Thank god we got these guitars.In this devil of world.Turn it up make a little noise.
– Old 97’s, “Irish Whiskey Pretty Girls”
So declare the Old 97’s on one of the more raucous tracks on their latest album, Graveyard Whistling, the band’s 11th studio effort. I’ve been turning it up and making noise since its release one week ago.
This band has been putting out superb release after superb release for the past 23 years. They pioneered and helped define the alt-country genre, survived the collapse of the major record labels system, and came out the other side rocking better than ever. As lead singer Rhett Miller said in one recent interview, “I thought you were forced to stop playing rock ‘n’ roll when you turned 30, but thank God that’s not the case.” Thank God indeed.
It’s not as if the band is breaking new sonic ground here (spoiler alert … they’re not). But that’s not a bad thing. When you listen to an Old 97’s album you know what you are going to get. Rhett’s strong vocals belting out his clever lyrics, Ken’s twangy guitar that dances on the edge of the cliff without ever falling off, Murry’s frenetic bass lines and smooth backing vocals, and Philip’s controlled mix of galloping snares and shuffling beats holding it all together.
The band even went back to the past, revisiting the same Tornillo, Texas, studio where they recorded their major label debut back in 1996, their defining Too Far To Care. This time around, they used the production talents of Vance Powell, a frequent sound engineer for Jack White, who worked on both of Jack’s solo albums and all three albums of The Dead Weather. Vance’s mix adds a sonic richness to the Old 97’s familiar, frantic sound.
You also know you’ll get a bunch of songs about women and booze (see the above-quoted “Irish Whiskey Pretty Girls”, which encapsulates both), and this album does not disappoint on that front either. The standout track is a song I first heard last summer at a Rhett solo show, “Jesus Loves You“, an ode to a religious girl from a guy who isn’t quite. No matter how devout you think you are, I dare you not to laugh at lyrics like, “He’s got the power and the glory. He’s got a pretty kick-ass story. And what do I got? I got the hots for you.” Other tracks to which I find myself drawn include the album’s opener, “I Don’t Want to Die in This Town,” and closer, “Those Were the Days.”
You will be hard pressed to find a better group of guys in the music business. Rhett, Murry, Ken, and Philip have earned all of the success this album is bringing their way. Buy it, stream it, just listen to it. You won’t regret it. And please check them out when they roll through your town. As good as they sound recorded, they are to be cherished live.
Here’s what I read this week:
- Ohio Chamber Testifies in Support of Employment Law Uniformity Act — via Ohio Chamber Blog
- Gorsuch often sided with employers in workers’ rights cases — via AP
- 110,000 reasons to remember that the ADA’s duty to accommodate starts before saying, “You’re hired.” — via Eric Meyer’s The Employer Handbook Blog
- KKK Hood Used To Intimidate Black Employee — via FisherBroyles
- Lessons from Uber on How to Conduct a Harassment Investigation — via California Employment Law
- Those Casey Affleck Sexual Harassment Complaints — via Phil Miles’s Lawffice Space
- “BYOD” policies – are there risks? You betcha! — via Robin Shea’s Employment & Labor Insider
- You can look, but don’t touch: reviewing employees’ personal e-mails — via Technology for HR
- Trump Names New Head of Economic Council for Cybersecurity, Technology — via Dark Reading
- Ransomware for Dummies: Anyone Can Do It — via Krebs on Security
- ABA to offer cyber liability insurance — via ABA Journal Daily News
- Small Ways for Dads to Signal the Importance of Work-Life Balance — via Fathers, Work and Family
- There Are Differences In What the Generations Want From Work — via TLNT
- The Oscars Tragedy and You — via Jonathan HR Law
- PTO is Not Always a Week at the Beach — via Next Blog
- What You Can Do For Rare Disease Day — via Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas
- Navigating Political Talk at Work — via Harvard Business Review
- This is the kind of business owner that cartoons lampoon and employees hate — via Mike Haberman’s Omega HR Solutions
- Lying to the DOL is a Recipe for Disaster — via Kristen Brightmire’s Oklahoma Employer’s Law Blog
- Your Sub-Contractor Didn’t Pay Overtime to Its Employees–and Now They’re Suing You… — via The Emplawyerologist, Janette Levey Frisch
- What not to do in wage and hour investigations — via EmployerLINC
- Beware of the Million Dollar Unemployment Claim — via Who Is My Employee?
- Top 10 mistakes in FMLA policies — via HR Hero Line
- These Three Key FMLA and ADA Resources Will Help You Conquer the World — via Jeff Nowak’s FMLA Insights
- Sunday deliveries of FMLA paperwork: A recipe for disaster — via Employer Law Report
- Trump NLRB Shortlist Down to Three — via Bloomberg BNA
- NLRB Acting Chair Dissent Opinions Indicate A Shift Back to Pro-Employer Decisions — via Employment Law Worldview
- Labor Racket Weekly: Theft, Forgery, and Embezzlement, Oh My! — via LaborPains.org
- One of Our Employees Died at Work – Am I Going to Jail? — via Trade Secret / Noncompete Blog
- Beryllium Rule on Standby Until May 20 — via Joe’s HR and Benefits Blog
- All About OSHA — via OSHA Law Blog