Levi - Old Crow Medicine Show

from the album Carry Me Back (2012)

The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia is hallowed ground.  This is the stage where Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded their classic album One More From The Road that culminated with the live version of Freebird that is part of the soundtrack of millions of lives.  Entering the venue, I always imagine a barefoot Ronnie Van Zant, urging his band to "play it pretty for Atlanta."

My favorite Fox Theatre memory was seeing Bob Dylan perform a few weeks after Jerry Garcia died.  For his first encore, Dylan covered The Dead's Alabama Getaway.  People freaked out, doing their crazy Dead dance with reckless abandon.  Anthropologists would have stood in awe of this ritual.

Tonight, I caught a great show at the Fox headlined by Old Crow Medicine Show, with The Lumineers and The Milk Carton Kids opening.  In my opinion, The Lumineers owned the night, but more on them in a future post.

The standout song of the evening was Levi.  This song is inspired by Lieutenant Leevi Barnard, of the US Army, who died in 2009 in the Iraq War.  He was a die-hard fan of the band.  To think that I may have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him singing Wagon Wheel or Caroline is a humbling thought.  The chorus to this song says it all:

Oooooooh Leevi
Lord, Lord, Lord they shot him down
Ten Thousand Miles from a Southern town
Oooooooh Leevi

The vivid verses couple with the tones of the south - fiddle, banjo, dobro - to produce a result that stirs my soul.  God bless Lieutenant Leevi Barnard and all his sisters and brothers who never made it home.

Click Here to view a live version recorded last New Year's Eve at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  Several of my friends attended this show.