“Country music has a lot to learn from Bob Dylan,” Ketch Secor muses to Rolling Stone Country. “Bob Dylan might be the most important country music maker in the 20th century…. But we don’t know it. We think it’s Hank [Williams Sr.].”
The Old Crow Medicine Show frontman hails Dylan as “America’s master songwriter,” and is proud to call him co-writer for a second time. Back in 2003, Secor completed a song Dylan had started writing 30 years earlier, with the result being what is now his band’s signature hit, “Wagon Wheel.” And around the same time Darius Rucker catapulted to the top of the charts with his remake of the song, Dylan decided to give Secor another piece of unfinished business — this one more than 40 years in the making. Thus was born “Sweet Amarillo,” a tune the music icon started writing just days after “Wagon Wheel” but, similarly, never finished.
“To see ‘Wagon Wheel’ and then ‘Sweet Amarillo,’ it’s not a coincidence,” says Old Crow’s Critter Fuqua. “There’s something working there.”
Perhaps that’s why “Sweet Amarillo” slyly mentions being “planted by glory with a half written story.” The song is about a guy who goes looking in vain for an old cowgirl flame, and its video gives the story a surprise ending. Watch above.