Old Crow Medicine Show has become one of Bob Dylan's most successful collaborators -- without most of its members having met the man.
The group finished Dylan`s partly finished "Wagon Wheel" in 2004 for a recording that became a huge college hit and subsequently a country smash for Darius Rucker. This year it's happened again, with OCMS taking on another unfinished Dylan song, "Sweet Amarillo," as the first single from its upcoming album "Remedy."
"Bob's manager sent us this sort of unfinished chorus and Ketch (Secor) built the song around it and I helped out some," says singer and multi-instrumentalist Critter Fuqua, who co-founded OCMS during 1998 in Virginia with childhood friend Secor. "It's wild because none of us have really met Bob, physically. He's very much spirit for me, almost like God gave us a little nudge and said, 'Here, finish this.'
"I don't know if (Dylan)'s dead or alive, because I've never met him, you know? We just know him through spirit. He's very much an ethereal muse for us, but we seem do to pretty good work together."
Fuqua, 36, adds that Rucker's rendition of "Wagon Wheel" -- which has also been covered by several artists -- has helped bring more fans to the OCMS camp, especially after it topped the Country Charts and sold three-times platinum, winning a Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance.
"I definitely know for a fact more people know about the song 'Wagon Wheel' because of (Rucker) and therefore more people know about Old Crow and then go buy our albums," says Fuqua. "It's only been a good thing for us and Darius. We know Darius. We're both members of the Grand Old Opry. We see him and play with him. It's been a great boon for all involved."
OCMS' "Remedy," its follow-up to 2012's "Carry Me Back," is due out July 1.
Old Crow Medicine Show performs with the Avett Brothers at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills. Tickets are $68.50 and $60.50 pavilion, $44.50 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to