Old Crow Medicine Show influenced by Dylan
By Mary Norris
Old Crow Medicine Show will be performing at the Peace Center in Greenville in support of their latest release, “50 Years of Blonde on Blonde” on Oct. 21. The album is a tribute to Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” (1966) and was recorded as a live album.
Starting as street performers, the band entertained audiences between shows at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., eventually becoming house members. Two-time Grammy winners, Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” was certified platinum in 2013.
Critter Fuqua (slide guitar, banjo, guitar, vocals) of Old Crow gave The Carolinian an exclusive interview about the tour.
“Wagon Wheel” was an unfinished Bob Dylan song that Old Crow Medicine Show finished and recorded.
“We realized pretty quick that we couldn’t do it like Bob,” Fuqua said. “If we did it like Bob, the whole ‘Blonde on Blonde’ album, it would be pretty boring. We had to do it like us. It didn’t really feel like work. It really flowed doing it like we did it … chords are the same, melody and stuff. It was a pretty organic process.”
Fuqua was introduced to Bob Dylan’s music as a teen through fellow band member, Ketch Secor (vocals, fiddle, harmonica, banjo). Dylan has deeply influenced the group, so it comes as no surprise that the band faced few challenges when approaching the reimagining of “Blonde on Blonde”.
Secor labels the album as one of their best in the past 19 years, and Fuqua said it is “definitely an achievement.”
Touring the album has been a learning experience for the group and fans alike.
“A lot of folks show up looking for a more traditional Old Crow show, but everybody gets into it,” Fuqua said.
Fuqua’s favorite song to perform from “50 Years of Blonde on Blonde” is “Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine.”
The band has maintained mostly the same fan base throughout the tour, attracting some Bob Dylan fans along the way.