Old Crow Medicine Show

Bringing ‘Remedy’ to Pisgah Brewing Aug. 18
By Jessi Stone | Aug 13, 2014

When the familiar intro of “Wagon Wheel” begins to play anywhere in North Carolina, music lovers can’t help but to raise their glasses and sing along with the song that made Old Crow Medicine Show a household name.

Even though the song has since been covered by every Americana band playing in a local bar and made into a No. 1 hit by country artist Darius Rucker, Old Crow Medicine Show hasn’t grown tired of performing it live.

“I never get tired of it — it’s our signature song,” said Critter Fuqua, a founding member of the string band. “One of my theories as to why it’s so popular is because it’s the first four chords you learn on guitar. It’s such a good and simple folk song.”

OCMS will be making a stop in Black Mountain on Monday, Aug. 18 to play an outdoor concert at Pisgah Brewing Company. While they will play favorites like “Wagon Wheel,” they also will be showcasing their new album “Remedy.”

Fuqua, who plays slide guitar and banjo for Old Crow, said the band started writing for the new album a year and a half ago and was in the studio the entire month of October.

“We had over 30 songs of new material so it took us a bit to pair it down,” he said. “When we’re working on an album, we don’t know where we’re going — we just start writing and the producer helps us pick the songs so we have a coherent sort of sound.”

While Fuqua said it was difficult to pick a favorite on the new album, an obvious highlight is “Sweet Amarillo,” a song half written by Bob Dylan decades ago. This is the second time Dylan has allowed the band to finish something he started. Old Crow also took a chorus written by Dylan and wrote lyrics that became “Wagon Wheel.”

Fuqua is the one who found the partial song on an old bootleg he bought in England when he was in high school. While the first collaboration with Dylan had an amazing result, OCMS lead singer Ketch Secor has described the second collaboration with the folk legend as surreal, especially for a group of guys who started out playing together in 1999 while living in a run down cabin in Boone.

“We all lived in the same house and playing a lot — did some writing — played a lot in town at festivals and on the side of the road,” Fuqua recalled. “We recorded our first album, ‘Greetings from Wawa in the mountains. It was just the self-imposed squalor we wanted to live in to find out about real mountain living. It’s something you should only do in your 20s,” he joked.

Old Crow is looking forward to their upcoming show in the Asheville area. They’ve played at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium and The Orange Peel but this will be their first time playing at Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain.

“Asheville was one of our earliest markets — we played Jack of the Wood when we started so it’s always been an important city,” he said.

Tickets are still available for the outdoor concert by visiting www.pisgahbrewing.com. Tickets cost $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and show starts at 7:30 p.m.