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World Cafe Old Crow Medicine Show - EP

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Album Review

Old Crow Medicine Show is an all-acoustic quintet from four states whose members met in New York City and moved to Nashville. Their storied beginnings include a North American cross-continent ramble while they learned their instruments and how to play together, eventually ending up playing on the street in front of the Grand Ole Opry before being asked to the stage some weeks later. Their self-titled debut album is equal parts Woody Guthrie's dust bowl weariness and Cisco Houston's rambling code of the road, Phil Ochs' view of a passing America, the Kingston Trio's wide-eyed enthusiastic earnestness, the New Christy Minstrels' sense of community, Doc and Merle Watson's home-grown blues as informed by Bill Monroe, Beat Generation lamentations, forlorn 1960s idealism, and the musical mindset that fueled America's original folk revival from the 1950s as it moved toward rockabilly. In other words, this record is informed by ghosts but executed in flesh, blood, sweat, and laughter. Whether the tunes are covers from antiquity ("CC Rider," "Poor Man," "Tell It to Me") or originals by fiddler and vocalist Ketch Secor and his songwriting and singing partner, Willie Watson ("Trials & Troubles," "Hard to Tell," "We're in This Together"), the feel is the same: passion, humor, and a relentless drive to get to the heart of a tune and put it across. There is so much enthusiasm, willingness and fire here, that it would be hard to do anything but want to sing along. Thoroughly enjoyable, wonderfully raw and sinewy, Old Crow Medicine Show may be evoking the sounds of the old string bands, but they do it with a crackling rock & roll energy.

Customer Reviews

They are great and...

OCMS is what you would call and old timey band, not bluegrass. Their sound is pre-1930s Bill Monroe bluegrass. Story has it, Doc Watson's daughter/granddaughter heard them playing on the sidewalk in Boone, NC in front of the good ole Boone Drug. She told them that her father/grandfather would like their sound and she brought him back to hear them pick. He liked them so much he invited them to Merle Fest in Wilksboro. The rest is history.

Quite simply amazing music.

A good buddy of mine introduced me to O.C.M.S. last year and I'm so glad he did. I bought O.C.M.S. and Big Iron World immediately. If you have those albums and have enjoyed them as much as I have, then buy this. I know you already have 3 of these songs in your library, but you must have these versions. They have a much more raw and unpolished feel to them that really lends itself to this type of music.

music lovers must own this

The only thing that could ever make Old Crow more exiting is when David Rawlings joins in on guitar. David Rawlings and Gillian Welch each take a turn singing lead and harmonize perfectly with the Crows on other tunes. This is an oustanding live recording. They were obviously having a great time when this was recorded and the music shines as a result.


Formed: 1998 in Harrisonburg, VA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Mountain music revivalists Old Crow Medicine Show spin traditional folk and bluegrass yarns with a rock & roll attitude. Critter Fuqua (vocals/banjo/resonator guitar), Kevin Hayes (guitjo), Morgan Jahnig (upright bass), Ketch Secor (vocals/fiddle/harmonica/banjo), and Willie Watson (vocals/guitar/banjo) may specialize in rags, hollers, and pre-World War II blues, but they were weaned on Nirvana and Public Enemy. The quintet's members -- who are all from different states -- met in New York, hit the...
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