Rhett Miller battles the Lord for a woman’s affection in “Jesus Loves You,” a breakneck battle cry sung from the perspective of a peeved, horn-dog honky-tonker. Released earlier this year on the Old 97’s’ Graveyard Whistling LP, the song receives an acoustic makeover from Miller himself, who tackles it alone in this special performance.
Filmed in the Atlanta office of the music-based cruise line Sixthman, “Jesus Loves You” unfolds like a crash course in Miller’s onstage appeal, full of hair flips, howls and tongue-twisting internal rhyme. Absent are the electric guitars and train beats that fill the Graveyard Whistling original. Taking their place are Miller’s furiously strummed acoustic guitar and road-worn voice, still packing a punch after more than two decades of live shows.
“I have always liked feeling like an underdog,” Miller told Rolling Stone Country in February, days before the new album’s release. In the live performance of “Jesus Loves You,” he struggles against God himself, hoping that sweet words and free beer will convince his girlfriend to give up her faith-based morals and, instead, commit some carnal sins.
Here’s Old 97’s’ upcoming tour dates:
July 6 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
July 7 – Somserset, KY @ Master Musicians Festival
July 8 – Peoria, IL @ Peoria Riverfront
August 4 – Midland, TX @ Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
August 5 – Durango, CO @ Animas City Theatre
August 6 – Huntsville, UT @ Blues Brews and BBQ at Snowbasin
August 7 – Aspen, CO @ Belly Up Aspen
August 8 – Aspen, CO @ Belly Up Aspen
August 9 – Livingston, MT @ Pine Creek Lodge
August 10 – Challis, ID @ Braun Brothers Reunion
August 11 – Salt Lake City @ Urban Lounge
August 13 – Denver @ Velorama Festival
September 14 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
September 15 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
September 16 – Dallas @ The Bomb Factory
September 29 – Columbia, MO @ Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival
October 1 – Long Beach, CA @ Music Tastes Good Festival