Friday night, September 22, Old Crow Medicine Show took the stage at 4th & B with a driving set of bluegrass, folk, and rock. I first saw these guys in Nashville in 1999, transitioning, at that time, from street performers into the current touring act. They have not lost an ounce of their roots or trademark energy over the years.
Chuck Mead, lead singer for alt-country act BR549, opened the show with a stripped down set -- just himself and a standup bass player. Mead ran through a collection of solo and BR549 material and several classic country covers.
Old Crow charged the stage with a flurry of banjo-, fiddle-, and guitar-infused old-fashioned hillbilly music. The crowd’s energy level soared when fiddle player Ketch Secor broke into solos that would make Charlie Daniels proud. Vocalist Willie Watson entertained the crowd with an energy and intensity you simply would not expect from such a frail guy.
Chuck Mead joined OCMS on stage for the Moon Mullican classic “Cherokee Boogie.” Other highlights included their dedication of the song "Methamphetamine" to the city of El Centro and when the crowd sang along to a rousing version of OCMS hit “Wagon Wheel.” For their encore, the band took the stage with electric instruments in a Dylan-esque transition. They played the melancholy and heartfelt “We're All in This Together,” followed by covers of the Beatles’s “Get Back” and the Waylon Jennings classic “Are You Ready for the Country.”
The power of American roots music was on display for all to see and hear, as the boys from Old Crow wowed the crowd till the end. If you are a fan of traditional country and folk, the Old Crow Medicine Show is a must-see.
Seats: General admission
Show date: September 25, 2009
Venue: 4th & B