OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW LIVE AT THE ORANGE PEEL AND TENNESSEE THEATRE
3 and a half stars
The interactive energy dependably generated between the OCMS and their audience, sometimes more felt than seen is, unsurprisingly, a filmmaking challenge to capture. Still, in this, the first concert DVD from the new-era, old-timey band, the Old Crows are in fine form throughout: intensely visibly committed to the music, unafraid to be caught entertaining people, and very skilled at the playing and the singing they do. (Kudos to Willie Watson, a talented vocalist who tends to get less attention than the more physical front man Ketch Secor. He’s riveting here; the close-ups help.) The key tunes are all here (“Wagon Wheel,” “Tell It to Me,” “I Hear Them All,” “Down Home Girl,” etc.), caught during two successive shows in Asheville and Louisville last December. The acoustic electricity sparked is better captured in the second half, in Knoxville, Tennessee, where video director Lee Tucker and company relax, sticking with shots long enough to show the relation between band members and the playing. The opening Asheville set, for some reason, is subjected to superfluous and distracting, frenetic editing, cutting every few seconds without regard to the musical action, in this otherwise engaging DVD.