eMusic Review 0
Folk music purists might argue that Old Crow Medicine Show don’t actually play traditional bluegrass, old-time country, or any of the other Americana labels they routinely get slapped with. There’s a certain punkish disregard to the band’s frenzied acoustic tangle — which nods to the last hundred years of American vernacular music, from the Carter Family through Black Flag — and spirit trumps nearly everything else. Carry Me Back, the band’s latest LP, follows a substantial personnel change (Willie Watson, once a lead vocalist and guitar player, was officially replaced by founding member Critter Fuqua, who’d been notably M.I.A. for the last several years), but the band’s heart is still intact: Carry Me Back is full of hometown longing (the album’s title track), harmonica-honking odes to once-in-a-lifetime love (“Ain’t It Enough”), and hard-time, pass-the-jug stompers (“Mississippi Saturday Night”). It confirms somewhat definitively that Americana is, in fact, more a feeling than a sound — and that feeling is something like joy.