For the last twenty years, multi-instrumentalist Ketch Secor has been front man and fiddler for Old Crow Medicine Show. Described variously as alt-country, folk, and mountain music revivalists, Old Crow is an American roots string band with punk rock attitude and energy. Its earliest days stretch back to Ketch’s seventh grade year in Harrisonburg, Virginia, when he and friend Christopher “Critter” Fugua began playing music together – and its explosion onto the folk / Americana scene in the early 2000s led to a revival in banjo-driven old time music.
All of American music comes from the same place. It’s just sort of where it ends up. And country music is one of the destinations. You have the banjo, which comes from Africa. And you have the fiddle, which comes from the British Isles and from Europe. And when they meet, they meet in the American South. And that’s the big bang.
Born Jay Ketcham Miller Secor, Ketch attended New Hampshire’s prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy on scholarship. There, he learned to play banjo and fell in love with Bob Dylan. One of the Dylan songs Ketch discovered was a snippet entitled “Rock Me Mama,” an outtake from a 1973 Dylan recording session in Burbank, California. Homesick for Virginia, Ketch expanded upon the song, adding verses about long New England winters and hitchhiking south. That song, later co-copyrighted with Dylan, became “Wagon Wheel” – Old Crow’s signature song, released in 2004, and a No. 1 country hit for Darius Rucker in 2013.
After Phillips Exeter, Ketch attended Ithaca College where he immersed himself in the local old-time music scene, officially forming Old Crow with Fuqua and three others. In 1999, the band settled in a backwoods cabin near the college town of Boone, North Carolina. There, busking on a street corner, they were discovered by bluegrass-folk-country-blues legend Doc Watson, who invited them to participate in his annual MerleFest music festival. “That gig,” Ketch would later say, “changed our lives.” The group moved to Nashville and began recording with labels Nettwerk, ATO Records, and eventually Columbia Nashville.
Old Crow Medicine Show became members of the Grand Ole Opry on September 17, 2013. That same year, they received the Trailblazer Award from the Americana Music Association and, two years later, won the 2015 GRAMMY Award for Best Folk Album with their LP, Remedy. Known for his interest in Appalachian history and musicology, Ketch recently wrote a children’s book, Lorraine – his retelling of a Southern folktale, interwoven with the power of music.
Born: May 13, 1978
A virtuosic, award-winning guitarist with a gift for insightful songwriting, Molly Tuttle established herself as a new artist to watch with her boundary-breaking debut album, WHEN YOU’RE READY. What followed were dates at Telluride, Newport Folk Fest, an appearance on CBS Saturday Morning, and an enthusiastic reception both by critics and her fellow musicians.
In March 2020, the Nashville-based artist experienced the devastating tornado that tore through much of East Nashville, followed by the global pandemic. Tuttle, who grew up in California and has toured as a solo artist for years, suddenly found herself – along with the rest of the musician community – sheltering at home. She found solace in revisiting favorite songs from throughout her life in an attempt to “remind myself why I love music.” She conceptualized an idea for a record with renowned LA producer Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird) to be recorded over 2,000 miles apart.
Tuttle taught herself how to use ProTools, recorded and engineered all of her parts alone before sending them to Berg in Los Angeles. Berg proceeded to enlist legendary session musicians including drummer, Matt Chamberlain and keys player, Patrick Warren to add instrumentation in their respective home studios. Guest vocalists include Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor.. “This is how the astronauts do it!” she recalls Berg saying as they sent the files back and forth.
The result is 10 tracks that cross the musical spectrum and the decades, from FKA Twigs to Cat Stevens, from Rancid to Karen Dalton, that will be released as …but i'd rather be with you on Compass Records.
The songs range from a shimmering version of The National’s “Fake Empire,” to her version of the Rolling Stones “She’s a Rainbow,” all united by Tuttle’s clear, true voice, astonishing range and incredible musicianship.