Old 97's, Those Darlins, Whiskey Folk Ramblers | The Vic | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Old 97's, Those Darlins, Whiskey Folk Ramblers Member Picks Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Sat., Feb. 19, 8:30 p.m. 2011

I can't think of a band that's stayed loyal to the alt-country sound longer than Old 97's. This Dallas foursome have used the amped-up shuffle as their calling card since forming in 1993, and on The Grand Theatre Volume One (New West), they turn up the boilerplate Texas twang and ease off on the hookier, less rootsy tunes that front man Rhett Miller brought in while launching his solo career. (A second volume, using material from the same sessions, is due this spring.) Which isn't to say the songs are generic—Miller's a strong writer, and they're full of killer melodies, whether they run at a full gallop ("Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)") or a relaxed trot ("Love Is What You Are"). And his lyrics are still modestly witty, whether he's rewriting Dylan's "Desolation Row" as "Champaign, Illinois" or conveying the raw spark of budding romance on the title track. —Peter Margasak

Price: $25

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