I just got back from an Old 97's show. I've listened to this band's recorded music for three or four years now, and finally got to see them live. It was worth the wait.
The Old 97's are cowboy rock. The closest well-known band I could compare them to is the Rolling Stones on their country-most songs, like Sweet Virginia and Dead Flowers.
The show was at the Independent on Divisadero Street, pretty much San Francisco's smallest music venue that's bigger than pub-size. Catch this band now, while they are still playing venues this small. They have been playing for more than 10 years, but they are going to get some big exposure in a Hollywood film next summer.
Check out some Old 97's tunes online. Try Barrier Reef, Victoria, and West Texas Teardrops for a start. Then go buy the albums. And if they come to your town, see them live.