Old 97's Early Tracks (Bloodshot)


Old 97's

Early Tracks (Bloodshot)

Taken from scarce or unreleased material going back as far as 1995, this Bloodshot disc explores the Old 97's roots and finds the band sounding a bit more like a country band or even a rockabilly outfit at times. The kickoff, "Ray Charles," combines Western-movie guitar with a train beat befitting the band's name, and a busy break that threatens to turn into chaos for a moment. "W.I.F.E.," on the other hand, is a country shuffle Old 97's style, wearily bemoaning the plight of a man who's married but doesn't want to be. "Por Favor" is another locomotive chugga-chugga tune about running into old St. Peter on Judgment Day, with a feel that could almost pass for the Waco Brothers at times. The closer, a cover of Johnny Cash's "Let the Train Blow the Whistle," brings the band full circle, showcasing the Rhett Miller/Murry Hammond harmonies that have become the band's trademark, along with a down-in-the-basement baritone twang-guitar solo. Those who find the 97's a little weak in the knees (ahem) should give this a spin; it finds the band in considerably more raw and aggressive form. Those who find them charming and cute should listen to it so they'll have a better idea of where they sprang from musically. It's only eight songs, but even this admitted non-97's fan had to start it over again after the last tune played.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

Texas Platters
The Beaumonts / Hickoids
This Is Austin, All the World's a Dressing Room (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Jerry Renshaw
SXSW Live Shots
Export Sweden Showcase

March 19, 2004

SXSW Live Shots
Amsterdam Calling

March 19, 2004

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle