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Old Crow Medicine Show - Tennessee Pusher - Epitaph

For their new album – Tennessee Pusher – Old Crow Medicine Show enlisted the production skills of Don Was (Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Al Green, Black Crowes, tons more). Strangely, and perhaps owing to Was' skill as a facilitator, I really cannot tell any sonic difference between this album and the ones in their recent past. Pusher is another strong, understated, dusty, rollicking ride through the old-timey string band traditions, with a modern outlook and a decidedly harrowing set of stories.

Their fascination with rural life and all its potential pitfalls in the new millennium continues with tracks like "Methamphetamine", "Motel In Memphis" and the title track. They have the ability to sound mournful and pensive ("Highway Halo") and then turn right around and deliver a tasty boot-stomper like "Mary's Kitchen". As a band, they've never sounded tighter, and the songwriting is progressing as well. There is indeed a certain magic to this band. Unlike many of the other groups of their ilk, OCMS can transfer the energy and immediacy of their busking days right on to the concert stage. Those stages are becoming bigger and bigger, I might add… these guys have consistently continued to increase their live fan base.

Tennessee Pusher doesn't really deviate from their past work all that much, but when you do what you do as well as OCMS does, that isn't really a problem.

Written by Dan Reed