Old Crow Medicine Show
ABC, Glasgow, Thu 27 Sep
Like the American travelling bands from whom they take their name, Old Crow Medicine Show’s musical education came on street corners and county fairs. They came together in 1998 in upstate New York, bought themselves a rusty, beat-up old van and roamed 10,000 miles across America and Canada to play bluegrass songs and jug band tunes outside 7-11s to drunks and passers-by.
As destiny would have it – and fate was always likely to intervene on a back story like that – they were spotted performing outside a pharmacy in North Carolina by bluegrass doyen Doc Watson, who invited them to play at MerleFest. It was only a matter of time before they blipped on the Nashville radar culminating in a break-through slot at the Grand Ole Opry. They are regulars on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion.
The harmonies of Ketch Secor, Willie Watson and Chris ‘Critter’ Fuqua underpins impeccable musicianship driven by a punk aesthetic applied to old time Appalachian folk, Memphis blues and some great original country rock numbers The Band would have been proud of.
It has done the band no harm at all to strike up a friendship with country darlings Gillian Welch and David Rawlings – who produced both their albums OCMS and last year’s Big Iron World – but almost playing this pair off the stage, as they did a few years back at the Barrowlands, is no mean feat. They are one of the most rewarding experiences in live music.
See Readers Competitions, page 69 of the magazine to win tickets and CDs.