Carry Me Back

Old Crow Medicine Show have carved out their own little niche in Americana by ignoring trends and playing anything that strikes their fancy, be it folk, blues, old-time, bluegrass, ragtime, or traditional country. They can sound like a pre-bluegrass string band on “Steppin’ Out,” then turn around and sing a teary ballad like “Genevieve,” a tune that sounds like a modern country radio hit, albeit played on acoustic instruments. The rest of the program on Carry Me Back is just as surprising. “We Don’t Grow Tobacco” has a ragged sound that suggests Cab Calloway fronting the Memphis Jug Band. The folky “Bootlegger’s Boy” is a rave up that sounds like it’s a 100 years old, although it’s played with a galloping energy that’s as much punk as old time. The band shows off its bluegrass chops on “Sewanee Mountain Catfight,” a barn-burner played with a fierce energy highlighted by Chance McCoy’s smoking fiddle. Not too shabby for a band originally based in New York City. — J. POET