ALBUM REVIEW: Old Crow Medicine Show - Tennessee Pusher

Old Crow Medicine Show have relentlessly toured and made their name as a hardworking folk and old time-style country band with musicians who were influenced by the MTV generation. While "Tennessee Pusher" is a very good album, Old Crow Medicine Show's grueling tour schedule probably kept this album from actually being great.

Although it didn't reach a level of greatness, the news is not all bad - quite the contrary. Famed producer Don Was (Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan) ensures that OCMS shines brightly, and the performances rendered are often reminiscent of the band's very famous and rollicking live shows. However, the tight production may have taken away some of the spontaneity of the band's previous albums.
Nevertheless, "Tennessee Pusher" is a very good album indeed, and the band's influences of 1980s and 1990s radio is readily evident - and even surprising at times. Old Crow Medicine Show is not your dad's folk or country band. Songs like "Methamphetamine" prove that. Plus, Don Was ensures that "Tennessee Pusher" never serves up any throw-back pablum.

Old Crow Medicine Show's best cut on "Tennessee Pusher" is actually the first song on the album, "Alabama High-Track." It is an irreverent and upbeat song that demands the listeners attention with its fast-paced lyrics. Also, "Humdinger" provides a catchy melody that is among the most hummable on the project.
"Tennessee Pusher" definitely delivers the musicality, fun and thought provoking lyrics for which OCMS is known. It is a good album that proves this band more than deserves their thousands of adoring fans.

About Old Crow Medicine Show

From busking in the streets of Nashville to headlining the historic Ryman Auditorium, Old Crow Medicine Show (OCMS) have come full circle playing their own brand of American roots music with a rock and roll attitude. The quintet met in New York state and hit the road, traveling city to city in a van and eventually settling for a year in North Carolina, where they ran into a bit of good fortune while playing in front of a local pharmacy to an impressed Doc Watson; the folk icon promptly scheduled the band to play at his MerleFest.

Soon after, OCMS relocated to Nashville and found themselves gracing the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, opening for Dolly Parton, touring with Merle Haggard and regularly appearing on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. They caught the attention of Nettwerk Records in 2003 and signed on to release their debut album O.C.M.S, which they recorded at RCA’s legendary Studio B and Woodland Sound Studio with producer/guitarist David Rawlings (Gillian Welch, Robyn Hitchcock) at the helm.  O.C.M.S was released in 2004 to critical acclaim; the New Yorker said of the album, “Heartbreaking, plunky ballads and unfastened fiddle tunes charged with youthful vigor,” while the Village Voice predicted, “Fame will soon lift her skirt for the band."

Their sophomore album, Big Iron World, was released in August 2006 and combined traditional American standards (including Woody Guthrie’s ‘Union Maid’) with OCMS originals that blended American roots, folk, blues, gospel, bluegrass and a little bit of gritty rock.  Again produced by Rawlings, the album caught the attention of critics from Billboard to Vanity Fair and the first single, a cover of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Down Home Girl,’ quickly became the #2 most added song at Triple A radio.  Combined, the two albums have gone on to sell over 200,000 units.

Much of OCMS’ success can be attributed to their relentless touring schedule. Between headlining shows and countless festivals (Bonnaroo, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, etc), the band is constantly on the road and thrives off of their fans and live shows.

OCMS--Critter Fuqua, Kevin Hayes, Morgan Jahnig, Ketch Secor, and Willie Watson--have made a name for themselves as energetic performers with an infectious spirit.  Not only have they enjoyed success in North America, including appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the soundtrack for the Oscar nominated film Transamerica, but the band has also toured the UK several times; highlights include an appearance on Later with Jools Holland (BBC) and the Cambridge Folk Festival.