For many a person, Old Crow Medicine Show was their first introduction to that “traditional string band music” sound. There are worst first dates. Just think, the kids today are getting their cherry popped by The Avett Brothers or Mumford and Sons, both of which will probably release 3 more albums before Old Crow’s next one.
Old Crow seems to average an album every 3 to 4 years, and a lot has changed in the interim between Tennessee Pusher and Carry Me Away. Out is fan fave and familiar voice Willie Watson, and back in is former fan fave and familiar voice Critter Fuqua. Also out is newbie (to Old Crow) producer and not so fan favorite Don Was.
I don’t know the backstory, so I don’t know if the band hired Don or if the band was assigned Don for the recording of their last album, Tennessee Pusher, but I do know that the split was a good decision. There wasn’t anything wrong with Tennessee Pusher…per se. Hell, we even gave it a tepid endorsement. Full disclosure, giving Tennessee Pusher the Essential Listening label may have been more about wanting to love, rather than actually loving, the album. With Don came a highly polished sound which left the building with him. Needless to say, if Tennessee Pusher left you wanting less wine and more whiskey, soundwise, expect to be happier with Carry Me Back.
I, for one, am really happy with the return to a more raw sound. I’ve already listened to this album more times than I listened to Tennessee Pusher and I’m calling it Essential Listening even if the band over-affects their accents and wrote “Wagon Wheel”.