says. “During Drag It Up, all of us had gotten older and started families. That record was full of songs about mortality and aging. This record is more like a second childhood. More guitars, and they’re loud.”