Carry Me Back
With its 2012 album, the string-band revivalist group Old Crow Medicine Show plays retro-toned tunes with the propulsive momentum of a band with a breakneck drummer. But as with all of the group's recordings, Carry Me Back has nary a hint of percussion. As evidenced right from the opening title track, the band's penchant for playing these songs with barn-burning rhythms makes for a hyper Americana that you can actually dance to. “We Don’t Grow Tobacco” waltzes in fourth gear with a timeless performance rubbing against the grain of modern-day production, sounding like something that straddles the early years of both the 20th and 21st centuries. In the heartfelt “Levi,” the band pays homage to their late friend and fan Army 1st Lt. Leevi Barnard, who was shot and killed in Iraq. You can almost smell the smoke coming off the guitar and banjo fretboards in “Bootlegger’s Boy,” a lightning-fast number about the parties and perils of a moonshiner’s son. Things simmer down a bit on “Ain’t It Enough,” a Dylanesque folk song with a prominent harmonica.