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“Wagon Wheel”

Posted by purplemary54 on September 8, 2013

I cannot describe how much I love this song.  It’s one of those musical moments that just hits all the right buttons, and lights me up like Las Vegas.  Everything about is just perfect to me.

Old Crow Medicine Show is called an Americana band, but their music is this weird mix of Country, Bluegrass, and Folk with a little Punk thrown in for good measure.  (The Punk mostly comes from attitude, not style.)  They sound very traditional until you start listening to their lyrics.  This is Hank Williams without filters.  Hard living protagonists who just want to be left alone to live the way they want: “And if I died in in Raleigh, at least I will die free.”  Truckers and buskers and gamblers.  It’s wonderful stuff.  And “Wagon Wheel” is the perfect example of their music.

I really, really love this song.

It’s one of those songs about a guy one the road, heading back to the girl he loves.  The Band did it with “Up on Cripple Creek.”  Mudcrutch covered “Six Days on the Road” to great success.  Even Rod Steward did a coming home type song (“Lost in You”; it’s not terrible, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it).  This is a pretty well-worn trope.  But somehow, OCMS makes it sound new.  You can smell the dust rising up as cars and semis pass this guy hitching on the side of the road, and feel the heat rising up from the asphalt.  The images in this song are vividly realistic.  It’s not quite poetic, but pretty darn close.

Give “Wagon Wheel” a listen, and see if you don’t agree.


2 Responses to ““Wagon Wheel””

  1. Sandee said

    Yes! This song was on a compilation that we used to play in the gift shop where I worked — loved it!

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