in this week's paper, Roy Kasten chatted with Murry Hammond of the Old 97's, who will be at Off Broadway tonight in support of his new solo album, I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm On My Way. Roy's entire interview is here -- and he says Way "sounds nothing like the supercharged honky-tonk and rockabilly he brought to the Texas band. It's a spare, eerie gospel record with a heavy railroad jones, played on acoustic guitar and harmonium, with some spectral yodeling and songs that cross the traditional and personal with an eloquent and tender touch."
Judge for yourself with some MP3s -- and discussion about how Hammond honed his yodeling skills -- below.MP3: Murry Hammond, "What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?" MP3: Murry Hammond, "Lost at Sea"
Roy Kasten: How did you develop your yodeling chops? Murry Hammond: In the car, where everybody else learns it! I was fortunate enough to fall in love with Jimmie Rodgers, and right after that Don Walser, from Austin, and the Sons of the Pioneers. It’s not hokey. It can be fun, but it’s more of an atmosphere thing. Jimmie Rodgers almost had that throat singing thing, where the harmonics are so prominent, in his train whistle especially. It’s a two-chime whistle. That’s not easy to do. Monks do that. I’d love to be able to do that, just as a party trick.
Assess Hammond's skills yourself tonight at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.