Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Old Crow Medicine Show Mixes Traditional, Modern

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Old Crow Medicine Show Mixes Traditional, Modern

Article excerpt

Byline: Tamara McClaran

Old Crow Medicine Show puts a modern spin on old-time music. The Nashville-based quintet is making its first Florida tour, which includes a stop Saturday at Freebird Live in Jacksonville Beach.

"We're not going to sit around and bore anybody," vocalist Ketch Secor said during a recent telephone interview from Virginia.

Secor plays fiddle, harmonica and banjo in OCMS, a roots band with a spirited style of music that draws on many influences, including jug bands, Appalachian string music and Memphis blues. The band honors and respects the music's tradition and history, yet gives it a unique, almost punk style attitude of its own. Some of their songs are originals, others are vintage pieces that have been around for generations.

"Most people are familiar with some of the music that we play," said Secor, a musician who is also exceptionally knowledgeable about music history. He admits he is inspired by images of the musicians playing some of the same songs OCMS plays today.

OCMS is made up of five young men in their 20s who grew up on pop music and came together in New York as a result of their music. They spent their early days traveling gypsy-style in a van, traveling across Canada, playing for food and shelter.

"We cut our teeth playing on the streets," Secor said. "I like to see other bands play there. It's our favorite stage, the stage you create on the corner."

They settled for a year in North Carolina before relocating to Nashville. In addition to Secor, the band comprises Willie Watson on guitar, banjo and vocals, Critter Fuqua on banjo, slide guitar and vocals, Kevin Hayes on the guitjo (six-string banjo) and Morgan Jahnig on upright bass.

Their first big break came playing on the streets in North Carolina when they met folk icon Doc Watson, who invited the band to play MerleFest, a four-day acoustic and roots music festival. …

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