Old Crow Medicine Show at Riverside Theater
The banjo-clad band comes to Milwaukee Nov. 17.
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With the recent success of bands like Mumford And Sons and The Avett Brothers, bluegrass-tinged folk rock has become increasingly trendy, even seeping into American Idol via this past season’s winner, Phillip Phillips. With roots music suddenly morphing from something old people listen to into a mass-market cash cow, it would be easy for Old Crow Medicine Show, a banjo-clad band that’s been around a while, to tone down its twang, pump up the light rock, and hoot and stomp all the way to the bank. After all, the band’s biggest hit, “Wagon Wheel,” is popular not just because it’s based off a Bob Dylan riff, but also because it’s the song that Mumford And Sons uses as an ebullient closer. Carry Me Back, the band’s latest, doesn’t suffer from a shortage of whimsy, but its surplus of cringe-inducing aw-shucks hokeyness is problematic.