The ole’-time root-boogie boys have lit the hills again with their eighth studio release, Paint This Town. The successor to the 2018 barn-burner Volunteer, Paint This Town has the classic Old Crow spitfire with a refined barrel of smooth and smokey flavor.
Even though the OCMS lineup has changed quite a bit over the years, the vibe that founder and band leader Ketch Secor etched into the groove remains as a steady base to explore new territory.
This may be a more mature record with extra attention given to arrangement complexity, but the songwriting is where the jewel of the record is found.
The evidence of the perfect sonic and lyrical storm can be found on “Bombs Away,” a reflection of Secor’s recent divorce, which leaves an avenue for open interpretation and perspective with an autobiographical flavor wrapped up with a raucous foot-stompin’ bow and string.
“Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise” is a celebratory chant-a-long with the allurement of an impromptu line dance. Even the ballad-laden “Painkiller” and “New Mississippi Flag” craft a solid flow of creek to river through the journey of this record.
As the days get hotter and longer, Paint This Town is a great segue way into the summer melt.
– Chris Rucker