Throughout the new album’s 13 tracks, the Old 97’s tap various influences and confirm themselves as their generation’s Johnny, Hank, Waylon, Willie, and the boys. The end result is a sonic cocktail blending the finest ingredients of country, folk, rockabilly, 1960s rock-and-roll, and a splash of pop to sweeten the deal. And since it was recorded using an eight-track machine and little trickery or knob twitching, what you hear is what you get: a clean, stripped-down record by some of the most talented musicians to ever cruise a honky-tonk.
Equally impressive is the way the band has been able to build upon their artistic kinship, as well as grow their families. By the numbers, the fellas have amassed four weddings, five children, and four homes between them, and the best part is, they get to do what they love — play in a band with a brotherhood they formed in
Dallas more than a decade ago.
— James E. Mayfield
Left to right: Philip Peeples, Rhett Miller, Murry Hammond, and Ken Bethea