Something Else! sneak peek: Old Crow Medicine Show, “Sweet Amarillo” (2014)

In the run up to their forthcoming, and aptly named, album Remedy, Old Crow Medicine Show have positioned themselves as the cure for what ails country music. Songs like the Bob Dylan collaboration “Sweet Amarillo” indicate that they just might be able to back that up.

This is, as Ketch Secor promised, something deeper than what you hear on the average Top 40 station — something that brings in the more elemental sounds that have always been the foundation of Americana. Dylan’s spectral presence might have you in mind of the Band, and Old Crow Medicine Show doesn’t disappoint — but “Sweet Amarillo” takes the expected whirling accordion and drags it further into the dusty Texas hillside.

Old Crow Medicine Show initially rose to fame, of couse, with a song they completed out of an old Dylan demo, called “Wagon Wheel.” Both song fragments came from the sessions that ultimately produced Dylan’s 1973 studio project Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

In that way, “Sweet Amarillo” brings them back to their own roots too, even as it serves as a powerful reminder of what country music used to be — and what it could be again.

Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.