Don't be surprised to see Tommy Stinson out and about next week. Fresh from his Replacements reunion shows, Stinson will be in town to add his guitar to the Old '97s album, currently being recorded at Jack Rock's Treefort studio off City Park Road. The band's usual producer Salim Nourallah is at the vintage console. Stinson is a neighbor of Old '97's singer Rhett Miller in the suddenly hip artist haven of Hudson Valley, New York. "He played with us one night in May in Dallas and we had a ton of fun," said '97's guitarist Ken Bethea. "And it sounded great. " Bethea said a theme of the album is the question: Have we wasted our lives for rock n' roll? "Lyrically, I think it's the best place Rhett has been in years." How's this for an album opener?: "They still let me do it as weird as it seems/ and I do it most nights then again in my dreams/ Infinite hallways and giant hotels/ dressing room looks 'bout as good as it smells."
Old '97s will wrap up 2013 with a pair of shows at Antone's December 27 and 28. This Friday they'll be playing a loose affair at the Hole In the Wall called the Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta.