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Country - Released October 4, 2019 | Columbia Records via The Orchard

Clocking in at a lean 42 minutes, Live at the Ryman finds Old Crow Medicine Show playing to the storied Nashville venue, which will forever be known as the home of the Grand Ole Opry. Old Crow is keenly aware of this fact, sneaking a Minnie Pearl "How-Dee!" into their introductory montage, then tearing into a full-blooded, loose-limbed version of "Tell It to Me" that gets the album off to a rowdy start. From there, the band bounces between old favorites from their catalog and standards, playing at a fast clip, opening their stage to a number of guests and finding space for testifying and country corn from Ketch Secor. The blend of schtick and sincerity is firmly rooted in the Ryman's past, and it also makes of a hell of a party. If Secor sometimes succumbs to the temptation to ham it up, he does it with an audible grin, plus he finds an unflappable foil in Margo Price, who plays Loretta Lynn to Ketch's Conway Twitty on "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man." Molly Tuttle comes on-stage to sing on a raucous, open-hearted version of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," but the testament to how good this record is lies within "Wagon Wheel." A song that has become a modern standard thanks to the Darius Rucker cover version, "Wagon Wheel" should sound tired, but Old Crow Medicine Show is clearly happy to play the tune out for six minutes, sweeping up the audience in a singalong that makes the joy connecting the band and the audience palpable and infectious. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released February 10, 2017 | Nettwerk Records

Arriving in 2017, five years after Old Crow Medicine Show made the leap over to ATO Records, Best of Old Crow Medicine Show rounds up highlights from the three albums the group recorded for Nettwerk -- 2004's O.C.M.S., 2006's Big Iron World, and 2008's Tennessee Pusher -- and adds two unreleased songs, "Black-Haired Quebecoise" and "Heart Up in the Sky." This means Best of Old Crow Medicine Show contains "Wagon Wheel," the group's best-known song thanks to a smash cover by Darius Rucker in 2013, but the rest of the album shows that the group is hardly a one-trick wonder. Although the group has grown more accomplished over the years, these records snap. The earliest cuts can seem a little affected in their old-timey style -- "Tell It to Me," the cover of "Down Home Girl," a New Orleans R&B side everybody knows as a Rolling Stones song -- but they soon start sounding loose and muscular with "Alabama High Test," and by the end of the compilation, it's clear that they've established their own distinctive roots style. As introductions go, this one is hard to beat. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released February 10, 2004 | Nettwerk Records

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Country - Released April 20, 2018 | Old Crow Medicine Show - Columbia Nashville

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Old Crow Medicine Show signed to Columbia in 2017 and immediately delivered a raucous full-length tribute to Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde to the label. It was an appropriate way to begin the relationship -- Old Crow had their breakthrough when they completed Dylan's half-written "Wagon Wheel" in 2004, so this felt like a debt being paid -- but it also was a low-key way to move to a major label. In contrast, Volunteer, released nearly a year to the day after 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde, is a splashy beginning to a new phase in the band's career. Teaming with producer Dave Cobb, the hottest producer in Nashville in 2018, Old Crow Medicine Show broaden their sonic palette without abandoning their devotion to old-timey string music. Cobb doesn't push Old Crow in any uncomfortable directions -- the twanging electric guitar that underpins "Dixie Avenue" amounts to nothing much more than a splash of color -- but he is able to harness the energy of their live show, which is no small accomplishment. That much is clear from "Flicker & Shine," a steamroller of a tune that sets the tone for Volunteer: it's vivid and immediate, benefiting from the group's years on the road. Travel is an undercurrent throughout Volunteer -- there are plenty of songs about touring and returning home after weeks away -- which plays into how the album feels like it's in constant motion as it swings from high-octane fiddle tunes to plaintive ballads. Nothing here is particularly outside the wheelhouse of Old Crow Medicine Show, but the songs are finely etched and the performances vivid, elements that separate Volunteer from its predecessors. Here, Old Crow Medicine Show feel focused and fully realized, as if they're just hitting their stride after two decades in the business. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released September 23, 2008 | Nettwerk Records

