If there’s such a thing as a modern Americana classic, Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” is it. I remember when these guys were playing Station Inn about once a month, with Nashville crowds lined up around the building. I’ve never seen so many pitchers of draft beer in one room, before or since.
Written by the band’s frontman Ketch Secor with inspiration from some Bob Dylan lyrics, “Wagon Wheel” has been charming the roots band’s fans from the start. Although the lineup has changed a bit since their 2004 album O.C.M.S. — Willie Watson has departed — their musical spirit remains strong. They released a thoughtful new album, Carry Me Back, in July.
Since those early days I’ve heard “Wagon Wheel” covered in honky-tonk bars, acoustic festivals and even the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, when Darius Rucker played his own version at an album preview party last month. Still, I’ll always have a soft spot for the original. The retro video was filmed in a corner of a small fair just outside of Nashville. Check it out.