After a long hiatus, our favorite old-time string band returns with an album that marks their transition from a niche genre to a more accessible sound, while renewing their commitment to country-hills roots music. Whether riotous or righteous, ballad or barn-yard stomp, the songs come to life as stories that will in one moment conjure feelings of humility and grace, and in the next provoke a raucous, ruckus-raisin' party.
Record label, release date and producer: Released on July 17, 2012, "Carry Me Back" was OCMS' debut album with ATO Records. Ted Hutt produced the album.
Hometown: Founding members Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua (who recently reunited with the band after a long departure) were born and raised in Harrisonburg, Va.
Band members: Kevin Hayes (guitjo and vocals), Critter Fuqua (slide guitar, banjo, guitar and vocals), Ketch Secor (fiddle, harmonica, banjo and vocals), Morgan Jahnig (upright bass), Chance McCoy (guitar, fiddle, banjo and vocals) and Gill Landry (slide guitar, banjo and vocals).
On tour: OCMS brought their stomp to the Pageant's stage on July 20, 2012. Robin Wheeler reviewed the concert for KDHX.
Surprising fact: Early in the band's career, music legend Doc Watson discovered OCMS jamming on a street corner in Boone, N.C. Excited by the group's sound, he invited OCMS to play his annual festival, Merlefest. It was here that OCMS' music first earned widespread recognition and adoration from fans on a large scale — one that has only grown since. When asked by Bud Scoppa of Uncut Magazine to comment on the band's unprecedented success this year, lead singer Ketch Secor responded, "The fact that it coincides with the passing away of Doc Watson is a profound coincidence."
About the label: Dave Matthews (of Dave Matthews Band) founded According to Our Records (ATO Records) in early 2000. The label represents a wide variety of artists, including Alabama Shakes, Umphrey's McGee and John Butler Trio.
RIYL: Country roots tunes, regardless of the decade from which your favorites hail.
What the critics say: "It isn't easy straddling two different centuries with one's sound and style, but Old Crow Medicine Show pull it off once again on their fourth studio album, the Ted Hutt-produced 'Carry Me Back,' a ragged, breakneck romp that crackles with more energy than a thrash band on Red Bull." --Steve Leggett, allmusic.com
In the news: Emmett Malloy's documentary "Big Easy Express" was released on July 24, 2012. The film chronicles the Railroad Revival Tour on which Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and OCMS traveled to six cities by train -- taking off from Oakland, California and ending in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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In June, OCMS paid homage to important sites in their career by performing songs from their new album at each location. Here is the group playing "Steppin' Out" at the Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville, where they recorded "Carry Me Back."