Old Crow Medicine Show Founding Member Critter Fuqua Departs
Old Crow Medicine Show are starting off 2020 with yet another change to their lineup. The influential roots string band have parted with founding member Christoper "Critter" Fuqua — again.
Rolling Stone reports that Fuqua, who founded Old Crow Medicine Show in 1998 with fiddle player and singer Ketch Secor, played his last show with the group on New Year's Eve. That annual show took place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and Sirius XM's Outlaw Country simulcast the performance live. The vocalist and instrumentalist tells Rolling Stone that he did not undertake his departure lightly.
“Leaving Old Crow is one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make,” Fuqua states. “These men that I’ve played with for 21 years are not only band mates but dear, dear friends, brothers in arms. Old Crow is more than a band, it’s a spiritual being with many entities that have flowed through it since its inception in 1998. It’s my path that I flow out again, but all the folks that have played with Old Crow, worked with Old Crow, managed Old Crow, booked Old Crow, and loved Old Crow will always be family. Family is eternal.”
Fuqua previously left Old Crow Medicine Show in 2007, and he remained absent for five years before re-joining the group in 2012. Secor paid homage to his friend and longtime collaborator in a statement to Rolling Stone, looking back at all of their musical accomplishments.
“I first started making music with Critter in the 7th grade. We bonded over roots music, taught ourselves to play traditional instruments, and began writing songs. Together, we have lived our musical dreams, traveling the world with fiddles and banjos as co-founders of Old Crow,” he states.
“Over the past 20 years OCMS has seen numerous lineup changes, all part of the rotating cast of talents we’ve been honored to share the stage with. Critter’s voice will always be a part of Old Crow Medicine Show and we wish him love and luck on this next leg of his journey.”
Fuqua's departure is the latest in a string of member changes for the band, best known for the iconic hit "Wagon Wheel." Guitarist Chance McCoy departed the group in the early part of 2019, and singer-songwriter and guitarist Charlie Worsham has stepped in as a part-time member. Drummer Jerry Pentecost is also a recent addition to the lineup.
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