Sunday, August 19, 2018
Rhett Miller with Opener Michael McDermott
City Winery
Thu, Aug 16 8:00 pm


Rhett Miller: Texas native Rhett Miller is perhaps best known as the frontman of the Dallas-based alt-country band Old 97's, although he also pursued a critically acclaimed solo career during the 2000s. Formed in 1993, the Old 97's built a devoted following with their blend of country and power pop influences, which won the group a brief stay on the roster of Elektra Records. All four members also pursued side projects, but Miller's solo career captured the most attention, with the literate songwriter training his eye on such subjects as fatherhood, sex, and love. Mythologies Technically speaking, Miller launched his own career before the Old 97's even formed. He recorded his first solo album, a series of acoustic folk songs entitled Mythologies, in 1989. Future Old 97's bassist (and solid songwriter in his own right) Murry Hammond produced the album, and the partnership later blossomed into a full-fledged band. While releasing a string of well-received albums with the Old 97's, Miller and Hammond also performed together as the Ranchero Brothers, a two-man acoustic duo that was originally launched as a means of testing new music for the Old 97's in front of a live audience. The Ranchero Brothers developed their own distinct following, although no albums resulted from the project.-by Laurel Greenidge Michael McDermott: For nearly 20 years, singer-songwriter Michael McDermott buried himself in drugs and alcohol, and he surveys the toll his addiction took on his personal and professional life with remarkable candor. “I burned a lot of bridges and screwed things up pretty bad,” he states. “I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that it was just short of suicide by cop. I knew I had to stop, but it took a while for me to get the message.” He credits his wife and their young daughter, Rain, for finally pulling him through. “Seeing the way they look at you when you’re messed up – after a while you go, ‘I just can’t do this anymore. Something has to change.’ I’m so grateful I turned things around. I know it sounds cheesy, but I’m grateful for every day now. I try to lead a good life, and I’m making up for lost time. I’ve re-dedicated myself to making music I can be proud of.” McDermott poured those emotions into his writing, and a bracing, hard-driving song, “Never Goin’ Down Again,” came roaring out. As he finished its lyrics, he realized that it was bigger than he first imagined: it had become a mission statement. Four years sober, McDermott has won a hard-fought battle with addiction, and when he defiantly sings, “I swear that I’m never goin’ down again,” he’s hitting back at his demons. “ As for me, no matter what the odds and how the ground shifts under me, nothing can stop me.”   

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Ascend Amphitheater
Sun, Aug 19 7:30 pm
The Woods at Fontanel
Sun, Aug 19 7:30 pm
Ryman Auditorium
Sun, Aug 19 7:30 pm
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