Arriving in 2017, five years after Old Crow Medicine Show made the leap over to ATO Records, Best of Old Crow Medicine Show rounds up highlights from the three albums the group recorded for Nettwerk -- 2004's O.C.M.S., 2006's Big Iron World, and 2008's Tennessee Pusher -- and adds two unreleased songs, "Black-Haired Quebecoise" and "Heart Up in the Sky." This means Best of Old Crow Medicine Show contains "Wagon Wheel," the group's best-known song thanks to a smash cover by Darius Rucker in 2013, but the rest of the album shows that the group is hardly a one-trick wonder. Although the group has grown more accomplished over the years, these records snap. The earliest cuts can seem a little affected in their old-timey style -- "Tell It to Me," the cover of "Down Home Girl," a New Orleans R&B side everybody knows as a Rolling Stones song -- but they soon start sounding loose and muscular with "Alabama High Test," and by the end of the compilation, it's clear that they've established their own distinctive roots style. As introductions go, this one is hard to beat.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine