Big Hassle Media
Old Crow Medicine Show
Carry Me Back
For nearly fifteen years, Old Crow Medicine Show have embodied all the tradition and hallmarks of American music. Since getting together in New York in the 90’s, the band has toured the world, sold over 700,000 albums, played hallowed stages like the Grand Ole Opry, inspired countless musicians to pick up a banjo and swap reverb and fuzz for horsehairs and harmonies and shaped a second Folk Revival for the new millennium.
OCMS is a band built on the road and by hand – in wayside bars, on cassette and on street corners, busking for change to keep it all going. Secor even taught himself to play the fiddle. “We knocked down a lot of doors and walked straight into places to find work,” says Secor of their early days. “When you go into a joint that never asked you to arrive and ask for a gig, it takes a kind of courage. You have to believe in yourself.” It wasn’t just that the band believed in themselves, but they believed in their music, and rightfully so: few artists can count a co-writing credit with Bob Dylan to their name as OCMS can for the classic gold-certified “Wagon Wheel.” Secor finished off the Dylan outtake when he was just a teenager, spinning it into a song that sounds at once purely Old Crow and as if it had existed all along.
Since their first cassette-only recording, Transmission, in 1998, through 2000’s Greetings from Wawa, 2001’s Eutaw, 2004’s major label debut O.C.M.S and 2006’s Big Iron World the band has explored tales of war-worn America, addiction, love and loss through songs both original and age-old. Their last LP, 2008’s Tennessee Pusher, was their first of all-new material, and now the band is set to release Carry Me Back, also containing songs written entirely by OCMS. Well, not entirely: Secor would probably say that they were co-written, perhaps, by the spirits of the legends that inspire them. “The songs of Carry Me Back were written, scratched, scribbled and thrown out the window long before they were ever bound. They are composite sketches of everybody’s telling of a story, the ‘who, what, where, when, and how,’” say Secor. “But the ‘who’ might come from Leadbelly and the ‘what’ probably comes from Carl Perkins, the ‘when’ is a 19th century minstrel song and the ‘how’ is Bob Dylan.”
Regardless of OCMS’s influences, one thing is clear: they are that “who, what, where, when, and how” for so many bands now gravitating to string and acoustic music. Take Mumford & Sons, who count the band as an inspiration and shared with them a journey on the Railroad Revival Tour along with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros; or Taylor Swift playing the guitjo, an instrument rarely seen in the mainstream other than under the command of Kevin Hayes’ able fingers; to bands ranging from the Head and the Heart, Fleet Foxes, the Avett Brothers and OCMS’s opening acts on their summer tour, The Lumineers and The Milk Carton Kids. Fuqua acknowledges the trend, but mostly appreciates American’s renewed love for acoustic music. “We’re just a continuum of artists that have been doing this for a long time,” he says. “It feels good to be an influence on these younger generations. And because I feel like a link in a chain.”
Secor is certain that regardless of trends, folksongs and string instruments will always work their way back into popular music – if not acting as its perpetual backbone. “Guitars and harmonies and singing is at the root of every good song on the radio today,” he says. “And we discovered that by accident, like a secret that we were let in on by some really great and cosmic force.”
OCMS, like any band built from the ground up and weathered on the road, has seen its share of challenges, most notably when they lost Fuqua to alcoholism for a number of years. Now recovered and back with the group, the players feel as though they have come full circle, been carried back, as their album title states. “Carried back to that essential self when we realize we are all related, back to the roots, back to the place where Critter and I got so turned on by music in the seventh grade,” says Secor. Adds Fuqua, “it really feels like a cosmic completion, me and Ketch playing together again. We’re brothers.”
Now the band (Ketch Secor, Critter Fuqua, Kevin Hayes, Morgan Jahnig, Gill Landry, Chance McCoy) will head back out on tour, moving from city to city with little but each other and their instruments, the manner in which they began. Sure, the crowds are bigger and the venues broader, but the mission is the same. The boys of OCMS still play each gig with the same endless energy that they did on the small stages of Virginia, with the same love for folk and old time music that they did twenty years prior. So much has changed in the world around them – bands are born on Twitter and the Internet, and value Facebook wall posts more than ramshackle, hand-printed concert posters hung around town. But Old Crow Medicine Show keep up the timeless journey of a rambling string band, making the only music they feel they were born to play up in those mountains. Says Secor, “I just think that a wobbling string is the truest form of anything there is.”
OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW SET TO RELEASE
CARRY ME BACK ON JULY 17, 2012 THROUGH ATO RECORDS
BAND ANNOUNCES US TOUR DATES
Old Crow Medicine Show (OCMS) are excited to announce the release of their newest album, Carry Me Back, on July 17 through ATO Records. Carry Me Back is the band’s fourth studio album and first since 2008′s Tennessee Pusher, and features 12 brand new tracks that sonically span the band’s career while still pushing them forward in new directions as musicians and songwriters. The album was recorded at the legendary Sound Emporium studios in Nashville (O Brother, Where Art Thou?; REM’s Document; Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s Raising Sand).
Carry Me Back was produced by Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly). Hutt pushed the band in a whole new way that they hadn’t been pushed before. “Ted Hutt asked us to really dig deep as artists, as songwriters, to get to the heart of the matter of these songs and, especially, not to settle for anything less than their greatness,” recalls Ketch Secor of the band. Secor is also very proud of the result of the band’s songwriting efforts on the album, saying “For me, Carry Me Back is all about the songs, how they line up, intertwine, switch partners, and promenade home. Each of these songs was an accident waiting to happen.”
OCMS (Ketch Secor, Critter Fuqua, Kevin Hayes, Morgan Jahnig, Gill Landry, and Chance McCoy) will be hitting the road to tour the US this Summer in support of Carry Me Back. The tour begins on July 19 in Indianapolis, IN (prior to this show the band is headlining the ROMP Festival), and includes stops at New York City’s Central Park and the beautiful Fox Theater in Atlanta, amongst others. With most of their time spent on the road, OCMS has made a name for themselves as energetic performers with an unbridled spirit. It’s a live show not to be missed. “The greatness of an old-time string band lies in its performance,” Secor says. “The way it percolates, rattling itself almost to the edge. When you’ve got a top-notch studio like Sound Emporium, and 12 strong tunes in the works, and the time and patience it takes to get it right–that’s when great performances can be captured.” For a full list of tour dates, please see below. The Lumineers and Milk Carton Kids will provide support on a number of dates.
OCMS is also a part of the tour documentary Big Easy Express, which screened recently at the Nashville Film Festival. The movie documents last year’s Railroad Revival Tour, which featured OCMS on tour with Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros on a tour across the US, where the three bands travelled together on vintage train cars, playing rambunctiously fun shows at stops along the way.
Old Crow Medicine show have a long history of success, including sales totaling over 700,000 albums, a RIAA Gold-certified song with “Wagon Wheel,” an appearance on Austin City Limits, three performances on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, and multiple appearances on A Prairie Home Companion, various NPR programs and the Grand Ole Opry.
Old Crow Medicine Show Tour Dates
June 30 – Owensboro, KY @ ROMP Festival
July 19 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
July 20 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
July 21 – Kansas City, MO @ The Crossroads
July 26 – Louisville, KY @ Palace Theatre
July 27 – Cincinnati, OH @ Taft Theatre
July 28 – Nashville, TN @ The Woods at Fontanel with Special Guests
August 1 – Richmond, VA @ Maymont Park w/The Milk Carton Kids and Special Guest
August 2 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club w/The Milk Carton Kids and Special Guest
August 3 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club w/The Milk Carton Kids and Special Guest
August 4 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory w/The Lumineers & The Milk Carton Kids
August 6 – New York, NY @ SummerStage, Central Park w/The Lumineers & The Milk Carton Kids
August 8 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre w/The Lumineers & The Milk Carton Kids
August 9 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues w/The Lumineers & The Milk Carton Kids
August 10 – Burlington, VT @ Waterfront Park w/The Lumineers & The Milk Carton Kids
August 12 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE w/The Lumineers
August 17 – Salem, VA @ Salem Civic Center w/The Lumineers
August 18 – Cary, NC @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre w/The Lumineers
August 19 – Charlottesville, VA @ nTelos Wireless Pavilion w/The Lumineers & Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three
August 23 – Birmingham, AL @ Alabama Theatre w/The Lumineers & Milk Carton Kids
August 24 – Knoxville, TN @ The Tennessee Theatre w/ The Lumineers & Milk Carton Kids
August 25 – Atlanta, GA @ The Fox Theater w/The Lumineers & The Milk Carton Kids