Events

Old Crow Medicine Show

Friday

Nov 30, 2012 – Fri 07:00 PM

1204 Caroline Street
Houston, TX 77002 Map

  • Old Crow Medicine Show
  • Chuck Mead

More Info



35.00
Old Crow Medicine Show: 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, fiddles and banjos. 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.

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.

There as well, they enjoyed their most storied lightning strike of good fortune. While playing in front of a pharmacy in Boone, a woman approached them and asked if they'd be there a while; she wanted to fetch her father to hear them. Dad turned out to be folk icon and flatpicking pioneer Doc Watson, who expressed his delight by inviting the band to play MerleFest, his four day-congress of acoustic and roots music.

MerleFest led to an invitation to play street-style in the plaza in front of the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville and eventually the Opry stage itself, where the band earned a rare debut standing ovation. By this time Old Crow had moved to Music City in their battleship Cadillac and moved into a rented house between two highways, where they studied ever-widening circles of early American music and wrote their own new American music. As O.C.M.S. evolved toward a more urban, rollicking jug band sound, more high-profile gigs followed, including opening slots for Dolly Parton and the Del McCoury Band, an invitation to join Marty Stuart and Merle Haggard on a U.S. tour, massive jam fest Bonnaroo and public radio's A Prairie Home Companion.

Once they'd attracted the interest of Nettwerk America , the label that launched the career of Coldplay and is home to Neil Finn and The Be Good Tanyas, O.C.M.S. was more than ready to go; for a year they had been working in the studio with a producer similarly energized by the arcane but vital influences of pre-War music. David Rawlings, duet partner of New Folk standard-bearer Gillian Welch, led the quintet into two of Nashville 's most stories studios – RCA's legendary Studio B (good to Elvis, Waylon, Dolly and more) and Woodland Sound Studios, where Will The Circle Be Unbroken had been made in 1972. The resulting self-titled album shares with that influential Circle album (and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that masterminded it) a wide range of traditional country and blues songs, from the reeling mountain party sound of “Tear It Down” and “Hard To Love” to the juggy stomp of “Tell It to Me” and the mournful Leadbelly-inspired version of “CC Rider.”

It was inevitable with such provocative source material, O.C.M.S. would begin writing songs, and the new album features half a dozen by three of the band's members. Critter Fuqua's “Big Time In The Jungle” is an arresting Vietnam War story song (and a true one) that could have come off an overlooked vinyl classic from 1969. “Trials & Troubles” by fiddler/singer Ketch Secor and guitarist/singer Willie Watson is a lyrical stepson of Woody Guthrie, while the chorus' close harmonies evoke the Blue Sky Boys. Watson's remarkably timeless voice also fronts “We're All In This Together,” while Secor's swaying “Wagon Wheel” rounds out the album. Both feature three-part harmonies that feel surprisingly like the country material of Neil Young and the Grateful Dead. Throughout, Kevin Hayes lays down an unmistakably original rhythm voice on his 1920s period guitjo, wile Morgan Jahnig's upright bass binds and organized the band's sound from below.

O.C.M.S. members have no illusions that they're rediscovering the music of the pre-War era; many of the songs they hold dear aren't being released for the first time but being reissued for the umpteenth time. But by reinterpreting and reintroducing this canonical American music to new generations, they're feeding a deep cultural hunger. Old Crow's assets go far deeper than the songs themselves. It's an unbridled spirit, played live and loud across the nation, in a voice that's entirely their own.

Chuck Mead: ..

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.. .. Chuck's NEW VIDEO for "I WISH IT WAS FRIDAY!" .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

After leading several popular '80s cult bands in and around his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas, Chuck Mead landed on Nashville's Lower Broadway where he co-founded the famed '90s Alternative Country quintet BR549. The band's seven albums, three Grammy nominations and the Country Music Association Award for Best Overseas Touring Act would build an indelible bridge between authentic American Roots music and millions of fans worldwide. With BR on hiatus, Chuck formed The Hillbilly All-Stars featuring members of The Mavericks, co-produced popular tribute albums to Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, guest-lectured at Vanderbilt University, and became a staff writer at one of Nashville's top song publishers. In 2009, he released his acclaimed solo debut album, Journeyman's Wager, and toured clubs, concert halls and international Rock, Country and Rockabilly festivals with his band The Grassy Knoll Boys.

As Music Director for the Broadway smash Million Dollar Quartet, Chuck began crafting the music arrangements during the show's original Daytona and Seattle workshop productions, supervised the musical performances for its 2008 Chicago opening, created new music material for the show's Tony-winning Broadway run, produced the original cast album, and oversaw the music for its smash 2011 premiere at London's Noël Coward Theatre.

Chuck's new album, Back At The Quonset Hut, was recorded at Nashville's legendary Quonset Hut Studio where Patsy Cline, George Jones, Merle Haggard Roger Miller, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash and more cut some of country's greatest tracks. Produced by original BR549 producer Mike Janas and with the participation of students from Belmont University's College of Entertainment and Music Business, the album of classic covers features surviving members of Music Row's original 'A Team' studio musicians as well as guest appearances by Old Crow Medicine Show, Elizabeth Cook, Jamie Johnson and Bobby Bare. "It's been incredibly liberating to do all these things I've never done before," Chuck says. "I've already gone from the bars of Lower Broadway in Nashville to the Broadway stage, and the upcoming album is one of the most unique and rewarding projects I've ever been a part of. I'm looking forward to where it all brings me next".

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