The old 97's are best described as an alt-country band. But don't let that descriminate you from listening to them. The sharp and annoying twang of common alt-country is pretty absent from their style. I would mostly relate them in their own words "The idea was to sort of have a Lyle Lovett/Chris Isaak/Elvis Costello sort of sound." (taken from www.old97s.com).
They are an amazing live show, very energetic and crowd oriented. I saw them in a theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee and had a great time.
They have mp3s availble from the website (http://www.old97s.com/).
Ken Bethea - Lead Guitar
Murry Hammond - Vocals/Bass
Rhett Miller - Guitar/Vocals
Philip Peeples - Drums
Hitchhike to Rhome (1994)
Wreck Your Life (1995)
Too Far to Care (1997)
Fight Songs (1999)
Satellite Rides (2001)
"We eventually signed with Elektra Records because they had X, the Pixies, Luna, and The Cars in their catalog and they took us onto Dodger Stadium before a game and we got to meet Mike Piazza and Eric Karros.
"We went into the studio and finally got a chance to make the huge ball of energy we had always wanted to make. It was called Too Far To Care and we thought we were going to shatter the brains of the rock world with it. We were wrong, but we did manage to get the attention of about 30,000 fans which is a hell of a long way from 20 or 30.
"By this time we joined a national scene that was being called Alt Country or Insurgent Country. Again, like our little scene we had in Dallas a few years earlier, none of the good bands sounded like typical country music but all of the good ones were original and creative."