Since 1998, Old Crow Medicine Show has been a staple in Folk and Bluegrass music. They’ve had numerous platinum hits such as “Wagon Wheel,” and “Sweet Amarillo,” have been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and have won two Grammy Music Awards.
Although this old-timey band has received dozens of accolades throughout the years, they still stick to their small-town roots.
Ketch Secor, a vocalist, fiddler, banjo-player, and harmonica-player, for the band said, “Harrisonburg memories float through all the songs I write. I have a wellspring of inspiration associated with my childhood and adolescence in Harrisonburg that never seems to run out.” Secor was born and raised in Harrisonburg, and learned to play in the Valley.
“With the money I saved I bought a banjo and played the hell out of it at the Little Grill every Sunday night during open mic. I also played the Artful Dodger, Jim’s Drive-In, The Mary Gil Diner, the street corner, and just about anywhere that would have me.”
Another founding member of the band, Critter Fuqua, is from Harrisonburg as well. Secor and Fuqua met each other 25 years ago in Mr. Smith’s 7th grade history class and have been friends ever since.
Fuqua also has a special relationship with the ‘burg.
“Growing up in Harrisonburg was magical. Looking back, it was like something out of a Ray Bradbury story.” said Fuqua. “Riding bikes to Glen’s Fair Price store and getting bubble gum cards when I was ten, eating chili dogs at Jess’ Quick Lunch, exploring graveyards and abandoned houses on Halloween as the leaves fell and the air grew crisp in the fall.”
Harrisonburg, not only has helped to shape the music the band creates, but also has shaped them as people.
“Most of my dreams take place in the Valley and the ‘Burg,” said Fuqua.
However, these small-town roots have taken these two to larger-than-life places. They have toured around the world, singing songs about their home, and the trials most people can relate to.
“Country music is here to champion the cause of the hardest working Americans. Coal miners, truck drivers, soldiers, and the like,” said Secor. Hard-working people is a theme universally known and understood.
But when you get down to it, these famous country singers are just two friends from the Valley, singing the struggles of the common man, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Two kids hanging out by the banks of Blacks Run, now still making music with each other in the present day.” Fuqua said. “I couldn’t ask for more.”