Old Crow Medicine Show

Live at the Ryman

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Clocking in at a lean 42 minutes, Live at the Ryman finds Old Crow Medicine Show playing to the storied Nashville venue, which will forever be known as the home of the Grand Ole Opry. Old Crow is keenly aware of this fact, sneaking a Minnie Pearl "How-Dee!" into their introductory montage, then tearing into a full-blooded, loose-limbed version of "Tell It to Me" that gets the album off to a rowdy start. From there, the band bounces between old favorites from their catalog and standards, playing at a fast clip, opening their stage to a number of guests and finding space for testifying and country corn from Ketch Secor. The blend of schtick and sincerity is firmly rooted in the Ryman's past, and it also makes of a hell of a party. If Secor sometimes succumbs to the temptation to ham it up, he does it with an audible grin, plus he finds an unflappable foil in Margo Price, who plays Loretta Lynn to Ketch's Conway Twitty on "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man." Molly Tuttle comes on-stage to sing on a raucous, open-hearted version of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," but the testament to how good this record is lies within "Wagon Wheel." A song that has become a modern standard thanks to the Darius Rucker cover version, "Wagon Wheel" should sound tired, but Old Crow Medicine Show is clearly happy to play the tune out for six minutes, sweeping up the audience in a singalong that makes the joy connecting the band and the audience palpable and infectious.

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