To say that rock ’n’ roll has been good to the Old 97’s (guitarist/vocalist Miller, bassist/vocalist Murry Hammond, guitarist Ken Bethea and drummer Philip Peeples) would be an understatement.
The band emerged from Dallas 20 years ago at the forefront of a musical movement blending rootsy, country-influenced songwriting with punk rock energy and delivery.
The New York Times has described their major label debut, “Too Far to Care,” as “a cornerstone of the ‘alternative country’ movement . . . (that) leaned more toward the Clash than the Carter Family.”
They’ve released a slew of records since then, garnering praise from NPR and Billboard to SPIN and Rolling Stone, who hailed the band as “four Texans raised on the Beatles and Johnny Cash in equal measures, whose shiny melodies and fatalistic character studies do their forefathers proud.”
The band performed on television shows from David Letterman to Austin City Limits and had their music appear in countless film and TV soundtracks (they appeared as themselves in the Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston movie, “The Break Up”).
“Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan told The Hollywood Reporter that he put the band on a continuous loop on his iPod while writing the show’s final scene.
And next week they will be performing Friday night, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m. on the Pepsi Main Stage at the Washington Town & Country Fair.