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Old Crow Medicine Show ‘Collaborate’ With Bob Dylan Again

Old Crow Medicine Show
Karl Walter, Getty Images

Old Crow Medicine Show scored one of the biggest hits of their career with ‘Wagon Wheel,’ a song originally outlined by Bob Dylan, and later finished by founding member Ketch Secor. ‘Wagon Wheel’ became a platinum hit for the group, with Darius Rucker releasing his own chart-topping version as well.

While Dylan is known as much for his reclusive behavior as he is his lengthy list of musical achievements, the 73-year-old finally responded to the band’s gratitude, in a way that no one expected.

“The bottle washed ashore on the beach in Malibu and Bob scrawled something into the bottle and he tossed it back into the Pacific and it made its way to Music City,” Secor explains (quote via Nashville’s Tennessean).

Instead of a note of acknowledgement, or a token gift, Dylan instead sent another song sketch — from the same sessions as ‘Wagon Wheel,’ for Dylan’s 1973 ‘Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid’ album, recorded in Mexico — asking if Secor wanted to try his hand at turning it into another masterpiece.

“I was working with about 26 seconds in which there’s a lot of giggling in the background and it just sounds like a pretty high time down in Monterey, or Durango, or wherever they are making this Western movie,” he explains.

Still, Secor turned the song into ‘Sweet Amarillo,’ about a cowboy’s search for his lover. Old Crow Medicine Show sent Dylan’s management their demo, to which Dylan responded by suggesting they move the chorus up, and swap the harmonica for a fiddle.

“The reason it sounds so catchy is because Bob said play the fiddle and get a good hook in your music,” Secor says. “That’s what a good catchy song does. I think Bob is rooting for it, too.”

Secor adds that whether or not ‘Sweet Amarillo’ ever makes it onto the airwaves, the song is already a huge success in his mind.

“To me, the success is the fruition of Bob hearing the song and sending another one,” he adds. “It’s already done everything. It made a circle.”

Old Crow Medicine Show released their latest album, ‘Remedy,’ earlier this month. They are currently crossing the country in support of the new record. Download ‘Remedy’ here, and see all of their upcoming concerts here.

Next: Is Traditional Country Music Dead?

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