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Old Crow Medicine Show Talk New EP, Summer Tour

String group hits the road with Willie Nelson, Sturgill Simpson in support of ‘Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer’ release

Old Crow Medicine ShowOld Crow Medicine Show

Ketch Secor (left) and Critter Fuqua of Old Crow Medicine Show perform at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The group is touring this summer in support of a new EP.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Hitting the road during the warmer months is nothing new for Grammy-winning string band Old Crow Medicine Show, but it’s a stellar sampling of tour mates — openers Sturgill Simpson and the Devil Makes Three, co-headliners Willie Nelson & Family and Brandi Carlisle, and headliners the Avett Brothers — that makes this summer run a standout. The Nashville-based group will play everywhere from Colorado’s Red Rocks to their hometown’s newest venue, the Ascend Amphitheater, as they crisscross the country through August. The dates will support the physical release of their Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer EP, in stores on June 2nd.

“I love a song like ‘Brushy Mountain,'” Old Crow leader Ketch Secor tells Rolling Stone Country of the title track. The EP also includes two new songs, “Mother Church” (named for the “Mother Church of Country Music,” Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium) and “I Done Wrong Blues,” as well as a live recording of “The Warden.” “My favorite songs in country music are about heroes — he’s in Cellblock D and he’s gonna get some.”

In other words, if the trailer’s a-rocking, don’t come a-knocking. “Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer,” off the group’s 2014’s Grammy-winning Remedy, is indeed inspired by what happens when “hard time gets a little hotter.” Secor’s never served a stint in jail, but Old Crow Medicine Show have always been about conjuring up a good story.

“Tom T. Hall told me how to do that,” Secor says. “He’s very much a storyteller in song. And [Bob] Dylan — ‘If you see her say hello, she might be in Tangiers.’. . . Suddenly, you’re in it. It brings you in. And I’m trying do the same.”

That doesn’t mean Old Crow Medicine Show haven’t lived to tell the tale. Growing up in the Shenandoah Valley, they created their own breed of minstrel life by busking on the streets, a far cry from Secor’s private-school upbringing. “Our parents said, ‘I love you’ 16 times a day, and they meant it,” he says. “So how are we singing the blues? We learned because we went to those places and drank with those people and partied with them. We’ve stayed at whores’ houses.”

He makes sure to clarify — the devil’s in the details, after all. “Whores’ houses. Not whorehouses.”

Here are Old Crow Medicine Show’s summer tour dates:
May 28 – Mankato, Minnesota, Vetter Stone Amphitheater with the Devil Makes Three
May 29 – Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the District with the Devil Makes Three
May 30 – Papillion, Nebraska, Sumtur Amphitheater with the Devil Makes Three
June 1 – Wichita, Kansas, the Cotillion
June 3 – Morrison, Colorado, Red Rocks Amphitheatre with the Devil Makes Three
June 4 – Kansas City, Missouri, Starlight Theatre supporting the Avett Brothers
June 5 – Peoria, Illinois, Peoria Civic Center supporting the Avett Brother 
June 6 – Cincinnati, Bunbury Music Festival
June 24 – Jackson, Mississippi, Thalia Mara Hall
June 25 – Grand Prairie, Texas, Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie supporting the Avett Brothers
June 26 – New Braunfels, Texas, Whitewater Amphitheatre supporting the Avett Brothers
June 27 – New Braunfels, Texas, Whitewater Amphitheatre supporting the Avett Brothers
June 28 – Shreveport, Louisiana, Strand Theatre
July 17 – Houston, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion supporting the Avett Brothers
July 18 – New Orleans, Bold Sphere Music at Champion Square supporting the Avett Brothers
July 24 – Cooperstown, New York, Brewery Ommengang with Sturgill Simpson
July 25 – Shelburne, Vermont, the Green at Shelburne Museum
July 29 – Pittsburgh, Stage AE with Sturgill Simpson
July 30 – Columbus, Ohio, LC Pavilion with Sturgill Simpson
July 31 – Highland Park, Illinois, Ravinia with Brandi Carlile
August 1 – Des Moines, Hinterland Music Festival
August 2 – Indianapolis, White River State Park with Sturgill Simpson
August 12 – Brooklyn, New York, Prospect Park Bandshell with Willie Nelson & Family
August 14 – Garrettsville, Ohio, Nelson Ledges Quarry Park with Willie Nelson & Family
August 15 – Scranton, Pennsylvania, the Peach Music Festival
August 16 – Atlantic City, Borgata Festival Park with Willie Nelson & Family
August 18 – Kettering, Ohio, Fraze Pavilion with Willie Nelson & Family
August 19 – Columbia, Maryland, Merriweather Post Pavilion with Willie Nelson & Family
August 21 – Boston, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion with Willie Nelson & Family
August 22 – Simsbury, Connecticut, Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows with Willie Nelson & Family
August 23 – Gilford, New Hampshire, Meadowbrook with Willie Nelson & Family
August 28 – Nashville, Ascend Amphitheater
October 3 – Greenville, Mississippi, Mighty Mississippi Music Festival

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