Today marks the release of Old Crow Medicine Show’s new record, titled Carry Me Back. The boys who made old-time music cool are still on their game; in fact this may be their best record since OCMS. That release included their mega-hit Wagon Wheel, now the defacto singalong anthem in bars from Florida to Seattle.
With Wagon Wheel, they inspired a zillion twentysomething bands to pick up fiddles and banjos and wail their hearts out. Between them and Brother Where Art Thou, many Americans are now aware of what real acoustic Americana music is. They wouldn’t approve any other new tracks for streaming, other than Mississippi, but trust me, they all kick ass. Their recipe of original words layered on top of traditional American melodies has remained a proven formula for generations, from Woodie to Dylan. And besides, four of their members play banjo… what’s not to love?
Speaking of their lineup: they recently added multi-instrumentalist Chance McCoy to the band. Chance has been knocking around West Virginia oldtime bands for a few years now, including Old Sledge (see video). He may not be doing much of it yet, but he saws a mean fiddle and I hope we see more of that in OCMS. (And by the way, also check out Old Sledge’s banjo boy Ben Townsend. He’s another Mountaineer that we hope to hear a lot more of in the future.)
Once the hills of Virginia get under your skin, they ain’t goin nowhere. With a punk attitude and an Appalachian edge, OCMS carried me back home with Carry Me Back. Enjoy.
LISTEN: Mississippi Saturday Night