The knees-up fervour of Carry Me Back To Virginia, the opening track from Old Crow Medicine Show's fourth album, is typical of the sound the Nashville band conjure up. This is old-time American roots music at its best.

However, in contrast to previous album, 2008's Tennessee Pusher, a thrilling, rabble-rousing record about drug users, hustlers and the disaffected, Carry Me Back has a more down-home feel to it.

It moves from a gentle, toe-tapping porch song mood on tracks like the pleading and twangy Ain't It Enough and Genevieve, which has an emotional bite to it with lines like "your love like fire and your heart like a guillotine", to a thigh-slapping jaunt on the lovely fiddle-driven ditty Levi.

But then there's the next level of pace that these guys can whip their songs up to - on the frantic and unhinged Mississippi Saturday Night (about fighting, preaching, drinking and lovemaking) and saloon sing-a-long and party song Steppin' Out.


It's beautifully hokey yet deftly played music about everything from rolling around in the hay (Country Gal) to making a living on moonshine (Bootlegger's Boy).

They have toured New Zealand twice before - in 2009, and, because they had such a hoot then, they came back for more in 2010 - so expect them to return in support of this album.

Stars: 4/5

- TimeOut