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THE ROADClassic Hits And More

Old Crow Medicine Show - Jubilee

Stephen Thomas Erlewine

August 25, 2023

Swiftly following on the heels of Paint This Town, Jubilee effectively acts as a simultaneous continuation and counterpoint to that 2022 album. Where Ketch Secor had Old Crow Medicine Show tackle politically timely concerns on Paint This Town, Jubilee focuses on universal themes, drawing on a variety of American folk traditions and singing about subjects old as time: love, loss, mending fences, and getting messed up. Purposefully ragged, the record switches between wistful ballads and careening rave-ups, occasionally lingering in the spaces separating the two. Old Crow Medicine Show hasn't left heavier social issues behind yet the emphasis is how a joyful noise is the thread that connects people of different backgrounds. To that end, Old Crow invites a number of guests into the studio, chief among them soul legend Mavis Staples, who helps give the rousing "One Drop" a spiritual lift. Sierra Ferrell stops by for "Belle Meade Cockfight," a cornpone saga that might be the silliest moment on the record but hardly the only moment of outright humor. "Wolfman of the Ozarks" and "Keel Over and Die" are whiplash bluegrass numbers, "I Want It Now" is rollicking blues boogie and they're all eclipsed by the vaudevillian shuffle "Shit Kicked In." Despite the preponderance of lighter tunes, the heart of the record lies in "Miles Away," a bittersweet reminiscence Secor co-wrote with Molly Tuttle and sings with Willie Watson, a founding Old Crow Medicine Show member who left years ago whose presence gives the song deep emotional resonance.

Track Listings

1. The Ballad of Jubilee Jones

2. Miles Away feat. Willie Watson

3. Keel Over and Die

4. Allegheny Lullaby

5. I Want It Now

6. Smoky Mountain Girl

7. Belle Meade Cockfight feat. Sierra Ferrell

8. Shit Kicked in

9. Daughter of the Highlands

10. Wolfman of the Ozarks

11. Nameless, TN

11. One Drop feat. Mavis Staples


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