Old 97′s :: The Grand Theatre Volume One


Twee verhalen over The Grand Theatre Volume One, de nieuwe CD van Old 97’s, moeten verteld worden. Het ene gaat over het nummer Champaign, Illinois. Het is een tekst van gitarist/zanger Rhett Miller op de melodie van Bob Dylan’s epische Desolation Row. Na lang aarzelen belde Miller het management van Dylan en die liet het nummer horen aan de meester zelf. Die vond het tof, maar wilde nog even de tekst in gedrukte vorm lezen. Miller typte sneller dan ooit, Dylan las het en gaf zijn goedkeuring. Het andere verhaal is dat The Grand Theatre Volume One een geweldige CD is en zo mogelijk nog meer dan hun voorgaande CD’s bewijst dat Old 97’s een van de allerbeste en meest gedreven rootsrockbands van deze tijd is. Misschien wel de allerbeste.

Old 97’s make their triumphant return on October 12th with The Grand Theatre Volume One, their eighth studio album, from New West Records. The band, who Rolling Stone says have “evolved… into master-class rock & roll songwriters,” recorded over two dozen brand new songs during the studio sessions and will be releasing a second volume in 2011. The 12 song album was once again produced by Salim Nourallah (the band’s previous release, Blame It On Gravity) and engineered by Jim Vollentine (Spoon). Legendary for their blistering live performances, the Old 97’s spent a week of pre-production recording the new songs completely live at the nearly 100-year-old (and reportedly haunted) Dallas venue Sons of Hermann Hall. The band set up on stage like they normally do during concerts, so it was instantly conducive to whether or not certain new songs would translate well in a live atmosphere. After deciding what new songs made the cut for proper studio recording, the band moved the production to Treefort Studios in Austin, TX. Basic tracks for these studio sessions were recorded mostly live, resulting in an album that is as vibrant, immediate and sweat drenched as their praised live show. Frontman Rhett Miller stated, “The Old 97’s have hit a great stride, found our second wind. I feel like we found the secret to capturing the live energy people rave about after they see us play.”

The Grand Theatre Volume One was predominantly written during Rhett Miller’s 2009 solo tour abroad. The lyrics are filled with character studies while the sound – expertly rounded out by band members Murry Hammond, Ken Bethea and Philip Peeples – is Garage-Rockmeets- 60s-British Invasion without abandoning the classic 97’s sound. Rhett Miller offered, “The Grand Theatre centers around a suite of songs I wrote during a month-long tour of England, Ireland and Scandinavia. Opening for the great Steve Earle meant watching a master Texas songwriter at work and I soaked up these strange surroundings and turned them into songs. I was writing at a furious clip in the midst of the most intense kinds of planes, trains and automobiles. I can see an epistolary strain running through the songs. All my years of Anglophilia make these feel like a collection of love letters, or a collection of letters home. I wrote the title track in the dressing room of Leeds’ Grand Theatre.”

1. The Grand Theatre
2. Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)
3. The Magician
4. You Were Born To Be In A Battle
5. The Dance Class
6. Let The Whiskey Take The Reins
7. Champaign, Illinois
8. A State Of Texas
9. You Smoke Too Much
10. Love Is What You Are
11. Please Hold On While The Train Is Moving
12. The Beauty Marks


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