Old 97’s Preview New Album With ‘Where The Road Goes’ Single Featuring R.E.M.’s Peter Buck

Watch the official music video for the lead single from American Primitive.

By Nate Todd Feb 21, 2024 11:05 am PST

Texas legends Old 97’s continue their 30th anniversary celebration with a new album, American Primitive, due out on April 5 via ATO Records. The alt-country pioneers previewed the record with lead single, “Where The Road Goes,” featuring R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck.

The band lifted the title for American Primitive from Stephen King’s 2008 novel, Duma Key. The legendary writer took to X (formerly Twitter) to tout the album ahead of its announcement. The artwork was created by bassist Murry Hammond’s 17-year-old son, Tex Hammond, who at age 14 was the youngest artist to exhibit at the prestigious LA Art Show.


Old 97’s — frontman/guitarist Rhett Miller, Hammond, guitarist Ken Bethea and drummer Philip Peeples — cut American Primitive at Flora Studio in Portland, Oregon. Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, Neko Case) produced the new LP.

“This was the first record we’ve ever done with zero pre-production,” Miller stated. “It’s us working completely on instinct, leaning on 30 years of playing together to come up with something on the fly rather than overthinking any of our choices.”

Additionally, Miller spoke about the longevity of Old 97’s as they celebrate 30 years together:

“Over the last year of touring in celebration of our 30th anniversary, it’s been impossible not to feel some emotion welling up at the idea that my bandmates and I have been in this close brotherhood for so long. I think a lot of that longevity has to do with the fact that we’re really the same band we were back then. We’ve experimented with pushing in different directions, and we’ve had experiences outside the band where we’ve learned new things, but the way we approach this music has fundamentally remained the same. Our heart is still in the exact same place.”

Miller was also candid when detailing lead single, “Where The Road Goes.”

“I was in Montana and found myself on the banks of the Blackfoot River, watching the water pounding with a ferocious power, and I started building this song as a statement of gratitude for having survived this long,” Rhett said. “It revisits some of the darkest moments of my life, including a suicide attempt at age 14 that by all rights I shouldn’t have lived through and yet somehow did. In a way it’s like a spiritual travelogue that rolls back through all the places that shaped me for better or worse, and ends up in this beautiful place that I felt so thankful to experience.”

Watch the official music video for “Where The Road Goes” featruing Peter Buck below created by James Hyland, Alex Young and Myles Flusser:

Old 97’s kick off a spring tour on April 3 in Santa Fe. Check out their 2024 itinerary with ticket info below:

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American Primitive Tracklist:

  1. Falling Down
  2. Somebody
  3. American Primitive
  4. Where The Road Goes
  5. Honeypie
  6. By The End Of The Night
  7. Masterpiece
  8. Incantation
  9. Magic
  10. Western Stars
  11. Chased The Setting Sun
  12. This World
  13. Estuviera Cayendo
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