Old 97’s frontman and critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Rhett Miller has announced new summer tour dates with the Old 97’s as he prepares to release a new, self-titled solo album on June 9th. Miller will open the Old 97’s shows with a solo set showcasing his new material, as well as a solo set by bassist Murry Hammond, truly comprising an “Evening with Old 97’s.”
For almost ten years now, Rhett Miller has balanced a solo career with a band career, as both the leader of the rock band Old 97’s and as an acclaimed singer-songwriter in his own right. Last year, Old 97’s released their seventh album, Blame It On Gravity (New West Records). Now, just a year later, Miller returns with his ambitious solo record, the self-titled Rhett Miller.
Like every record that Miller is involved in, it’s tuneful, memorable, and smart. Unlike the other records, though, this one cuts deep. As the title suggests, this album represents Miller’s most personal statement in a career that has spanned more than a decade. And that’s exactly the way he wants it. "The reason I have to make solo records is because the nature of the band; when I bring ideas, they get voted down frequently," Miller says. "That’s always been the case. The band is a democracy. But I have always told the guys that I want to make solo records."
Those solo records have always complemented the band’s output, both sonically and thematically. "You can tell what the band doesn’t like by listening to my solo records," Miller says. "Generally the consensus is that the band likes things that swing, things with a train beat that are rootsy and Texan. The things they don’t get as much collectively are the songs that are poppier, as well as the stuff that’s quiet and personal."
The twelve songs on Rhett Miller were produced by Salim Nourallah, who also produced Blame It On Gravity. While the record was originally conceived as a spartan acoustic set, the list of contributing musicians soon blossomed: The Apples In Stereo’s John Dufilho played drums, Billy Harvey contributed guitar, and the multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion also pitched in.
"There’s a fine line on this record," Miller says. "Lyrically it has moments of real darkness, though sonically it’s a fun rock-and-roll record. Basically, I want people to be able to put it on at a party and enjoy listening to it. It’s not a record that has to be listened to at night with a loaded gun."
After his solo, acoustic tour opening the special “An Evening With Old 97’s” summer shows, Rhett Miller will tour throughout the fall. “I’m looking forward to playing these songs with a rock band to do justice to their scope and their energy.”
Rhett Miller Live Performances – All “An Evening With Old 97’s” Unless otherwise noted:
May 30 – Hunter Mountain, NY – Mountain Jam (Rhett Miller Solo)
June 10 – Los Angeles, CA – “The Drop” at The GRAMMY Museum (Rhett Miller Solo)
June 18 – Rochester, NY – The Old 97s Party in the Park
June 19 – Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s
June 20 – Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s
June 21 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
June 23 – Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s
June 24 – Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s
June 25 – Beach, DE – Bottle & Cork
June 26 – Tarrytown, NY – Tarrytown Music Hall
June 27 – Towson, MD – Recher Theater
June 28 – Hampton Township, PA – Hartwood Acres
July 8 – Los Angeles, CA – The Music Box at the Fonda
July 9 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
July 11- Snowbird, UT – Snowbird Festival
July 12 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Tavern
July 14- Colorado Springs, CO Armstrong Hall
July 15- Telluride, CO Mountain Village
July 16 – Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
July 18 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
July 19 – Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
July 21 – Madison, WI Barrymore Theatre
July 22 – Grand Rapids MI Intersection
July 23 – Indianapolis, IN Vogue
July 24 – Louisville, KY Headliners
July 25 – Asheville, NC Bele Chere (free outdoor festival)
July 26 – Atlanta, GA Variety
Aug 1 – Amagansett, NY – The Stephen Talkhouse (Rhett Miller Only)