The new solo album from Dallas native Rhett Miller, called The Messenger, has arrived. According to a release from Miller's label ATO Records, the record from the Old 97's singer-frontman comes out November 9.
Recorded earlier in 2018 over five days at The Isokon in Woodstock, New York with producer/musician Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker), The Messenger sees Miller playing what is described as possibly his most personal songs to date, with a "groovy limberness" that belies a reflective darkness within. That's deep.
Joining Miller on the album is Cohen, who pays guitar, piano, organ, and drum; Brian Betancourt on bass; and Ray Rizzo on drums.
The subject matter includes Miller's youthful experiences with suicide and depression on songs that are nonetheless surprisingly buoyant, such as "The Human Condition" and "Permanent Damage."
"You're getting this locked-in rhythm section with a crazy, psychedelic guitar maestro playing along with me singing my songs about depression and insecurity," Miller says.
There's also news re: the Old 97's first collection of original Christmas songs, Love the Holidays: It's available November 9 to be streamed in its entirety via the Bitter Southerner. Its official release date is November 16.
Miller's output does not stop there. He's also teamed with artist Dan Santat for No More Poems, a book of irreverent poems to be published March 5, 2019 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers. What can't this guy do?
The Old 97's Holiday Extravaganza tour, headlined by Old 97's and opened by a solo acoustic set from Miller, begins November 28 in Seattle and ends in Dallas on December 29 at the Statler Ballroom.