Sound Advice: Old 97's Fans Can Expect Some Deep Cuts at September's Southgate House Revival Show

While the Old 97’s are ostensibly touring behind new album Twelfth, this circuit instead seems focused on their earlier recordings.

click to enlarge The Old 97's - Photo: Courtesy Red Light Management
Photo: Courtesy Red Light Management
The Old 97's
When Old 97’s began sessions in a Nashville studio for their twelfth studio album, appropriately titled Twelfth, the city was rocked by a tornado outbreak that ultimately caused 25 deaths, injured 300 and left billions of dollars in damages across four states.

The alt-country trailblazers may well have thought they were lucky to have survived an EF3 storm and that the worst was behind them. But that was in early March 2020, and an even worse outbreak was just on the horizon.

The band — for 30 years composed of frontman Rhett Miller, bassist/vocalist Murry Hammond, lead guitarist/vocalist Ken Bethea and drummer Philip Peeples — would release Twelfth that August, in the midst of a long, costly pause that halted most live music.

Outside of a few scattered gigs last year, this marks the Old 97’s’ first full-scale tour since 2019 and their first local appearance in four years. Before the pandemic shut things down, the band was still touring on the back-to- back releases of 2017’s Graveyard Whistling and 2018’s primarily original Christmas album Love the Holidays, and looking forward to doing the same for the forthcoming Twelfth.

The unplanned hiatus had one happy outcome; Miller had time to write and record his eighth solo studio album, The Misfit, which comes out Sept. 16.

The album’s first single, “Go Through You,” was just released as a teaser. While the 97’s are ostensibly touring behind Twelfth, the band’s recent setlists have only featured one song from the album, the pounding brilliance of “Turn Off The TV.”

This circuit instead seems focused on their earlier recordings, particularly 1997’s Too Far to Care; the band even bows to superfans and hauls out a couple of tracks from their 1994 debut, Hitchhike to Rhome.

An Old 97’s show is like pizza or sex — the worst you’ll ever experience is still pretty damn good.

The Old 97’s play the Southgate House Revival at 8 p.m. Sept. 20. Doors open at 7 p.m. There are no COVID-19 protocols in place for the event. Info: southgatehouse.com.

Watch the video for "Turn Off the TV" below:

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