Old Crow Medicine Show: We Are Buying…

by JA SOURCE O.C.M.S / YouTube

We rarely come across genuine buskers in America – street musicians playing their hearts out in public – let alone tightly-meshed ensembles with keening vocal harmonies.

But Old Crow Medicine Show (O.C.M.S.), doing things the old-fashioned way, took their stirring and reassuring music to people where they lived, made friends, opened ears, moved feet and drilled passageways through time.Today, with a wider musical range than their Appalachian string band origins, O.C.M.S. play more concert halls, festival stages and rock venues than street corners, but a sense of surprise is still very much in play. Old Crow is not the only band playing pre-World War II blues, fiddle tunes, rags, hollers, hokum and jug band music, but they do so with a brazenness born of growing up around AC/DC, Nirvana and Public Enemy. The fiery result equally impresses fussy old-time music scholars; fellow modern day roots musicians and fans that forage on the frontiers of hip.

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These five young men from four different states joined forces in New York and lit out gypsy style while still learning their instruments and repertoire. They rambled town-to-town across Canada in a van, playing for food and shelter. They settled for a year in the mountains of North Carolina , where their knowledge of old-time string band music blossomed and their loyalty to one another deepened. And now with their road show in full gear, these guys are bringing a whole new sound to alternative rock and country. We have a case of OCMS here...