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Old Crow Medicine Show Revives Traveling Tradition

Eight years ago, an American string band took its act to Canada. They spent the fall busking on street corners and playing in bars along the road.

They called themselves Old Crow Medicine Show to honor the traveling variety shows — or medicine shows — that used to roam the United States a century ago.

Old Crow Medicine Show has a new CD called Big Iron World.

Ketch Secor sings, and plays fiddle and harmonica with the band.

He says the band decided to go to Canada because they wanted the "outer reaches" of a "wild land." They also didn't want any competition, he jokes.

As the band traveled across the country, they found that audiences responded to their music.

"People would go get their children or their parents or friends and drag them out, saying 'You gotta see this,'" Secor says.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.