A lead singer releasing a solo album could kill many bands, but that's not the case with Rhett Miller and the Old 97's. In fact, Miller says that his continuing solo career has helped the Old 97's stay together for 25 years.
They'll celebrate that accomplishment with two new releases on ATO this month -- Miller's eighth solo album, The Messenger, released Nov. 9, and the Old 97's' first Christmas release, Love the Holidays, out Friday (Nov. 16). They'll support the albums with a tour beginning Nov. 28 in Seattle with Miller doing double duty, opening solo and headlining with the band.
As if that wasn't enough on his plate, Miller also has his first book coming out, No More Poems! -- a collaboration with artist Dan Santat -- due March 5 from Little Brown Books For Young Readers. While on the road, Miller got feedback from his 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter on speakerphone or FaceTime. "The idea wasn't that I was trying to impress them," he says. "The idea was I was writing these poems for eventual publication and I needed their critique and I wanted them to be as harsh as possible and really let me have it and it was so fun."