New Album “The Traveler” Out Now

Pick up THE TRAVELER now: Official Store | iTunes | Amazon

Although The Traveler was written and performed by Miller, he also had some help, most notably by the members of Black Prairie, a band based in Portland that plays everything from bluegrass to klezmer to country and shares members with the Decemberists. The band (Black Prairie) entered the studio with the singer (Rhett Miller) and briskly recorded the songs that make up this album (The Traveler). Additional guitar work as also added by Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of REM.

“I fell in love with the band Black Prairie during a tour we did together a couple of years ago,” said Miller. “Since then, I have been looking for an excuse to get into a studio with them. When the 97’s finished our most recent album, Most Messed Up, and I looked at the stack of songs I had left over, I realized they would be perfect for a collaboration with Black Prairie.”

Tour Dates
5/21 – Wilmington, DE – World Café Live
6/11 – Fort Worth, TX – Shipping and Receiving Bar
6/12 – Austin, TX – Strange Brew
6/13 – Houston, TX – Mucky Duck
6/15 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
6/16 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
6/18 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
6/19 – Los Angeles, CA – Hotel Café
6/20 – San Diego, CA – The Casbah
6/21 – Hermosa Beach, CA – Sainte Rock
6/24 – New York, NY – City Winery

# = with Jay Farrar

97’s record and Wheels Off update – Ed Helms! Maria Bamford!

Howdy folks,

I hope this finds you all well.
I’m checking in on a rare day off.
The 97’s just wrapped the basic tracking for our new record. The rough mixes sound insanely terrific.
This is guaranteed to be our most rockin’ record ever.
Spoiler alert…
Lots of adult themes. And cursing!

On Monday the 28th of October, my next installment of Wheels Off will take place at Largo in Hollywood.
My comedy guests will be the great Maria Bamford and the fantastic Ed Helms!
I wish I could tell you the name of my musical guest. But the secret of her identity will be revealed during the show.
Trust me, though, when I tell you that she is pretty rad.

I’ve been working out the kinks on this variety show concept and have come to the conclusion that simpler is better.
Moving forward, Wheels Off will be more like a standard Rhett Miller solo acoustic show, during which I’ll bring two or three guests out for a few minutes each, often joining them after their short performance for a little collaboration.
The guests will spice up what is otherwise a straight up gig.

Check out the tour dates also, as the Old 97’s have a bunch of shows coming in November.
Can’t wait to see all of y’all.


Rhett Joins Paul F. Tompkins for Ep. 36 of Wits in St. Paul 10/25

Rhett will be performing as a part of the Wits radio program on Friday October 25, 2013 in St. Paul, MN. Wits is a radio program presented by Minnesota Public Radio and features comedy, conversation, songs and surprises with host John Moe.

Tickets are on sale now to Wits Social Club members. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tue 9/17 @

More info on the show and tickets can be found here:

Rhett last appeared on the program in 2012 as a part of Episode 18 with comedian/actor Tim Meadows. You can stream that episode here:

RHETT IN MADISON, WI 9/17 – Joey’s Song 2013 Benefit Concert

ATTN: MADISON, WI! Rhett will be performing as a part of the Joey’s Song 2013 Benefit Concert. Also appearing will be Miles Nielsen and Wynn Taylor. Show is September 19, 2013 doors @ 6:30 and Music starts @ 7p at the High Noon Saloon in Madison. Tickets are $20 and available here:

Rhett Talks About The Dreamer (Acoustic Version)

The Dreamer – (Acoustic Version)


This collection of recordings represents an alternate reality. Before I took to Dreamland Studios in New York’s Hudson Valley with my band, The Serial Lady Killers, I recorded demos for the band to use as study aids. The songs were new, small and often sad.

I hope you enjoy these stripped down versions of my songs.

I’m sure I’ll be coming to a town near you soon. And unless I’m rocking it Old 97’s style, I will sound a lot like I do on these recordings.

See you there, y’all!



“Lost Without You”
When Ben Kweller and I wrote this song, it was a lot darker, lyrically, than the version that ultimately appears on The Dreamer. I had a problem with singing “guess I wasn’t worth bein’ found” every night. It seemed so defeatist and hopeless. This early demo captures the sadness that I squeezed out of that final version.

“Long Long Long”
This song changed very little, but this solo acoustic version seems a lot sadder to me.

“Out Of Love”
This early arrangement finds me playing the outro chord progression (complete with the diminished chord!) between each verse. And the fingerpicked finale sounds like “Dust In The Wind.”

I wrote this song on the eve of the recording session, so there exists no proper demo outside of this iPhone recording that I made the in the dressing room at Seattle’s Triple Door. I like the intimacy of these lo-fi phone recordings so much that I sometimes fantasize about releasing an album of them. Oh, listen for the flub halfway through the solo two minutes in.

“This Summer Lie”
When I recorded this early version, the song was still called “This Summer Life.” Then I played it for my friend Chris Lehmann, a brilliant writer and big music fan, and he said, “I love the lyric “this summer lie.'” I didn’t mention that he had just improved my song immeasurably. I was afraid he’d ask for publishing royalties. Too late now, Chris!

“I’ll Try To”
I co-wrote this with the great Jude Cole. And we recorded a beautiful full-band demo of the song that day. But I wanted my band, The Serial Lady Killers, to hear it without a full arrangement already worked out. So I recorded this quiet little thing. Again, so sad.

“Marina” was another last-minute addition to the pile of songs for The Dreamer. And, again, there is no proper demo. The recording included here is from a bootleg of a show I did at Swedish American Music Hall in San Francisco the day I wrote the song. I also included the banter leading up to it because who doesn’t want to listen to me talk? Thanks to Kirk Nelson for the recording.

“Swimmin’ In Sunshine”
On The Dreamer, this song gets the largest boost from production, boasting a huge middle and outro section that features stacked vocals and cool percussion. Here, you can hear it in all its simple glory.

“As Close As I Came To Bein’ Right”
Rosanne Cash and I wrote this song by trading emails and mp3’s. When we connected to record a demo of it, it still wasn’t quite finished. So I recorded this to show the final arrangement to the band. Obviously, the whole duet element is lost. Unless you count my multiple personalty disorder.

“Love Grows”
I wrote this while sitting on my brother’s lake house’s porch at Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas. I was trying to write a song that a person might be able to sing around a campfire or in a church. Needless to say, that isn’t my normal M.O.
This version captures that simple feel I was going for.

“Picture This”
This is a co-write with the great young band Spring Standards. It involves a guitar riff. Which is not my forté. But this recording certainly showcases my attempts to play it. Also, I always get a little choked up when I sing the line, “I’m tired but I’m not too tired for you.”

“Complicated Man”
This 3/4 time song is a weird one. Sounds like a guy singing in the circus band. But he’s complaining about his own shortcomings. The band nailed it on the record.

“Sweet Dreams”
The 1950’s called and they want their chord progression back. This song exemplifies what I was going for on The Dreamer. Simple and emotionally true.