The Grand Theatre Volume One
New West Records 
Fire Note Says: The Old 97's revisit their home State of Texas for an authentic Grand Theatre ride!
Do you remember when the Old 97's were fun? Young kids from Dallas just ready to take everyone on with their Americana rock. Yeah - well they do too and on the bands eighth album, The Grand Theatre Volume One, the Old 97's return to their roots and offer some of the freshest and most vibrant songs the group has produced in years. To achieve this, the Old 97’s spent a week of pre-production, recording the new songs completely live at the nearly 100-year-old Dallas venue Sons of Hermann Hall. Playing there more times then they can count, the band knew instantly, if these tracks worked in the concert setting. This of course has always been where the band has shined and so after settling in on its 12 tracks, The Grand Theatre was recorded in the same live fashion. This approach automatically gives every track here a shot of adrenaline and sounds like classic 97's with their Big D vibe! This record has everything that long time fans will love. First single, "Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)", is a solid fun rocker that I am sure will resonate with some individuals, while bassist Murry Hammond steps up again vocally on "You Were Born To Be In Battle" and "You Smoke Too Much", providing his diverse swagger and larger Texas sound. "Champaign, Illinois" re-imagines Bob Dylan’s classic Highway 61 Revisited track, “Desolation Row” with brand new lyrics by Rhett Miller that was approved by the legend himself and "Love Is What You Are" gives you a ballad with more Rhett thought provoking lyrics. The Grand Theatre Volume One is probably one of the closest, musically, records to the bands breakout album Too Far Too Care  and gives you memorable tracks and most of all - songs that will support their spectacular live performances!
Key Tracks: "Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)", "Champaign, Illinois", "You Smoke Too Much"
Bands With Similar Fire:
Bobby Bare Jr.
Old 97's: Mimeograph [EP] [Fire Note Review 7/16/10]
Old 97's: Wreck Your Life...And Then Some: The Complete Bloodshot Recordings [Fire Note Review 1/25/10]
Old 97's: Blame It On Gravity [Fire Note Review 5/27/08]
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New West Records
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony