Tuesday Tune: ‘Longer Than You’ve Been Alive’ by Old 97’s
Hailing from Dallas, Old 97’s are considered pioneers in the world of alternative country music. Created in 1993, the band has had one critically acclaimed album after another and recently released “Most Messed Up” with ATO Records.
With over 15 albums under their belt, Old 97’s continue to write and release fresh tracks that showcase their signature Texas sound. Perhaps one of the band’s greatest accomplishments is the 2013 EP “Old 97’s and Waylon Jennings,” which features the band collaborating with the country music legend on two of the six tracks.
Co-founder Rhett Miller had this to say to the New York Times about recording with Waylon:
After lunch, he cut the vocals for “The Other Shoe.” He got to the second verse, where the cuckolded husband is under the bed and imagining the murders he’s about to commit. There’s a line, “You’ll try to find a doctor that will prescribe an elixir that’ll make everything better.” He kept saying “excelsior.” It got tense in the control room because he’d keep getting through the whole song and mess up that word. Eventually, I had an idea. I told him to just use the phrase “Annie licks her.” He started laughing. “I like you, you’re sick,” he told me. And he nailed it on the next take.
“Most Messed Up,” released April 29, received excellent reviews. Paste Magazine called it “the first in the band’s catalog to accurately capture their sweat-box live performances.” Rolling Stone said it’s “another round of airtight songs celebrating life-as-sublime-train-wreck amid music that conjures the British Invasion landing in a Texas barroom.” Music critic Bill Flanagan calls it “a rock opera, a way-off Broadway musical about a musician’s life, loves and lubrication.”
Listen to a live performance of “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” from “Most Messed Up” below. The song pays tribute to the band’s 20 years in the business.