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Review and photos by Johnny HallThe popularity and rise of modern folk and roots music has brought to life many new bands and artists, among whom is Old Crow Medicine Show. Formed in 1998 in Upstate NY, the band, who began their career busking on street corners up and down the east coast and Canada, now have a solid foothold in alt country. Their successes over the past 17 years include an induction into the Grand Ole Opry, two Grammy Awards, and a certified platinum song for their hit single, "Wagon Wheel."
On Friday, July 24th, Old Crow Medicine Show made a stop in their old stomping grounds of Upstate New York. Brewery Ommegang, an idyllic countryside open air venue nestled in the hills of Cooperstown, provided the perfect setting for the country hoedown vibe of the Remedy tour. Camping, craft beer, local food, and a post-show fireworks display all helped make this Dan Smalls Presents event feel more like a festival than a concert.
The evening kicked off with Sturgill Simpson, a singer songwriter from Jackson, KY. Band members include Laur Joamets on electric and slide guitar, Kevin Black on bass, Jeff Crow on keys and Miles Miller on drums. Simpson, with vocals reminiscent of early outlaw country greats, delivered a solid set and successfully primed the crowd for the headliner.
While candelabras of mason jars slowly lowered from the rafters, Old Crow Medicine Show took to the stage amidst a roar of applause. Opening with "Brushy Mountain", they performed with unyielding energy. Not short on charm, band members Kevin Hayes (guitjo and vocals), Chance McCoy (guitar, fiddle, banjo, vocals), Cory Younts (mandolin, keyboards, drums, vocals), Ketch Secor (fiddle, harmonica, banjo, vocals), Morgan Jahnig (upright bass) and Critter Fuqua (slide guitar, banjo, guitar and vocals), played a 22 song set mixing musical styles of traditional country and bluegrass with a sprinkling of punk rock. During "Humdinger," Hayes, with his "Iggy Pop is my President" trucker hat, took to dancing on the speakers with vocals so reminiscent of Jello Biafra, that every punk fan in the crowd surely took note. The members often switched instruments, and mandolin player Cory Younts even took center stage to show the crowd some good old-fashioned mountain clogging. Along with their original songs, the boys also played covers of "CC Rider," "Will The Circle Be Unbroken," and" Tear In My Beer."
Old Crow Medicine Show succeeded in turning the New York mountainside into a West Virginia hoedown, with a heaping of music so rich in heritage and boundless energy that just about everybody couldn't help but dance.
Alabama High Test
Take Em Away
Bootleggers / Brave Boys / White Face
Down Home Girl
Mississippi Saturday Night
Carry Me Back
Hard To Tell
Ol Molly Hare / Ruckus
Tear In My Beer
Will The Circle Remain Unbroken
Hangman's Reel / My Bones Gonna Rise
8 Dogs 8 Banjos
Tell It to Me
Won't Back Down
Angel from Montgomery
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