It feels like the Old 97's brings its high-octane, swinging barroom romps to St. Louis at least once a year. However, this year's "evening with" performance promises to be a little different: The show features opening solo sets by both vocalist Rhett Miller and bassist Murry Hammond. Miller just released a self-titled solo album — and the collection is his best yet, one that slides effortlessly from intimate acoustic reflections and tender, ambient pop ballads ("Sometimes," "Lashes") to sugary pop confections ("Like Love," "Happy Birthday Don't Die"). As usual, Miller juxtaposes these straightforward laments with his trademark witticisms and dark humor. Hammond's solo work, on the other hand, floats along on a bed of warm acoustic finger-picking and dreamy waves of reverb. Songs such as "Other Younger Days" and "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down" channel the eerie dark side of old-time Southern religion and the solitary expanses of his home state of Texas.
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