Music

Grammy winning grooves

Old Crow Medicine Show moved to Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership

By Ariana Kramer
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 8/16/18

Originally scheduled to perform Saturday (Aug. 18) at Kit Carson Park, Old Crow Medicine Show has been moved to the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership. The show, produced by AMP Concerts, will take place …

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Music

Grammy winning grooves

Old Crow Medicine Show moved to Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership

Posted

Originally scheduled to perform Saturday (Aug. 18) at Kit Carson Park, the Old Crow Medicine Show has been moved to the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west.

Singer-songwriter Shannon McNally will open the show at 6:30 p.m.

The show, produced by AMP Concerts, will take place in the Mothership's outdoor amphitheater, so dress for the weather and bring your own lawn chair. All original tickets will be honored, and tickets can still be purchased.

The Grammy-award-winning Old Crow Medicine Show is touring with its new studio album released in April of this year. "Volunteer" was recorded in the historic RCA Studio A and produced by Dave Cobb for Columbia Records in Nashville.

Old Crow Medicine Show is Chance McCoy (guitar, fiddle, banjo, vocals), Kevin Hayes (guitjo, vocals), Ketch Secor (fiddle, harmonica, banjo, vocals), Morgan Jahnig (upright bass), Critter Fuqua (slide guitar, banjo, guitar, vocals) and Cory Younts (mandolin, keyboards, drums, vocals).

"When this band started 20 years ago, it was something more like a circus act than a professional band that was going to be touring for 20 years," said Secor. "We were trying to get out of town. We just wanted to get out on the road, get out on street corners. We wanted to travel and see the country, the continent."

Secor explained that the band was drawn to old-time music of the Appalachian tradition because of its similarities to punk rock music.

"We grew up with Kurt Cobain … and all these great indie artists, with this sense of music with terrible urgency, in your face," he aid. "These kinds of sounds were what we heard as early adolescents. We found this old-time music was a relation to the punk rock we had cut our teeth on. It had the fervor and intensity. It also had the same kind of blood oath."

"It was so punk rock!" exclaimed Secor.

In their early years, Old Crow Medicine Show busked on street corners in New York state and up into Canada. Eventually, they moved to North Carolina. While playing in front of a pharmacy, they were noticed by none other than Doc Watson who helped to launch their career by inviting them to his MerleFest music festival.

"When we met Doc the band had been together right around two years," said Secor. "It was a great paradigm shift in the kind of work we were able to do. It was a domino effect.

Old Crow Medicine Show has won two Grammy Awards. One for "Best Folk Album" for "Remedy" (2014) and the other for "Best Long Form Music Video" for "Big Easy Express" (2013). The single, "Wagon Wheel," was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America after selling 1 million copies.

The song came from an unrecorded sketch by Bob Dylan of the famous chorus, "Rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel." Secor heard it as a teenager from a bootleg copy of Dylan and wrote verses for the song.

The band has toured internationally, performing with artists such as Willie Nelson and Family, Brandi Carlile, Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, John Prine, and The Avett Brothers. Old Crow Medicine Show has been inducted as members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Old Crow Medicine Show is part of a Ken Burn's documentary on country music forthcoming in September 2019.

"I met Ken and his great team maybe four to five years ago and just really liked him, having seen so many of his films," Secor said. "He's like a Carl Sandburg or a Woody Guthrie - a great American storyteller."

Secor said, "It's good to have somebody who's in the business of historical accuracy, instead of the mythology, because country music really suffers from its mythology. And, is also blessed by its mythology. It goes both ways."

As for the band's latest release, "Volunteer," Secor said, "This one is a continuation of those same themes that brought us down this road in the first place - of the South, the Appalachian folklife ways, African-American contribution to American folk music being raised up, and story craft and hootenannies and jug band sounds and rock and roll."

"I think working with Dave Cobb made this a real Nashville kind of record, which was really fun, working with a producer who happens to be at the zenith of his career." said Secor.

As for their tour, Secor said the band enjoys the experience as much as they did in their younger days.

"What we do in this band is we gallivant. It's just like it was when we had a Volvo, just like it was when we moved into a white Econoline van and pulled a trailer, and just like it was about 10 or 12 years ago when we got into a tour bus. We just have a little bit more production now. We're staying true to our roots and are continuing to explore this beautiful North America of ours, finding fellowship, finding purpose and being inspired as travelers across this landscape. The lands that we go to are all so different, and yet they're united by these collective dreams, from which the music has really sprung up.

"I love being in the Southwest," Secor continued. "I love listening to the waila music that the Tohono O'odham people play. I love being in the sacred places, where the rocks have as much personality as the people at the gas station. Music has a way of putting you in communion with forces that go deeper than even the human narrative of this place called America.

"And, even when you play American music. And, as American as the music that we play is - in that it's red and white and yellow and brown - as American as it is, it even moves into a realm of the nonhuman and the nonliving. It's spirit that propels a band for 20 years - it's not success, vision, dream. It's nothing human. It's all pure spirit. We're honored by the opportunity, and it hasn't been easy, and it's not always fun, but it's definitely an honorable thing to do to stick it out come hell and high water."

Shannon McNally started performing as a singer-songwriter and guitarist when she was in college. She signed with Capitol Records, moved to Los Angeles and then to New Orleans, where she worked with producer Dr. John. A refugee of Hurricane Katrina, McNally relocated to North Mississippi where she connected with producer Jim Dickinson. McNally's latest album, "Black Irish" was released in 2017 with Rodney Crowell producing.

The New York Times' Jon Pareles has written of McNally, "She has the voice: bruised, smoky and ornery, right at home where country and soul meet. She has the melodies and the timing--she's irresistible."

Tickets are $46 in advance, $52 day of show (including all service charges). Tickets for children 12 and under are $9 (including all service charges). Visit taosmesabrewing.com, or call Hold My Ticket at (505) 886-1251.

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