Ketch Secor From Old Crow Medicine Show (Preview of FreshGrass) – Dig Bos

Images by Kate Wooden

“Reciprocity in that relationship is a purely American factor; throwing a coin to a violinist is one thing that’s in our DNA.”


Since its institution in 2011, FreshGrass It was a celebration of conventional American musical types comparable to blues, folklore, nation, jazz, bluegrass, and the whole lot in between, marking the conclusion of the summer season competition season for a lot of.

This yr’s FreshGrass takes place on the world-famous MASS MoCA in North Adams from September 23-25 ​​with quite a lot of acts performing over 4 levels. The stacked lineup consists of Trampled By Turtles, Billy Keane of Whiskey Conference Roadshow and Gary Clark Jr. and Aoife O’Donovan, Yola, Sierra Farrell, and Boston’s Nook Home, for starters. They’re additionally giving freely awards by way of the FreshGrass Basis, in addition to bringing in FreshScores the place a silent movie will get an authentic, stay soundtrack in actual time.

One of many works extremely anticipated for the competition is the Outdated Crow Drugs Present, which is able to carry out on the primary night time on stage inside Joe’s Discipline at 9:30 p.m. as a part of their present tour in assist of their seventh album, Paint this metropolis.

I spoke with vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ketch Secor earlier than the occasion about writing music for the brand new album in warehouse, how rapidly issues can get again to pretty regular, having a full-time drummer, and all the time going to the office.

Paint this metropolis Impressed by American mythology and the darker sides of the nation’s legacy, how will you analysis this matter to contribute to the theme of music?

At this level, it has been 23 years since we have been producing stay music, and with that comes an entire bunch of issues to consider, sing about, and create songs about. This newest installment of music has been written loads throughout the pandemic and this has positively given us loads to consider.

What was the expertise of writing music for the album throughout the pandemic? Have you ever brainstormed just about by Zoom or e mail? How did you handle to collaborate throughout that point?

We had the foresight to pay money for a warehouse we purchased about three months earlier than the outbreak of the pandemic, so we had the fortune of getting a membership the place we might meet a minimum of at a distance with individuals. It is humorous the way it’s solely been a couple of years, and it is actually laborious to get myself into this mind set about what it was like to not tour anymore, being in quarantine, dwelling studying for my seven yr previous, so we rapidly transfer on and again to Life bumpers once more.

It hasn’t been that lengthy since COVID-19 modified the whole lot, however we have positively had a teleportation again in time and it sort of feels bizarre on the identical time, so I completely get what you imply. In terms of the album construction, how did you report it or the entire course of, did you guys do something completely different? Paint this metropolis What did you do along with your earlier albums?

Sure, there have been lots of transitions over the previous couple of years and the most important distinction on this album is the lineup. We acquired Jerry Pentecost who actually set a brand new route for us by having a full-time drummer. Jerry is simply probably the most lovable individuals you spend their street life with, studio life and all the remainder. Outdated Crow has all the time performed between folks and rock and roll however if you rent a drummer, and we get an amazing drummer, issues get louder, they get extra harmonious, they get extra rhythmic, and you will discover that on this recording.

Outdated Crow’s massive break got here whereas out of Boone Drug in Boone, North Carolina within the late Nineteen Nineties and was found by in style legend Doc Watson by his granddaughter. Trying again greater than 20 years later, what did this expertise imply for the band and did you miss busking throughout the band’s early days?

I miss Doc Watson, he was such a extremely cool advocate of conventional American music that I ponder if we’ll ever see anybody like this once more so long as I am alive. The phenomenon of blind Appalachian guitar carried with it all of the custom and originating within the pre-electric South, they simply do not do it anymore. I stay in Nashville and I can let you know with out exaggeration that there are not any Doc Watsons there, and nobody particularly not on the radio but in addition not on the jam session both. I miss Doc and really feel fortunate to have met a few of the individuals who have made American in style music as wealthy as it’s. I consider the people who find themselves lengthy gone like Doc Watson, Pete Seeger, Merle Haggard and others we encountered by likelihood whereas out.

I believe these are my mattress with greatness, I do not know if I’d do something in a world or as essential as somebody like Pete Seeger, however I spoke to him, he informed me an amazing story, he made me smile and made him snort. Moments like that, they stick with you and hold making you need to do it.

The opposite factor you ask about is enjoying on the road nook, if you exit to the sidewalk and also you’re busy, it places you in contact with individuals and that is individuals’s music. You are mainly asking individuals for a favor and also you’re offering some leisure that they did not even know they wanted or needed. Reciprocity in that relationship is a purely American factor. Throwing a coin to the violinist is one thing that’s in our DNA. Whilst a stage performer within the Nice Halls and Nice Halls, it’s the identical fundamental precept. I’m the violinist and you’re the piano.

This can be a great metaphor and analogy. It’s nice to fulfill so many legendary figures on the planet of in style music and American music usually. You guys are not any strangers to the music competition circuit and really performed the Bentonville, Arkansas model of FreshGrass final yr, so what are your ideas in your going to North Adams this weekend?

Once we play in western Massachusetts, it all the time makes me consider Arlo Guthrie and that music that James Taylor wrote about getting out of the Massachusetts Turnpike. It additionally makes me consider Home Williams, and most of all, it makes me consider the previous 20 years that we, as a band, have carried out a lot within the Berkshire space. Whether or not it is making jokes in regards to the Quabbin Reservoir, Governor Deval Patrick again within the day, or enjoying there throughout the “Bloody Sock Incident,” that space is stuffed with music. They have many nice little cafes and their very own form of folks music group there, however they’ve additionally acquired some punk rock taking place there as effectively and a few nice rock motion.

I keep in mind seeing the Pixies enjoying that nice music.”u mas“That was one of many bands our band all the time performed in highschool. I grew up in Virginia however singing about UMass was form of flattering to the thought of ​​enjoying within the Berkshires. Extra particular to FreshGrass, North Adams is a type of cool cities that has been reimagined for these The New Millennium Not each metropolis will get that privilege, however North Adams had a extremely essential function within the 18th and nineteenth centuries, so typically when a metropolis provides its coronary heart and soul to trade, it does not get the flexibility to reinvent itself as a result of industries could be so merciless And it’s extremely laborious. Look how jap Kentucky tried to get well from a horrible flood in July and August, they gave their hearts and souls to the trade and look the place it introduced them.

Sure communities have managed to reinvent themselves, and North Adams was, by all accounts, a child within the ’80s, maybe a troublesome, stumbling, closed mill city. Nonetheless, by the drive of creativity and fundraising, it’s a place for tradition and the humanities and a spot that’s rising within the minds of New Englanders as a music vacation spot. I applaud any city that may make this transformation, it’s actually troublesome so we’re honored to be part of this transformation. That is how rivers turn out to be cleaner and that is how youngsters be taught that they’re the inheritors of music.

It is an amazing perspective to have whilst you’re proper in North Adams. What are your plans and the band’s plans for the remainder of the yr after the competition? Are you simply planning to go on tour to assist the brand new album or do you have got another initiatives on the best way?

Effectively, we have now a couple of different exhibits developing together with one in New London, Connecticut. It is extremely common for us to go to the office and in addition file quite a few payments in Florida with Gov’t Mule. We’ll be performing some exhibits with Molly Tuttle in the direction of the top of the yr and issues hold developing too, COVID-19 remains to be round so issues can flip a dime. Wherever you will discover us this fall, I assure I am going to hit and watch on that violin and perhaps do it with a fairly smile on my face and perhaps half prepared too.


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