Being the music editor for an entire national site is difficult, because it means I’m focused on news, features, and songs that encompass the entire scope of the music world, and not just the corners of it that I personally favor the most. There’s subjectivity, sure, but there’s also an objective need to cover pressing stories, important albums, and features that speak to my audience.
Having said that, the Old 97s have long been one of my personal favorite bands, hanging out in the niche corner of alt-country obscurity. Seriously, have you guys heard “Question” ?? That might be the only song that makes marriage still seem appealing to me in 2017.
Anyway, my busyness caused me to somehow miss the fact that the Old 97s put out a new album last month. It’s called Graveyard Whistling and gets into far more existential territory than the earnest tenderness of “Question” — which is a judgement on neither. Both are good!
The band went on Conan this week to perform one of the album’s standout tracks, “Good With God,” and though the album version features Brandi Carlile handling the God monologue, for the TV performance Miller and co. were joined by Nashville’s own Caitlin Rose, who nailed the sweet hellfire and brimstone the part requires. Turns out, in this universe, God is a woman, and she’s not as forgiving as Miller’s narrator might have been counting on.
Watch it all above, and let’s hope this is a return to form for Rose as well as the Old 97s, as her 2013 album The Stand-In remains an under-the-radar country classic. Watch her join the band for the performance above, and stream The Stand-In below if you’ve never heard it.