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Concert Reviews:
Old 97`s Rejuvinated By Break

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Friday, October 10, 2008

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Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller says that he and his bandmates “were all surprised” by how much time had elapsed between the roots-flavored rock quartet’s last album, 2004’s “Drag It Up,” and this year’s “Blame It on Gravity.”

But Miller says gravity wasn’t the real reason for the long break.

“I made (his third solo album) ‘The Believer’ and I started having kids right during that window,” says Miller, 38. “That was a solid three years I was working on ‘The Believer.’ And everybody was having families; even Murry (Hammond) was having a little baby in that window.

“I think everybody just got over having kids and diaper-changing, and now it’s like full steam ahead.”

To get back on track for “Blame it On Gravity,” the members of Old 97’s reconvened in their original stomping grounds, Dallas’ Lower Greenville section, where they worked with producer Salim Nourallah. And though he’s starting to eyeball his next solo project, Miller — who resides these days in New York’s Hudson Valley — says he doesn’t want to see another four years between band outings, either.

“The feeling of the band right now is so good,” he says. “When we were younger it was more of a reckless approach, drinking and carousing. That helped in its way, but if you want to stay alive and healthy, that has to change at some point.

“And I feel like the way we’re getting along personal and musically, and the fact we’ve discovered a producer that really excites us and gets us, we want to strike while the iron is hot as much as we can and do a lot more things together. I’m really looking forward to that.”

Old 97’s and Charlie Louvin perform at 9 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 11) at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $20.50 in advance, $22 day of show. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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