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Thumbs up/Thumbs Down #6 (Oct. 6, 2008)

Posted by sjyokel on Monday, October 6, 2008

Thumbs up:  Old Crow Medicine Show.  I like what these guys are doing.  I think their songwriting gets a little weak sometimes, but when everything lines up, like it does for their song "Wagon Wheel," it seems like they're really on to something.  You can find "Wagon Wheel" on YouTube, and if you haven't heard the song, it's worth a listen.  The video has a sort of home-video quality to it that works, but it doesn't really add much to the song--probably because it isn't very original (IMHO).

Thumbs down:  Old Crow Medicine Show's banjo players.  If you aren't familiar with OCMS, you'll notice that they have two banjo players.  If you are familiar with them, you might still not have noticed that they have two banjo players.  After listening to a few more of their songs, I'm not sure I understand what these guys are bringing to the sound of the band...other than maybe it's cool to have a banjo player in your band these days (good news for us).  And if one banjo is cool, two banjos is twice as cool.  Now, maybe these guys can really play--I wouldn't know from listening to some of the band's most popular songs--but I'd like hear more from them.

Afterthought:  Looking back on this, I feel like I'm being a little harsh on the band (and if you don't think I was harsh, you should see some of things I decided not to say).  But I really do like them, I just think they need to work a little harder on some things to really make it.

3 comments on “Thumbs up/Thumbs Down #6 (Oct. 6, 2008)”

DHoffmeyer Says:
Friday, November 14, 2008 @3:52:18 PM

I'd like for OCMS to tighten up a bit, yes. But if we can get dancing girls on stage with Del, then we got somethin'!

Nielen Says:
Thursday, December 25, 2008 @2:33:32 PM

I like Wagon Wheel, too.  Looks like one of the banjo players is playing a 6-string guitjo/bantar thingy.

jojo25 Says:
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @1:36:48 PM


Just saw OCMS again this last Sunday. They still have their original member playing the gitjo, but have replaced Critter with a new 5-string CH player. He's a better banjo player than Critter, IMHO, and I could actually hear him in the mix. He did absolutely NO drop thumb, which is a bit strange. But his playing was very good nonetheless. A real good version of Reuben's Train, for instance.
This will, in all likelyhood, be the last time I go see these guys. They were WAY too loud. I know I suffered permanant heaing loss. That is at least partially the fault of the venue. Words were inaudible, there was feedback and,at several points, literally painful volume levels. My ears still hurt 2 days later!!
They now use a drum kit for somes pieces...and a piano...and a mandolin player (who could not be heard in the mix). There interest seems to be drifting more and more to the blues and rock-n-roll. That's OK, but not where my taste is at. I still love their energy and their fearless singing. They seem very into their stage antics. I'd rather they put their energy into their music.

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