Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Battle of the Bands ~ Wagon Wheel

It is time again for Battle of the Bands! BUT, before we let loose the two versions of the song, I want to say a hearty Thank You to all of you for your thoughtful and encouraging comments on my last post. You guys rock!

Now, let's get down to actual some rocking.

I think I have mentioned here before that my mom and I enjoy singing karaoke. Well.... a couple of weeks ago I learned (once again) that there was an original to a cover of a song. Yeah, it happens like that a lot with me. And when I looked into it, I found out that there were quite a few covers of this song. Oh boy, the things I have learned doing Battle of the Bands!

The song this week is Wagon Wheel. Here is what Wikipedia says about this song:

"Wagon Wheel" is a song originally sketched by Bob Dylan and later completed by Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show.[2] Old Crow Medicine Show's version was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 2013.[3] The song has also been covered by blues artist Matt Andersen and Against Me! in 2005, Jeremy McComb in 2007, Mumford & Sons in 2010, Irish singer Nathan Carter in 2012, and by Darius Rucker in 2013.

I listened to all of the version in preparation for this Battle of the Bands. I really like the band Mumford & Sons and thought that I would use their version in this battle. In the end, I decided against that.  Instead, I am going with the guys who finished out the song and recorded it first, Old Crow Medicine Show, versus the guy who recorded it last, Darius Rucker. Darius was the lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish before he started a solo career.

So, let's get ready to rumble!

I always wanted to say that. Maybe I should have done it in all caps for better effect....

I am going to include the actual video for the Darius Rucker version, because I think it is clever, BUT do not allow yourself to be swayed by all of those visual images. This battle is strictly about the SONG and not the video. If you think you might be swayed, close your eyes.

There should be other battles going live today. However, they may be slow to load. Farawayeyes over the The Far Away Series just moved and is dealing with some health things that slow her down. Stephen T. McCarthy posted about four days ago that his computer died and he wouldn't be posting until he got it resolved. So, his battle may come up a few days late. So, check back with these people if you click over and their battle has yet to post. It is great fun and I promise you will hear all sorts of music because our tastes are very broad.

And now is that moment when you get to vote for your favorite and tell me what you thought about BOTH versions. Seriously, please tell me *at length* because I love it when you give me long comment. In this case, there really is no *wrong* answer.


  1. Fun song, Robin!

    I like both versions. The OCMS has a much more "authentic bluegrass" sound, a little slower tempo, and a more intimate feel.

    And while I generally go for "authenticity" over "production", I actually find myself preferring the Darius Rucker version. It's not a radical reworking by any stretch, but I find I connect with it better. For one thing, Darius's vocals are so smooth and harmonious. Instead of nasal twang, he brings a much more soulful sound to the song. I also like the prominence of the mandolin and the insertion of the electric guitar. The tempo is also sped up a little and it seems to give it a better groove

    I find this -- surprisingly -- one of the rare cases where I like the "produced" version of a song better. Here it respects the original, keeps the feel of the song, and actually adds to it.

    So Hootie... er, Darius for me!

  2. While not my style of music, I appreciate the smooth, polished sound of the second one. Darius gets my vote as well.

  3. I am going with the Old Crow Medicine Show because it has the feel to it I imagine it should, being a Bob Dylan start and all.

    And good job on the 'let's get ready to rumble' line. I could hear it way over here. ;)

    1. I really thought I was going to like the Medicine show version over Hootie's ( I still refer to Darius Rucker as Hootie-just me). They have that Bluegrass sound like the 'Dirt Band' and I really like the 'Dirt Band', BUT the lead vocals where just a little too over the top for me. Not sure if it was the twang or that I just found the guys voice irritating.

      Hootie, on the other hand still has a bluegrass feel to it, although a more 'modern' type. He also has real smooth vocals that make they other guy sound like one of my cousins from 'down on the farm'.

      Good song and a fun match-up.

      Give my vote to Hootie (Darius) on this one.

  4. Well, I figured to vote for "Hootie" since he is one of the greats IMHO. But.... He's done better jobs making a song his own. Much to my surprise, log me in for Old Crow.