Calling Old Crow Medicine Show a bluegrass band is really a bit of a stretch, since they actually sound more like a prewar jug and string band filtered through Uncle Tupelo than they do, say, Bill Monroe, and the group's attitude and themes are all rock & roll, which gives the band, when it's at its best, a wonderfully fresh vitality with a little bit of wounded cowboy angel pathos tossed in for good measure. Old Crow Medicine Show's previous two albums for Nettwerk Records, 2004's Old Crow Medicine Show and 2006's Big Iron World, were both produced by Gillian Welch's creative partner, David Rawlings, who had an instinctive feel for the group's ragged glory take on what a string band whose members listen to Nirvana could sound like in the 21st century. For Old Crow Medicine Show's third Nettwerk album, Tennessee Pusher, they've elected to go with producer Don Was, who, although he follows the same basic sound template as Rawlings, manages to take the edgy energy of the band down a slight notch, which isn't a good thing at all. Not that Tennessee Pusher is a huge fall off from Big Iron World, it's just not a great leap forward and upward, although there are plenty of striking tracks, including the perfectly voiced "Methamphetamine" (co-written by Rawlings and the band's lead singer, Ketcham Secor); the haunting and eerie "Motel in Memphis"; and the bright, radio-ready first single, "Caroline." The one cover here, an effective version of Blind Alfred Reed's "Lift Him Up," is also well worth noting. The drop in energy from Big Iron World is so slight that most fans of the group either won't care or won't notice, but one can't help but wonder what this set of songs (and there are some really good ones here) would have sounded like with Rawlings producing. Old Crow Medicine Show have the musicianship, songwriting chops, and creative vision and attitude to be something really special, and truthfully, they already are, as long as they don't paint themselves into a corner. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released August 29, 2006 | Nettwerk Records

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Country - Released April 28, 2017 | Old Crow Medicine Show - Columbia Nashville

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Old Crow Medicine Show performed a pair of Blonde on Blonde concerts at the Country Music Hall of Fame's theater in May of 2016, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan's double album. Nearly a year later, 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde arrived as their first release on Columbia Records. Containing cherry-picked highlights from the two concerts, 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde finds the Americana group running through the entirety of Dylan's masterwork, and what makes the performance work is that they play with gusto and verve, not respectful reverence. Certainly, the group knows the album backwards and forwards, but that familiarity also means that they're free to turn some songs inside out. "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" is performed as a ballad, "Obviously 5 Believers" turns the blues song into bluegrass and they treat "Pledging My Time" in similar fashion, plus they give "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" a strong backbeat. Even when sticking largely to the original arrangements, the group performs with a giddiness that gives the music a fresh kick, and that energy is what makes this record something a little bit more than a run-of-the-mill tribute. Old Crow Medicine Show perform Dylan's songs as if they belonged to the band and, in a sense, that might be true: any album that survives 50 years belongs to the world at large, and what's fun about 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde is hearing how Old Crow Medicine Show hear an album you know by heart. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2012 | ATO RECORDS

Old Crow Medicine Show sound like a prewar string band filtered through Uncle Tupelo via Nirvana, and if they aren't bluegrass by any stretch of the imagination, they are every bit as energetic as a breakneck bluegrass combo. They also write most of their material, so while the group's songs sound old and traditional, they are more facsimiles than anything else, with an attention to narrative and lyrical detail that the old string band tunes, which were often made up of lightly linked floating verses drawn from old country blues and fiddle reels, seldom had. It isn't easy straddling two different centuries with one's sound and style, but Old Crow Medicine Show pull it off once again on their fourth studio album, the Ted Hutt-produced Carry Me Back, a ragged, breakneck romp that crackles with more energy than a thrash band on Red Bull. The old string bands were dance ensembles, but it's difficult to imagine dancers keeping up very long to tracks like "Carry Me Back to Virginia," "Mississippi Saturday Night," and "Sewanee Mountain Catfight," all of which are unhinged speed shuffles that roar by faster than a NASCAR race. "We Don't Grow Tobacco," which flies on its own fast rails, is a well-written saga that starts off detailing the woes of working in the tobacco fields and ends bemoaning the loss of jobs in those same fields in the 21st century, while "Ain't It Enough" is a beautiful, poetic, and melodic love song, so Old Crow Medicine Show aren't just about rapid-fire speed shuffles. Thought and care are in these songs, and they all fall together in a nice flow. This isn't a one-trick pony band, and so far at least, Old Crow Medicine Show haven't painted themselves into a creative corner, managing somehow to sound both old and refreshingly new at once. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Country - Released July 1, 2014 | ATO Records (AT0)

