Old Crow Medicine show singer-guitarist Critter Fuqua and singer-multi-instrumentalist Ketch Secor go back. Way back. The two started playing music together when they were in seventh grade. Back then, however, the guys didn’t play the old-time folk and fiddle music for which Old Crow is known.
“We both started playing guitar when we were 12 or 13,” says Fuqua via phone from his Nashville home. “Growing up in Harrisonburg, Virginia, it was top 40 country. I grew up listening to Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana. That was the first stuff we started playing. It was punk rock or whatever was being played on the radio. Then, we started listening to Bob Dylan. In the early days though it was definitely rock ‘n’ roll.”
This summer, the band has teamed up with singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile for a co-headlining tour that includes stops at historic venues such as the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the Fox Theatre in Detroit and Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. The show comes to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica at 7:30 p.m. on July 12. During the concerts, the two acts play full sets and even collaborate on a handful of songs. Old Crow Medicine Show created a music video for their rendition of Brandi’s song “Alibi” and Carlile, in turn, made a music video for her cover the Old Crow tune “Sweet Home.”
Old Crow’s touring in support of its most recent album, last year’s Remedy
, the highest charting debut in the band’s 16-year career. Another terrific collection of twangy tunes, the album commences with the ramshackle “Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer,” a hillbilly anthem if there ever were one.
“We started writing a lot of songs and we looked at stuff that had been around for a long time . . . since we were 17,” says Fuqua. “They were just good songs. We always thought about them. They just stuck around and were always in our heads. I don’t know if we thought it would be cool to do one that we used to play when we were 17 as much as we thought that it was a really good song.”
The band recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, a place famous for its mix of modern and vintage gear.
“We were in there for about a month,” says Fuqua. “It was a lot of work but it was fun. We were just all one big team. It’s not like we were separated from each other. It was really cool.”
Fuqua says the band met Carlile a few years back and became fast friends. The tour kicked off earlier this summer, and he's excited to return to the road for another round of dates.
“She’s an incredible performer and songwriter,” he says of Carlile. “Her band and her camp is so welcoming. We’ve just had a lot of fun playing together. Even though on paper it might seem like it wouldn’t fit, when you see it, it’s obvious. It just works. She’ll play with us and sing a Merle Haggard tune or whatever and we’ll play ‘Jolene’ with her and her band. It’s fun.”