Gonna post a slew of free music alerts from Noisetrade because they have a lot of really good stuff on there. Like this live Rhett Miller set which doesn’t have a date, but it’s a show in support of his latest solo album The Dreamer (available here).
Now, I’ve never been much on Rhett’s solo stuff, but this acoustic set is a fine recording that I think fans of Old 97’s and Rhett will all enjoy.
[Edit: If you are not familiar with Noisetrade, you just enter your email and zip (for some reason) and they will send you the download code. You can also donate to the artist if you wish after you download. Oh and you can stream too by clicking the "play" button on the widget]
Just gave this a quick skim, and have to say I’m really digging it more than I thought. Lacking the in your face punk punch of the early Old 97’s stuff, but heavy on the honky tonk melody and catchiness the Old 97’s have become known for. Fans of early old 97’s will want to check out the irish drinking ditty White Port. Listen here
[EDIT: what I wanted to say, is it reminds me of Drag It Up crossed with Wreck Your Life]
So the Old 97’s have put up some more Ranchero Brothers goodies on the media page of their site. This time unreleased studio cuts. I’m guessing these have to be from around 98 or 99. If you know your Old 97’s history, you know that we were promised a Ranchero Brothers album after Fight Songs. That never came to fruition, but it’s good to finally hear the tracks.
Here is something that is really damn good. The demos from Too Far To Care by the Ranchero Brothers. Now, anyone who has been a longtime fan of The Old 97’s knows the Ranchero Brothers is the name of the band consisting of Rhett Miller and Murray Hammond where Old 97s songs are tried out first. Now we have been promised a stripped down Ranchero Brothers album since Too Far To Care, but I feel this is likely as close as we will ever get. This collection is from the Old 97’s peak, and it’s well worth downloading, even if you have to download it a track at a time.
Well like I said in my guest post over at High Noon Saloon, this year seems to be the year for tribute and cover albums…..so what better time to post this Johnny Cash Tribute from just a week after his death back in 2003 (damn, has it been that long ). I’ve actually been sitting on this one for a while, but I had no information on it, and it was one long track. I’m not even sure where or when I got it, but it seems to me like I’ve had it since about late 2003 sometime. After some detective work I was finally able to figure out the venue, then the correct artists, even found a nice little review of the show. It’s not the best recording, but I think it’s significant enough to matter. I mean where else are you going to get a version of Mike Cooley singing “Give My Love To Rose” (my personal highlight of this set), or DBT and Old 97’s on the same show for that matter?
This is an interesting pairing, but I got it like this, so I left it like this. One thing they both had in common at the time was that they were both just starting to reach the top of their games. The Old 97’s set is amazing. I mean they are doing promotion for “Wreck Your Life”, the songs are still fresh, and the band is hungry. What’s particularly intersting are the interview segments….really took me back. I mean they didn’t even know what to call their music cause the word “Alt Country” hadn’t been popularised yet. And they talk about getting ready to do a show with “a great new band out of chapel hill called whiskeytown”……..”they say that kid Ryan isn’t gonna make it to 28″. This really took me back, cause this was around the time I was really starting to dig into what we now call Alt Country. A great set. The Whitley set ain’t too bad either…..searing blues rock as expected.
OK, so here’s the second of the planned Samplers……which I’m calling “A Truer Sampler” (clever eh). Now the Old 97’s were my second musical obsession after I got burnt out on SCOTS. I first heard them on some sampler CD that came with some long out of print magazine…it was the song “Time Bomb” off their 1997 masterpiece album “Too Far To Care”. Now I’m not one of those “indie cred” types that pretend they were into every band before they got popular, I think that is about as douchebag as it gets, so I don’t have any problem admitting I was late to the game on them….as Too Far To Care was that one thing all those aforementioned indie douchebags hate to see….a MAJOR LABEL DEBUT (oh the horror). But I digress….I seem to have gotten off track.
So after hearing this song “Time Bomb” I went out to my favorite local record store (RIP) and picked up Too Far To Care…..sounded like heaven to my ears. Then I did what I always do with a band I get obsessed with, I dug through their back catalouge….which was pretty easy cause the only older album still in print was “Wreck Your Life”, which is also a masterpiece.
Then out comes “Fight Songs” and I rush out to my local record store (RIP) to pick it up, jam it in my discman and the first song is “Jagged”…”holy shit! this is good” I thought. Then the others songs played on, but I wasn’t as excited about them cause they weren’t as “twangy” as I thought they should be….but it was still a damned good album. Then “Early Tracks” came out which was a collection of early singles….THIS was the old 97’s that I loved, they even had a Johnny Cash cover on it, and it was a NEW Johnny Cash song…unheard of….but great!
Around this same time I was waiting for the much fabled “Ranchero Brothers” album (Rhett Miller & Ken Bethae acoustic) but I’m still waiting for that, as I’m sure alot of Old 97’s fans are. What they did give us was Satellite Rides. Now I know alot of people out there love this album….but to me, all I could think was “what happened to my favorite band”, “where did the twang go”. This was the album where they really went downhill for me, and even the newest one didn’t really do much for me….Rhett Miller’s solo stuff REALLY didn’t do it for me. But I still hold a dear place in my heart for those first three albums (I eventually got their out of print first album) and the “Early Tracks” EP.
So anyway, here is my collection of songs for you guys to check them out with….you’ll notice that the tracks lean towards the early stuff, but like always I try to include at least one song from each album (and the later albums weren’t all bad anyway). Really there is not a bad track on “Too Far To Care” though, I could have put that whole album on here. Rhett Miller really knew how to turn a phrase too, those early albums hold some of my favorite lyrics ever. I hope you guys enjoy this, cause I enjoyed compiling it.
Continuing on with the old Centro stuff, here is a split 10″ single from 1995 of Old 97’s and Funland. Now most of you guys who come to this blog probably know who the Old 97’s are, but who the hell are Funland? Well Funland were Peter Schmidt(vocals/guitar/bass), ClarkVogeler (guitar), Mike Hosty (slide guitar) & Will Johnson (drums/background vocals). That’s right, Funland was Will Johnson’s band prior to Centro-Matic. Also worth mentioning is that guitarist Chuck Vogeler went on to join the band Toadies (after Possum Kingdom), and Peter Schmidt is a thriving solo artist in Texas.
So this is supposedly Old 97’s first split 10″ single (released after Hitchhike To Rhome) and they teamed up with their good friends Funland and they decided to cover each other’s songs. So what you end up with is Old 97’s doing their song “Stoned” and Funland’s “Garage Sale”, and Funland doing their song “Garage Sale” and Old 97’s “Stoned”. Their take on “Stoned” is pretty good too, so fans of Old 97’s, Centro-Matic, & Will Johnson will want to check this out.
This 2-disc set is comprised of a full concert at the Crocodile Cafe on May 29, 1999. Their full Austin City Limits set from Jan. 26, 1998, and a few tracks from the Gypsy Tea Room on an unknown date which are primarily Buck Owens covers. The highlight here is definitely the Austin City Limits set which is all songs from Too Far To Care. The Crocodile Cafe concert is good in it’s own right, as I think the songs off Fight Songs sound much better live than in studio.
All right, this site is not about stealin' music, and it's not about stickin' it to the RIAA. It's about me wanting to get the music I love out there and heard. I've said it many times on here, and the fact that some of the talents I showcase on here are largely unknown is a crime. It's a shame what popular radio & music has become when there are so many great artists out there living in obscurity giving it everything they got.
Really folks, if you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy their albums, go to their shows, tell your friends, whatever you gotta do. Most of these are at crappy bitrates anyway.