With the proliferation of bands like Mumford and Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, its pretty evident that the Americana jug-band genre is due for a comeback, if only in small doses. Traces of the homey, quick sounds can be found in the crop of bands blurring the lines between indie and the once-pariah of music, country currently ruling the airwaves, never quite leaning too far one way or the other.
Enter Old Crow Medicine Show, a band who leans so far into the Americana string area they are practically horizontal. Having just released their 9th studio recording, a three-song EP entitled Carry Me Back To Virginia, the band is back to prove that the traditional genre is perfectly capable of standing on its own without the indie crutch, even in the current era.
The three tracks are each well-executed, although that’s to be expected of a band that has been around for upwards of 15 years. Between the rapidfire lyrical delivery of “Carry Me Back to Virginia” and the slow mournful twang of “Ain’t It Enough,” both reincarnations of previous releases, the band does a convincing job of recreating the old-timey sound they are going for. Meanwhile, cover track “Dixieland Delight” which rounds out the album is equally authentic in its delivery, making the EP a short but sweet trip into the past decades of a genre that, until recently, has been somewhat under-appreciated.
The brevity of the release, as well as the fact that it is comprised entirely of previously released material, can make it seem somewhat redundant from a purely practical standpoint. Nevertheless, Old Crow Medicine Show represent a refreshing break from the myriad of current bands who edge towards this quality in their music but never fully commit. Interestingly, it seems like a true return to roots is just what was needed to shake things up.