Old 97′s made their Elektra debut in 1997 with Too Far to Care, a muscular album that balanced the band’s Texas traditionalism and pop leanings. Many publications placed the band among the leaders of the alt-country movement, and Old 97′s toured extensively in support, joining the Lollapalooza tour that summer and playing alongside Whiskeytown for a series of shows sponsored by No Depression magazine. Arriving two years later, 1999′s Fight Songs offered another polished, pop-friendly set of songs, allowing the band to sell out 1,500-seat venues during its return to the road.
Although they became one of the most enduring bands in the alternative country-rock catalog, Old 97′s drew inspiration from a broad range of genres, including the twangy stomp of cowpunk and the melodies of power pop. Formed in 1993 by frontman Rhett Miller and bassist Murry Hammond, the group spent the bulk of the decade posed on the brink of mainstream success, issuing albums that often drew warm reviews but never yielded a substantial hit. Old 97′s tightened their sound as the decade drew to a close, retaining their bar-band vigor while introducing a stronger pop/rock sound on albums like Too Far to Care and Satellite Rides. Miller also mounted a solo career in the early 2000s, but the band remained together nonetheless, continuing to release material with their original lineup intact into the following decade.
In 2013, the band released an EP containing 2 tracks with vocals by the country music legend, Waylon Jennings, Old 97’s & Waylon Jennings. Flash forward to 2014 and Old 97’s have just released their 10th studio album, Most Messed Up in April and in June, released a new video for, “Let’s Get Drunk and Get it On.” The band is playing our very own Southgate House Revival tonight!