Review: Old Crow Medicine Show – Carry Me Back

 

“Won’t you carry me back, won’t you carry me back, carry me back to Virginia…” Old Crow Medicine Show begin their fourth studio album with the title track, Carry Me Back. It’s two minutes and forty-seconds of their unique blend of folk-country-bluegrass Americana string music that makes you want to get up and dance.

We Don’t Grow Tobacco, Levi, and Bootlegger’s Boy, are brilliant showings of strings and storytelling. Ain’t It Enough, is a ballad with poetic lyrics, and a great song, showcasing another side of OCMS’s amazingly talented members. “Ain’t it enough, to live by the ways of the world, to be part of the picture. Whatever it’s worth, throw your arms around each other, and love one another, for it’s only one life that we’ve got, and ain’t it enough.”

Carry Me Back, comes just a little over a year after Old Crow Medicine Show packed up for a ten day journey along side of Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes, and Mumford & Sons on the Railroad Revival Tour across the American coast and Southwest. One can’t help but wonder if Mississippi Saturday Night was born during those travels. The sixth track starts off with the same energy of a train. Speed, excitement and jittery strings below the lyrics singing “Oh Vicksburg, Natchez, down to Crescent City, Gulf Coast Blues, Oh, it sure is a pity…”

After a brief hiatus from summer 2011 through the beginnings of 2012, OCMS were back with the return of original member Critter Fuqua on slide guitar, banjo, guitar and vocals. This record also saw the exit of Willie Watson from the OCMS lineup.

Most songs on this record speed through with fervour and intensity, along with the undeniable urge to toe-tap, however, stand-out track Genevieve, is a slow song, about the pain of heartbreak. “Well, you took all I had Genevieve, and you left me a mess. But if you try to steal my heart again, you’ll have to cut it out of my chest.”

Carry Me Back, is a mix of bluegrass, folk, country, with Old Crow Medicine Show’s signature sound. It takes the band back to their original beginnings, and as Ketch Secor described, “…This record sounds like we would’ve if we were any good 14 years ago.”

Tracks of note on Carry Me Back are Carry Me Back, Ain’t it Enough, Mississippi Saturday Night, and Genevieve.

Victoria Sanders