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I’ve been a fan of Old Crow Medicine Show since the early aughts but never saw them in concert until last Friday. Oh boy did I get my fix. The band performed about 20 songs for a sold-out crowd at Stubbs. Their music can range from being driven by fast-picking banjos to a dragging, drunken, swaying waltz. Old Crow Medicine Show’s style of country music is an authentic, low-produced (raw) twang that echoes the roots of the genre, as oppose to the current Top-40 country, which is sounding a bit more pop that country these days.
While some country songs might make the audience want to open a can of beer in order to get a bit more emerged into the scene, OCMS plays the kind of country music that makes you want to drink whiskey. Straight! And then slam the shot glass on a counter, spit on the ground, and ask the bartender for another round!
All seven members would play a variety of folk instruments that included acoustic guitars, banjos, fiddles, harmonicas, lap steel, dobro, drums, upright piano, and upright bass. Notice how most of those instruments were plural? That’s because “when you’re playing in Texas, you better have two fucking fiddles”, frontman Ketch Secor said after he and another band member finished a fiddle battle. Yes, OCMS is the kind of band that will extended solos so it’s members can duel out on similar instruments. Those moments were highlights of their performance, but the most memorable part of their entire sets happened during their encore. Margo Price (the opening act) and her band joined OCMS on stage and played “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35” by Bob Dylan. Not many bands can get 1,200 people to sing “everybody must get stoned!” repeatedly for three minutes.
Old Crow Medicine Show is current on tour in the US. You can find their scheduled dates here. More photos of OCMS’ high-entertaining show are below.
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