When one of the globe's biggest bands of the moment cites your music as a key influence, you know you're onto a winner. Such appraisal has recently been levelled at American bluegrass and hoedown outfit Old Crow Medicine Show by none other then our very own Mumford and Sons. Cited by the "Babel" hitmakers as a key influence on their sound, it's not hard to hear why - both acts draw from sources as wide as Dylan, Appalachian, bluegrass, Cajun, folk and from all manner of American roots music as a whole.
OCMS have certainly had plenty of time to hone their skills - they formed in the late '90s but have all been musicians since the days of grunge, opting to oust rock records in favour of banjos, harps and the cheery sounds of the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack. In a little over a decade and along with the similar-sounding Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show have carved out a notch on folk's bedpost and have issued authentic traditional prairie-roots music such as "Big Iron World" and "Tennessee Pusher".
For their 2012 album "Carry Me Back", they revisit their most traditional roots with a nod to the Virginia State's official song, but add a contemporary feel with producer Ted Hutt, who has twiddled the knobs with The Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys amongst others. The result has seen the band hit the Billboard Top 30, not only with the album but also their rendition of the rare and previously unfinished Bob Dylan track "Wagon Wheel" - they finished it for him and earned a hit.
With this impetus, it's not surprising to learn of Old Crow Medicine Show's return to the UK and Ireland. For their first jaunt since 2010, you can see the band perform in five cities starting with Dublin on 30th January 2013, followed by Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester and finally London on 4th February. We will have tickets available from 9am on Wednesday 24th October, priced from around £17.50 (26 for Ireland) - don't miss them!