Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Old Crow Medicine Show

As I was getting ready to write this post, I decided to see what I had written about Old Crow Medicine Show in earlier posts. And you know what? Holy crap. I've been writing this rag for over a year and completely failed to write about my favorite bluegrass band. What an oversight.

Well, for anyone unfamiliar with Old Crow Medicine Show, they are a sextet out of Nashville playing a brand of old-time bluegrass. But they aren't a bunch of old guys. They're a bunch of young guys with a rock n' roll spirit. Sometimes they pick you a beautiful melody about Southern life while other times they'll get their fingers blazing and rip out a tune about cocaine addiction.

I became familiar with them when Nico, who writes Roll Bama Roll, introduced me to their 2004 album O.C.M.S. and its anti-war tune "Big Time In the Jungle". I had never spent much time listening to bluegrass before but I fell in love with the album. Bluegrass had always felt old and distant to me and my Northeastern upbringing. However, O.C.M.S. felt youthful and more contemporary with its songs about politics, drug use and road trips. It even featured an unreleased Bob Dylan tune in "Wagon Wheel".

Well, last month, they released another album. Big Iron World picked up right where O.C.M.S. left off with beautiful melodies delivering more tales of politics, love and drugs. The only difference I've found is that Big Iron World feels a bit more folkier at times but when those songs are as beautiful as "James River Blues", I don't care what genre they fall into.

Unfortunately, the closest their current tour takes them to VT is the Somerville Theater in Boston on Sep 28th. I had a ticket to go see them last year when they played Northampton, MA but I stuck working late and missed the show. Hopefully, I'll catch them one of these days.

From O.C.M.S.
Old Crow Medicine Show | Big Time In the Jungle | Buy
Old Crow Medicine Show | Wagon Wheel | Buy

From Big Iron World
Old Crow Medicine Show | James River Blues | Buy
Old Crow Medicine Show | My Good Gal | Buy

Wagon Wheel
Tell It To Me
Down Home Girl


F.Truffaut dec'd said...

I hope this doesn't cause an instant evaporation of your street cred, Flatlander, but OCMS was on A Prairie Home Companion this weekend - see link below :-

Flatlander said...

I think they are frequent guests on that show. I had actually meant to mention that in my post but forgot about it. Thanks for the tip-in.

Where were you last Tuesday?

Rob Chipman said...

I saw them last week at the Commodore in Vancouver. Excellent show. Banjo, guitar, upright bass, fiddle/harp & gutjo - who'd believe there'd be crowd surfing? Great band. Plus, when they introduced the band they used fake names like Craig McTavish and Tim Horton ;-)

Flatlander said...

I have a concert album from them where they do that fake name thing too. For that show, they all took the name of obscure baseball players from the 70's & 80's.

Anonymous said...

saw old crow at the 9:30 club in d.c. on 10/4. fabulous show, getting better, more professional, now have a tour bus. ketch is killer on fiddle.