Old Crow Medicine Show, Tell It To Me
I don’t know what it is with this rootsy-bluegrass. I just don’t know how it does it. I can’t pinpoint the thing that makes me wants to rip a few shots of Alabama whisky from a jug marked “XXX” and strum a banjo until my fingers bleed, but I’ll tell you one thing. I like it. I like it a lot.
Now I’m not saying that I’ve seen a lot of bands play live, but I’ve seen many bands play live. Have you ever heard a song that makes you physically unable to stop your body from dancing; a song that makes you tap your feet and legs and sway your arms in a way that you’ve never done before? You’ve probably never seen Old Crow live. A few months back, I temporarily abandoned my Yankee roots and took a drive south of the Mason-Dixon line to a little beachfront town called Myrtle Beach. The girlfriend and I went to see Old Crow at The House of Blues. Now I don’t think I had too many PBR tall boys or four dollar Jim and Cokes, but when Old Crow opened their set, I felt drunk. They had more energy and stage presence than I’ve ever seen from a live performance. Ketch Secor wailed away on his cross-harp and the stand-up bass thumped and echoed inside the old, tin building. No one stopped dancing. And it wasn’t ironic, “look at me dancing to bluegrass” dancing, it was real, true dancing to real, true music. Okay, that’s enough gushing.
I’m not sure what has lead to this new folk revival. I hear artists like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers on the mainstream radio and I get excited that people are enjoying this type of music. But I don’t get too excited, because the only traces of Old Crow I hear on any radio station is a “real hot country sounding” version of “Wagon Wheel” sung by Hooty himself, Darius Rucker, in a deep, strong, nashville croon. But I don’t think Dylan would have many nice things to say of his famous chorus sung this way. Give it some grit. Get that thing dirty. I know you’re trying Darius, but step aside. Let Old Crow play it.