The Old Crow Medicine Show made their first appearance at Penn's Peak last night and brought with them a musical elixir which worked wonders.
Most of the audience members stood for the performance, clapping, stomping their feet, singing, and even dancing.
While their music was obviously bluegrass, there was enough blues, folk, and Americana injected into the selections that the appeal to the band is widespread.
"It sounds bluegrass but it's more than that," said Kasey Dunmyer of Lancaster. "They're unique. They're terrific entertainers."
The six member string band showed versitility, playing a wide variety of selections from ballads like "Evening Sun" from their newest "Tennessee Pusher" CD to the peppy, breath-taking "Tell It To Me."
Of course, from the reaction, it was obvious everybody was there to hear what has become their signature song, "Wagon Wheel," co-written by lead singer Keith Secor and Bob Dylan.
The audience was as loud as the band as it shouted the lyrics:
So rock me mama like a wagon wheel
Rock me mama anyway you feel
Hey mama rock me.
For well over two hours, the band displayed harmony, talent, and adaptability in its performance. While Secor was obviously the lead singer, other band members shared generously in the vocal spotlight.
Besides being a fine singer, Secor was simply awesome on the harmonica, interjecting the sound on several selections.
Although they're bluegrass, Old Crow Medicine Show has its own style. You can't compare them to the legends Bill Monroe or Del McCroury, or even to modern bluegrass artists Alison Kraus or The Grascals. They still utilize such instruments as the guitjo and banjo, but put a twist to it that modernizes it without taking out the roots.
The Old Crow Medicine Show put on quite a performance last night at Penn's Peak.
Even as they were leaving, walking to their cars, people were still singing "Rock me mama like a wagon wheel."
"It was an awesome concert," commented Cheri Liposky of State College. "I hope they come back. They rock."
Like a wagon wheel.
Tonight at Penn's Peak, there will be fine country music with Sammy Kershaw performing. Kershaw's hits include "She Don't Think She's Beautiful" and "Yard Sale."