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Old 97’s, KXCI Presents!

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Old 97’s

Thu, Apr 4, 7:00 PM

w/ special guests Holler Choir

tickets

The Old 97’s is an American alternative country-rock band that formed in Dallas, Texas, in 1993. Led by Rhett Miller (vocals, guitar), the band also includes Murry Hammond (bass), Ken Bethea (guitar), and Philip Peeples (drums). Known for their energetic live performances and clever songwriting, the Old 97’s have become a staple in the Americana music scene.

Their debut album, “Hitchhike to Rhome,” was released in 1994 and gained a devoted following with its catchy hooks and relatable storytelling. The band achieved widespread acclaim with their second album, “Wreck Your Life” (1996), featuring anthems like “Victoria,” “Barrier Reef,” and “Timebomb,” which solidified their position as leaders of the alt-country movement.

Throughout their career, the Old 97’s have continued to evolve their sound, combining elements of country, rock, and pop. Notable albums include “Too Far to Care” (1997), “Fight Songs” (1999), and “Most Messed Up” (2014), showcasing their ability to capture the essence of love, longing, and life’s ups and downs.

Formed in Dallas, Texas, Old 97’s first emerged in the early ’90s with an adrenaline pumping blend of rock and roll swagger, punk snarl, and old-school twang that quickly brought them into the national spotlight. Conventional wisdom places the band at the forefront of a musical movement that would come to be known as “alternative country,” but, as the New York Times so succinctly put it, their sound always “leaned more toward the Clash than the Carter Family.” Fueled by breakneck tempos, distorted guitars, and wry storytelling, the foursome built a reputation for high-energy albums and even higher energy shows, earning themselves performances everywhere from Conan and Letterman to Bonnaroo and Lollaplooza alongside countless rave reviews. NPR lauded the group as a “pioneering force,” while Rolling Stone hailed their music’s “whiskey-wrecked nihilism and slow-burn heartbreak,” and The New Yorker praised their songwriting as “blistered, blasted, and brilliant.” On top of his prodigious output with Old 97’s, Miller simultaneously established himself as a prolific solo artist, as well, releasing eight studio albums under his own name that garnered similarly wide-ranging acclaim and landed in a slew of prominent film and television soundtracks. A gifted writer beyond his music, Miller also contributed essays and short stories to The Atlantic, Salon, McSweeney’s, and Sports Illustrated among others, and in 2019, he released his debut book, a collection of poetry for children, via Little, Brown and Company.

That joy is utterly palpable on their latest release, Twelfth.’ Loose and raw, the record is an ecstatic celebration of survival, a resounding ode to endurance and resilience from a veteran group that refuses to rest on their considerable laurels. 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 GRAMMY-winning producer Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White), and while the resulting album boasts all the hallmarks of a classic Old 97’s record (sex and booze, laughter and tears, poetry and blasphemy), it also showcases a newfound perspective in its writing and craftsmanship, a maturity and appreciation that can only come with age and experience. Perhaps the band is growing up; maybe they’re just getting started. Either way, Old 97’s have never been happier to be alive.

HOLLER CHOIR

Led by the lyrical craftsmanship of singer, guitarist, and songwriter Clint Roberts, the distinctly Appalachian, old-time sound of Asheville’s Holler Choir combines haunting harmonies, stirring string compositions, and heart-wrenching ballads, yet hardly conforms to a stereotypical genre. Call it a confluence of old-time, Americana, and bluegrass, but, by its own exceptional design, the sound and atmosphere of Holler Choir are singular. Robert’s wordcraft and explosive vocal range is met with the dulcet clawhammer banjo plucking of long-time collaborator Helena Rose and the sturdy timekeeping of upright bassist Norbert McGettigan. With a rotating cast of gifted musicians featured on Holler Choir’s recordings and electrifying live performances, it’s no wonder they are the band to watch in 2024.

DOORS at 7, show at 7:30

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