Released: September 22, 2008
Label: Nettwerk Records
By: Josh Dent
Old Crow Medicine Show’s newest accomplishment, Tennessee Pusher, which was released through Nettwerk records on September 23rd of this year, does not stand out as anything truly special when compared to their last three albums, however it does prove one thing. The band, unlike many mainstream groups these days, doesn’t need a gimmick, a whirlwind of elaborate instruments, or a constantly changing sound and image. They just pluck their simple string instruments, sing their hearts out, and play honest American folk music that is often times spine tingling, moving, and downright beautiful. And Tennessee Pusher reflects that on almost every track.
The opening track, “Alabama High Test,” is one of the more upbeat numbers on the album, with screeching violins, a foot tapping rhythm, and outlaw like vocals describing running from the law with a trunk full of assorted narcotics. It’s funny, rockin’, and will stay in your head long after the song is over. Another key track is “The Greatest Hustler of All Time,” which is a terribly sad and slow country like ballad about a woman who hustles a man’s heart and wallet. It is also the albums longest track at 7 minutes and 4 seconds, however there is never a dull moment. The Bob Dylan-esque track, “Mary’s Kitchen,” also stands out amongst some of the others, and is my favorite on the album. It is another upbeat song, and a whole lot of fun to listen to at full volume with a few close friends and some cold drinks, just like the rest of the album. All in all, Old Crow Medicine Show don’t explore any new territory on Tennessee Pusher, nor do they go out of their way to try and be something they are not. They play what they know and love, and it still works.