East Nashville’s Old Crow Medicine Show recorded their seventh full-length album, Paint This Town, during Spring 2021. The record was co-produced by the band and Matt Ross-Spang (John Prine, Jason Isbell). It’s scheduled for a 22 April release via ATO Records. Old Crow’s bassist Morgan Jahnig presented the band’s philosophy like this in a recent press release about the new re “ord”: “At the end of the day, we’re still just trying to stop you on the street and get you to put a dollar in the guitar case. Then once we’ve got your attention, we’re gonna tell you about things like the opioid epidemic and the Confederate flag and what’s happening with the environment—but we’re gonna do it with a song and dance. We feel a great obligation to talk about the more difficult things happening out there in the world, but we also feel obligated to make sure everyone’s having a great time while we do it.”
Old Crow just released the first single from the new album with an accompanying video. It’s the title song, “Paint This Town”, and has musical echoes of other small town, teenage, life stories in all of its boredom and glory (see John Mellencamp’s anthemic odes “Jack and Diane”, “Pink Houses”, “Small Town”, and those older songs Mellencamp pays homage to). The tune is catchy, and the lyrics are brightly sung. The video features the six band members and actors portraying younger versions of them recreating a night from the past when they snuck out of the house and partied. The group has a host of adventures, all G rated with the possible exception of buying beer with a fake ID and then drinking it. It’s a charming, cleaned-up version of Dazed and Confused. Travis Nicholson directed the video.
Bandleader Ketch Secor explained, “This song is about growing up in a small town and having to make fun wherever you could find it. Our band has always drawn its inspiration from those elemental American places, where water towers profess town names, where the Waffle House and the gas station are the only spots to gather; this is the scenery for folk music in the 21st century.” This may or may not be folk music—who knows what that means these days—but it is lots of fun.
Old Crow is currently on tour and will return to the Ryman Auditorium for their annual New Year’s Eve performances on 30 and 31 December. Find a complete list of tour dates below.
Hear this song on the PM Picks Spotify playlist.
December 10 – Nashville, TN @ Grand Ole Opry
December 11 – Nashville, TN @ Grand Ole Opry
December 16 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater
December 17 – Newkirk, OK @ 7 Clans Casino
December 27 – Greenville, SC @ The Peace Center
December 28 – Knoxville, TN @ Tennessee Theatre
December 30 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
December 31 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium