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

Pictures 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 corresponding to blues, folklore, nation, jazz, bluegrass, and every part 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 contains 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 gifting away awards through the FreshGrass Basis, in addition to bringing in FreshScores the place a silent movie will get an unique, reside soundtrack in actual time.

One of many works extremely anticipated for the competition is the Previous Crow Drugs Present, which is able to carry out on the primary evening 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 social gathering 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 at all times 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 subject to contribute to the theme of music?

At this level, it has been 23 years since we have been producing reside music, and with that comes a complete bunch of issues to consider, sing about, and create songs about. This newest installment of music has been written rather a lot through the pandemic and this has positively given us rather a lot to consider.

What was the expertise of writing music for the album through the pandemic? Have you ever brainstormed just about by way of 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 not less than at a distance with folks. It is humorous the way it’s solely been a number of years, and it is actually exhausting 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 outdated, so we rapidly transfer on and again to Life bumpers once more.

It hasn’t been that lengthy since COVID-19 modified every part, 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. On the subject of the album construction, how did you report it or the entire course of, did you guys do something totally different? Paint this metropolis What did you do along with your earlier albums?

Sure, there have been plenty of transitions over the previous couple of years and the most important distinction on this album is the lineup. We received Jerry Pentecost who actually set a brand new path for us by having a full-time drummer. Jerry is simply one of the crucial lovable folks you spend their highway life with, studio life and all the remaining. Previous Crow has at all times performed between folks and rock and roll however while you rent a drummer, and we get an ideal drummer, issues get louder, they get extra harmonious, they get extra rhythmic, and you may discover that on this recording.

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

I miss Doc Watson, he was such a very cool advocate of conventional American music that I’m wondering 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 only do not do it anymore. I reside 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 additionally not on the jam session both. I miss Doc and really feel fortunate to have met a number of the individuals who have made American widespread 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 probability whereas out.

I believe these are my mattress with greatness, I do not know if I might do something in a world or as necessary as somebody like Pete Seeger, however I spoke to him, he advised me an ideal story, he made me smile and made him snigger. Moments like that, they stick with you and maintain making you need to do it.

The opposite factor you ask about is taking part in on the road nook, while you exit to the sidewalk and also you’re busy, it places you in contact with folks and that is folks’s music. You are mainly asking folks 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 primary precept. I’m the violinist and you’re the piano.

It is a fantastic metaphor and analogy. It’s nice to satisfy so many legendary figures on the earth of widespread music and American music usually. You guys are not any strangers to the music competition circuit and truly 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 at all times makes me consider Arlo Guthrie and that track 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 taking part in there through the “Bloody Sock Incident,” that space is stuffed with music. They have many nice little cafes and their very own form of folks music neighborhood there, however they’ve additionally received some punk rock taking place there as effectively and a few nice rock motion.

I bear in mind seeing the Pixies taking part in that nice track.”u mas“That was one of many bands our band at all times performed in highschool. I grew up in Virginia however singing about UMass was form of flattering to the thought of ​​taking part in within the Berkshires. Extra particular to FreshGrass, North Adams is a kind of cool cities that has been reimagined for these The New Millennium Not each metropolis will get that privilege, however North Adams had a very necessary function within the 18th and nineteenth centuries, so usually when a metropolis offers its coronary heart and soul to trade, it would not get the flexibility to reinvent itself as a result of industries may be so merciless And really exhausting.Take a look at how jap Kentucky tried to get better from the horrible floods in July and August, they gave their coronary heart and soul to the trade and look the place it has 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 way of 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 tough so we’re honored to be part of this transformation. That is how rivers grow to be cleaner and that is how kids be taught that they’re the inheritors of music.

It is an ideal perspective to have and also you’re proper on 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 every other initiatives on the best way?

Properly, we now have a number of different reveals arising together with one in New London, Connecticut. It is vitally normal for us to go to the office and in addition file quite a few payments in Florida with Gov’t Mule. We will be performing some reveals with Molly Tuttle in direction of the top of the yr and issues maintain arising too, COVID-19 continues to be round so issues can flip a dime. Wherever you may discover us this fall, I assure I will 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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