Fashionably Old Fashion
Old fashion becomes fashionable again thanks to Old Crow Medicine Show. These five musicians take their sound and name from touring musical groups popular in early America. With a modern flare of traditional country tunes, OCMS release Big Iron World. Schizophrenia of themes and genres pepper the album that’s held together with a strong folk sound of guitar, guitjo, bass, violin and harmonica. In the first song, “”Down Home Girl,”” OCMS successfully cover the Rolling Stones, while a few tracks later they cover Woodie Guthrie’s protest anthem, “”Union Made,”” making the transition seamless and the tone all their own. The band also toys with opposing subject matters. In “”Cocaine Habit”” they praise the drug stating, “”The way I love my coke that’s a dog gone sin / Take a whiff on me.”” However, towards the end of the record, the band proclaims, “”God’s got it / He’s got everything you need,”” in “”God’s Got it.”” And somehow, they make you nod your head at both.
The jam-packed ideas and sound can be attributed to the heavy contributions each player brings. Willie Watson, Critter Fuqua, and Ketch Secor trade-off lead vocals, even allowing guitjo player Kevin Hayes to debut his talking blues in the moral tune, “”Let It Alone.”” Though vocals are not their strongest suit, a tight string sound and a harmonica that could lead any song push OCMS to the foreground.
They have the ability to shake up a crowd with train engine energy of “”New Virginia Creeper”” and “”Bobcat Tracks.”” But they can also create hauntingly beautiful anthems in “”I Hear Them All,”” and “”Don’t Ride That Horse.”” Big Iron World is a mix and match of soul and good fun driven by the iron fist of one talented country show.