OLD 97'S FACTS:
Members: Rhett Miller, Murry Hammond, Ken Bethea, Philip Peeples
Genre: Alt Country
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Albums: Hitchhike to Rhome (1994); Stoned / Garage Sale (1995); Wreck Your Life (1995); Too Far to Care (1997); Fight Songs (1999); Early Tracks EP (2000); Satellite Rides (2001); Drag It Up (2004); Alive & Wired (2005); Blame It on Gravity (2008); Mimeograph EP (2010); The Grande Theatre, Volume One (2010); The Grande Theatre, Volume Two (2011)
Hits: "Murder (Or A Heart Attack)"
Other: Featured in DLC tracks for Rock Band and Rock Band 2.
As the pioneers of the niche genre of alt-country, the Texas-based Old 97's have managed to successfully make the transition from bar band in the early 1990s to an act that has appeared in numerous films and TV shows. With a lengthy discography and a legendary live show, the band has gained considerable followings in both rock and country circles in nearly two decades of performing.
The core of the band has remained the same since its founding and is comprised of lead singer and guitarist Rhett Miller, bassist Murry Hammond, guitarist Ken Bethea and drummer Philip Peeples. After toiling in the bar circuit, the Old 97's made waves with their 1994 album Hitchhike to Rhome. Despite the fact that it failed to gain any considerable mainstream success, the release prompted the quartet to take their act on the road on an extensive tour of the United States.
Fresh of their tour, the band released what is considered to be their most popular record, 1996's Wreck Your Life. The album is also credited with popularizing the alt-country movement that experienced significant popularity throughout the middle of the decade. The rest of the '90s was punctuated by consistent touring and the band became well-known for their loyal fan base and popular shows. While they were touring relentlessly, the Old 97's still managed to churn out numerous albums including 1997's Too Far to Care and 1999's Fight Songs.
Though they have a number of fans throughout the country, the band failed to break into the mainstream as some had predicted. However, by the middle of the 2000s, they were given new life when their music was featured in a number of popular movies and television shows. Several of their songs were used in the 2006 Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston movie The Break Up, and the band even made an appearance in the film. The song "Question" also popped up in an episode of the second season of the long-running medical comedy Scrubs.
With somewhat of a resurgence thanks to media exposure, 2010 was an ambitious year for the band, as they released the first part of their eighth studio album, The Grand Theatre, Volume One
, in October of that year. The record garnered generally positive reviews and the band announced that they planned to release the second volume sometime in 2011.