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To say that rock and 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 twenty 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
from 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.
Twenty years on, it's safe to say rock and roll has indeed been very, very good to the