Old Crow Medicine Show

Posted by on Thursday, October 5th, 2006

I do not intend to be cruel.  But I can guarantee I had more fun than you did last night.  Unless you were where I was, that is, and only a few hundred people were.  Specifically on the correct side of the 9:30 club.  For the Old Crow Medicine Show show.  Hot damn.  Red hot skillet licking good. 

Now, I know not everyone has the love for old-time music and dance that I have.  That’s also how I know that, well, many many people are nutters.  Sure sure, not everyone grows up with the stuff.  Because failing to appreciate this makes no living sense to me, once you find out about it.  Firstly, bad musicianship just isn’t tolerated.  People who can’t play tunes don’t tour as old-time musicians.  Their instruments would be confiscated and donated to people who want to learn to play.  The minute pop-music-incorporated decides to give a damn about actual musical talent, I may look in its direction again.  Until then, I’m sticking to the worthwhile traditions and innovators.  Also, Old-time is the first truly American music, and it’s tied to blues and bluegrass and rock and rockabilly and folk.  And it’s tied to Africa and Ireland and Germany and Norway and Romania and many many other places.  And it’s still alive and kicking, as the Old Crow boys demonstrated last night. 

And thanks to Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, T-Bone Burnett, Bruce Molsky, The Be Good Tanyas, Uncle Earl, the Old Crow boys, and too many other geniuses to mention, Old-time is getting real play these days.  This happens every fifteen years or so, and it’s a joy when it does.  It’s kind of strange this time around, having college-age kids with no previous experience of the stuff show up and lap it up.   Most of them will release it quickly and grab the next trend, but some of them will turn into true pickers and some will turn into true dancers, and that will keep this tradition alive for another fifteen years. 

Scott and I showed up early to grab a railing spot upstairs, and Mike and Tara came in soon after as did John and a few of his friends from work.  For whatever reason, we lucked into just the right spot.  The people on the stage right balcony looked like they were heavily sedated.  They weren’t dancing.  They were just kind of standing there, dumbstruck, for most of the show.  Stage left was a sea of dancing, singing fans.  I’ve never seen such a split in a crowd, but I was glad we went the right direction, because I really hate being scolded for dancing to a  . . .  wait for it . . . dance band. 

Now, I’ve been spreading the Old Crow gospel since Greetings from Wawa.  But we’d never had a chance to see them before, because they kept picking Baltimore over DC and playing on weeknights.  Stupid free will.  I was so happy to see how hard the guys were playing.  By our count, Ketch went through four bows.  Four bows.  The harmonies were tight, Ketch and Willie each hit a few steps here and there.  The one gospel song they played was played as a dirty blues, which may my evil little heart fly.  They played pretty much everything I wanted them to play, and they played it well, and the crowd ate it up.

It was a great ride, and I want to go again.

Ok, gotta stop.  I’m sure Tara got some good pictures, and I can’t wait to see them. 

One last thing–Wild Asparagus is playing the Glen Echo Contra on October 22nd.  It kind of makes me want to cry since I most likely can’t go, what with Rhinebeck and all.   So I beg you to go for me.  Big fat sigh. 

Filed in Music | 4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Old Crow Medicine Show”

  1. Taraon 05 Oct 2006 at 7:18 pm 1

    Here they are–enjoy! They’re not really up to my usual quality standard due to low light and distance from the stage, but what are you gonna do? (click on my name for link)

  2. minnieon 06 Oct 2006 at 7:58 am 2

    wah! i can’t go either!

    and i LOVE bluegrass. it’s the channel i put on when i do dishes (we have digital cable with the music channels). i particularly love the ones with the female solos, cuz i sing like them, lol.

  3. Rebeccaon 08 Oct 2006 at 8:24 am 3

    Your review makes me wish I had been able to see them at the bluegrass festival my friends used to run (Podunk Bluegrass Festival). I wasn’t able to go when they were playing the other year.

  4. minnieon 11 Oct 2006 at 8:09 am 4

    i just started listening to jonathan strange & mr norrell. you weren’t kidding, that it was a bit ponderous. and a wee bit dry, at least for the first cd. we’ll see as it goes

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