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New album Twelfth from Old 97's pressed on silver vinyl
Produced by Grammy winner Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White)
"Blistered, blasted, and brilliant." — New Yorker
Old 97's, the iconic alt-country outfit fronted by Rhett Miller, is returning with their 12th album, the aptly titled Twelfth, to be released on August 21, 2020. Twenty-seven years in, Old 97's still features its original lineup — Miller, guitarist Ken Bethea, bassist Murry Hammond, and drummer Philip Peeples — and Twelfth is a testament to the band's staying power.
The album's cover image of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach is both an homage to Miller's childhood hero and a recognition that, in making their livings as musicians, the 97's themselves have achieved their lifelong dreams.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Miller talks about how his five-year sobriety influenced the new album, saying, "Going back in, I thought, ‘What if I don't bring anything to the table? What if I'm like Samson and the whiskey was my long hair and I cut it off and can't write songs anymore?'... But (Twelfth) was the first record where, top to bottom, I felt I was back in the driver's seat, found my voice, and came out the other side. It feels good."
The band shares Twelfth's first single "Turn Off The TV" today alongside a video directed by Liam Lynch that features Puddles the Clown as well as footage of the band throughout their career.
"Somehow what we've got never breaks down," Rhett Miller sings on Twelfth. At first, the line comes off as a boast, as a declaration of invincibility from a band that's managed to survive three decades of rock and roll debauchery, but as the phrase repeats over and over again, it slowly transforms into something more incredulous, something more vulnerable, something deeply human.
"We experienced some close calls over the last few years," says 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."
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."
|1. Side 2|
|2. 1. The Dropouts|
|3. 2. This House Got Ghosts|
|4. 3. Turn Off The TV|
|5. 4. I Like You Better|
|6. 5. Happy Hour|
|7. 6. Belmont Hotel|
|9. 1. Confessional Boxing|
|10. 2. Diamonds On Neptune|
|11. 3. Our Year|
|12. 4. Bottle Rocket Baby|
|13. 5. Absence (What We've Got)|
|14. 6. Why Don't We Ever Say We're Sorry|