Old Crow Medicine Show, "Wagon Wheel," which I like because of the bizarre placement of scantily-clad pseudo-mod chicks doing the pseudo-twist onstage.

And a lot

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It's Like Country Music Week In Seattle

Old Crow Medicine Show, "Wagon Wheel," which I like because of the bizarre placement of scantily-clad pseudo-mod chicks doing the pseudo-twist onstage.

And a lot of our music recommendations this week reflect that. Here's tonight's twangy spread for ya:

Old Crow Medicine Show, Moore Theatre, 8 p.m., $18-$25.50

It's "O Brother Where Art Thou?" week in Seattle, with Lucinda Williams, Kathleen Edwards, Carlene Carter and Old Crow Medicine Show all bringing twangy goodness to town. None of them played on the 2000 soundtrack that reintroduced alt-country to millions, but they've all benefited from the commercial wave it produced. The twangiest, nasallyest, hootenannyest of them all might be Old Crow Medicine Show, a troupe of acoustic merrymakers from North Carolina by way of New York and southern Indiana. With fiddles, slide guitars, guitjos, and upright bass, the five-piece band works a staggering number of drug references ("Huff paint, cocaine, playing chicken with a train/Smack dab, meth lab, mellow-out, rehab") into songs of lonely highways, lost loves, and long nights hitchhiking to Raleigh. After two albums produced by David Rawlings (Gillian Welch's musical and life partner and a songwriting genius), the band worked with Don Was on September's "Tennessee Pusher." Fortunately, the stripped-down musical formula hasn't changed much--it goes down as sharp and smooth as the band's namesake bourbon.

Lucinda Williams, at Showbox at the Market, 7 p.m., $35, tonight AND tomorrow

Mike Seely on Lucinda:

Lucinda Williams' recent release, Little Honey, is a very good album. Critics and fans alike are hailing it as a "return to form"--meaning it's reminiscent of Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, the LP that cemented Williams' status as America's greatest songwriter. So does this mean Little Honey is Williams'’ second-best album? No way. Again, it's a fine album--all Lu's albums are fine albums; she sets her own bar sky-high--but I'm the sort of Williams contrarian who prefers Essence and West, her two most critically-derided albums (ironically, a fair amount of Honey was culled from West's cutting room floor). We could argue all day about shit like this, and the fact that such arguments occur is testament to the cult-like loyalty Williams inspires. But here's what really has me excited: On this tour, as evidenced by a dynamic, career-spanning set at the Pageant in St. Louis, Williams and her sensational backing band, Buick 6, are hardly obeying the "pimp the new record" rule that even well-established acts adhere to. Furthermore, she's playing the Showbox when she could sell out the Paramount or McCaw in a heartbeat. Something tells me these shows will be special, but then, even the most lackluster Williams show is pretty special.

 
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