Old Crow Medicine Show, Virginia's modern string band, has come a long way since 2006's self-titled debut album and breakout track "Wagon Wheel." Originally an unfinished Bob Dylan demo from the Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid sessions, it was completed by Ketcham Secor and has become a 21st century Americana standard. Produced by Ted Hutt, Remedy is the band's fifth album and most polished recording -- but that doesn't mean slick. The organic instrumentation that felt lacking on 2012's Carry Me Back returns here, with tighter arrangements, closer harmonies, and better dynamics. That thumping upright bass is mixed right up front with banjos, fiddles, and mandolins. Dylan sent them another demo -- from the same sessions that produced "Wagon Wheel" -- but "Sweet Amarillo" is a more formal co-write. Secor sent his finished version back to Dylan, who made further changes before it was recorded. This song is where Virginia mountain music meets Texas hill country-dancehall waltz. It's driven by an accordion with fiddles, bass, and snare upfront, as the banjo and guitars support the rhythm; it feels like something from the Basement Tapes. The rolling, rocking hillbilly blues in the humorous opener, "Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer," swaggers like something from the first half of Bringing It All Back Home with a dobro played in Josh Graves' or Ferrell Stowe's old-school style. The ragtime blues "Doc's Day" is a tribute to Doc Watson, translated through the inspiration of the Memphis Jug Band. "Cumberland River" is a stomping fiddle tune that weds reel to bluegrass to folk blues shuffle in a midtempo stomper. Bluegrass gets its own turn in "8 Dogs 8 Banjos" and "Tennessee Bound," the former, with its charging rhythm and banjo, reworks the sound of Flatt & Scruggs, while the latter, with its locked-on harmonies, careening fiddles, and mandolins is inspired by the Delmore Brothers. Yet OCMS put their own distinct, modern spin on both. This isn't your grandpa's bluegrass. The minor-key "Shit Creek," with its banjo breakdowns, is as adrenaline-drenched as the Bad Livers. "Brave Boys" is hardcore mountain music done with punk rock energy. "Sweet Home" fuses gospel to swing and old-timey fiddle music with layered vocal harmonies, amid banjo, bass, and fiddles in interplay. Remedy is not as raw or rough as earlier dates; that's to be expected and is welcome. This band has not only learned to play more confidently as a unit, they can now musically stretch to embrace even more early styles and weave them into their sound. Ambitious in its reach, Remedy keeps close to the ground in in its inspiration and execution. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Country - Released April 28, 2017 | Old Crow Medicine Show - Columbia Nashville

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Folk/Americana - Released November 16, 2004 | Nettwerk Records

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. © Thom Jurek /TiVo

Country - Released June 25, 2013 | ATO Records

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Though Old Crow Medicine Show are seemingly ever present on the recording scene, they have released only four studio albums in their eight-year career, in addition to a couple of live offerings. They have often filled the gap with singles and EPs, and this entry is no exception. Carry Me Back to Virginia (not to be confused with the album of the same name) contains three tracks. There is the stomping title track arranged as a sprinting bluegrass-cum-fiddle tune. It's a dance number that almost no group of floor denizens could keep up with, and has more in common with the attack of the Pogues than it does Bill Monroe. Second up is an alternate version of "Ain't It Enough" from the same album. It's five seconds longer than the original, and driven more by its pronounced bassline than by guitars and banjos, though they still figure prominently. It's louder, less sweet, and more effective than the album cut. The last track amounts to an addition to the band's catalog, even if it is a cover: "Dixieland Delight" first appeared on the excellent High Cotton: A Tribute to Alabama, released earlier in 2013 on the independent Lightning Rod Records. This is as close as Old Crow Medicine Show gets to straight country, led by banjo, strummed acoustic guitars, and a whining dobro. While the vocal harmonies aren't as rich as Alabama's, they don't need to be; this is far less polished, more direct than the original (which doesn't mean the same thing as being superior to it), and is as heartfelt an homage to a great song as one is likely to hear. It does contain a nice twist in its speedy rush to the close, turning a back porch country love song into a barnstormer. This EP is obviously aimed at the group's hardcore following, and getting the cover track to those who might not otherwise make that purchase. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released July 25, 2006 | Nettwerk Records

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Folk/Americana - Released September 28, 2010 | Nettwerk Records

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Country - Released February 17, 2015 | ATO Records (AT0)

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Country - Released December 20, 2019 | Columbia Records via The Orchard

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Country - Released September 6, 2019 | Columbia Records via The Orchard

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Country - Released September 20, 2019 | Columbia Records via The Orchard

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Country - Released August 30, 2019 | Columbia Records via The Orchard