    I was resurrected just in time for BOTB #24.

    Later tonight I hope to get my Email system up and running. I know I owes ya a response to the Numerology charts (which I still haven't even seen because my computer went belly up just before I could check 'em out). I'll read that stuffs and get back to ya soon'z I can. It'll probably be a few days though.

    I liked BOTH versions of this song. And, truth be told, they really aren't THAT MUCH different.

    The first one sounds more the way I imagine Bob Dylan and The Band would have recorded it. However, I think I like Darius Rucker's voice just a tad better and - like Chris Fries mentioned previously - I also like the brief introduction of the electric guitar sound about midway into the song.

    So, yes, like Chris, I too am voting for the second version of this.

    Also... although this did NOT in any way influence my vote, I liked seeing the Duck Dynasty boys in the Rucker video. I KNOW this is going to shock you back to the future but... not only am I familiar with the Duck Dynasty TV show, but I actually LIKE it too!

    The woman in charge of the Human Resources Department where I work, Janet, suggested I check out Duck Dynasty. I ordered a DVD from NetFlix ONLY because I think there's something attractive about Janet... for an older woman. There's a light in her eyes that appeals to me.

    So I ordered the first disc from Season One, and I have watched 3 or 4 more DVDs since then. It's an entertaining show for a "Reality Program". (Even though Duck Dynasty is no more "reality" than any other Reality Show is. They're all loosely scripted at the very, very least.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  6. Not much difference between these, but I prefer the Rucker version for the same reasons others have mentioned. They're both good, but Rucker just has a better sound.

    Never heard of this song before.

    Tossing It Out

  7. I have a soft spot for Rucker, even his country output (which just needs a guitar tuning tweak to be rock), but am also a fan of OCMS.

    I think Darius' version has enough more punch in it to get my vote.

    Dylan demoed a version of this...anyone reading is welcome to borrow my old vinyl bootleg if you want, but this link may be a little easier....


  8. Though they were pretty close, I happen to like Darius' voice better.


  9. I LOVE Darius Rucker. I think I have to go with his version, though they're both awesome.

  10. I answered email while I listened to each one so I wasn't tempted to peek at the videos. Husband is a huge Bob Dylan fan, so I know he would've voted for the first one. Not me. Love Hootie Darius :)

  11. I'm going with Darius Rucker. He has a lot less 'twang' in the song. I did enjoy the video though that's now why I voted for it.

  12. I like OCMS. A lot. And I've never been a fan of Darius Rucker. So I expected OCMS to snag an easy win. But to my surprise, Rucker's is a lot smoother and has a great sound to it.

    Score one for Hootie. Hold the Blowfish.

  13. I confess. I knew I was voting for Darius Rucker before even listening. I have very fresh memories of our July 4 lobster fest two weeks ago, that ended up being in my garage due to pouring rain. We had three generations of family, all with singable music, and we kept swapping i-pods/phones. We sang our hearts out when the Rucker version came on. Hard to compete because it's what I know now, but I actually really enjpyed the early version. Back in the day we did a little blue-grass listening. I loved it all and am pretty sure I would have sung my lungs out for the OCMS too. But Rucker it is.

  14. Gosh, I liked both version a lot. And I'm not even familiar with that song. But I've always had a soft spot for Darius Rucker. I like the tone of his voice.

  15. I would have to put my vote toward Darius Rucker's version. :)

  16. I've always liked Darius Rucker's voice, and I do like his version over the other. I usually like bluegrass, but I didn't like the other guy's voice. Every time he cracked it, it reminded me of Mr. Haney on Green Acres, and all I could picture was that actor (Pat Buttram?) singing.

  17. Hmm, decisions decisions... I am torn but I will cast my vote for Hootie

  18. I was determined to vote for the first one, because I love it, but then I listened to Darius. His voice is pure soul, so pure, he gets my vote.

  19. I prefer the Old Crow Medicine Show version to this song! Darius has a good voice but this song sounds like it belongs to the other!

  20. Ooooh what a fun post!!! It is the first time I have heard this song and both artists. My vote goes to Darius!!

    Your blog is awesome <3

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.


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