Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Old Crow Medicine Show to play Azalea Festival

Old Crow is touring in support of their new album, “Paint This Town,” recorded in Nashville and will come through Wilmington on April 14. (Courtesy photo)

WILMINGTON — The Port City’s quintessential springtime festival is slated to take place from April 12- 16, and with it comes a host of live concerts at downtown’s Live Oak Bank Pavilion.

Festival organizers announced Tuesday morning the Friday night show will consist of one of the South’s favorite Americana outfits, Old Crow Medicine Show. The announcement comes on the heels of the Thursday night country act Carly Pearce revealed last month.

READ MORE: Country musician Carly Pearce to perform Azalea Festival

Old Crow is touring in support of a new album, “Paint This Town,” recorded in their Nashville studio, Hartland — which opened in 2020.

“Over the years we’ve spent a lot of time and money in professional studios, but this was the first time we’d worked in our own place since back in the late ’90s, when we’d hang a microphone from the rafters and record a cassette on our TASCAM 4-track,” frontman Ketch Secor (fiddle, harmonica, guitar, banjo, vocals) said in a press release.

The band — Morgan Jahnig (upright bass), Cory Younts (mandolin, keyboards, drums, vocals), Jerry Pentecost (drums, mandolin), Mike Harris (slide guitar, guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, vocals), and Mason Via (guitar, gitjo, vocals) — produced the album with Matt Ross-Spang (John Prine, Jason Isbell).

Their brand of Americana blends old-time music with folk and rock ‘n’ roll. The songs on the seventh release touch on the personal — as heard on “Bombs Away,” written in the midset of Secor’s divorce — and the everyday rigmarole of life on the road (“Reasons to Run”).

Yet, they also take on heavier topics facing society, from race to social justice to power imbalance, as heard on “DeFord Rides Again.” The track honors the first Black harmonica player, DeFord Bailey, featured at the Grand Ole Opry. He was banned from a show and exiled.

“One of the things that inspired that song was the experiences we’ve had traveling all over the world and seeing the people who take country music into their hearts,” upright bassist Morgan Jahnig said in the release. “It’s the entire spectrum of humanity—but when you look at the people making country music, it tends to be pretty monochromatic. If we really want to push music forward, we need to let all kinds of people have a voice.”

The band has won two Grammys, was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and went double-platinum with their iconic hit single “Wagon Wheel.”

Old Crow last performed in Wilmington at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in 2021.

They will perform Friday, April 14, 7 p.m. Tickets go on sale this Friday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m. The Azalea Festival is holding a contest and will give away two pit tickets to the winner; a chance to enter can be accessed here.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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