Old Crow Medicine Show has earned a reputation for top-shelf musicianship and hits including the now-classic “Wagon Wheel,” but the two-time Grammy-winning group is also advocating for gun reforms.
The group has released the protest song “Louder Than Guns” to all streaming platforms, in partnership with 97Percent, a bipartisan gun-safety organization that is working to create research-backed policies supported by both gun owners and non-gun owners.
Old Crow bandleader and Nashville resident Ketch Secor wrote the song in the aftermath of the March 27 school shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, which took the lives of three children and three school staffers. (The shooter was also killed during the incident.) “This time it was people I know, gunned down in a minute or so/ Only God knows when it’ll stop/ But thoughts and prayers ain’t enough,” Secor sings in the song.
“When the lives of six teachers and students were snuffed out in a couple minutes at Covenant School in Nashville, I knew I had to speak out, and so I sought every opportunity to do so,” Secor said via a statement. “I wrote the song ‘Louder Than Guns’ and recorded it just a week after the funerals for the slain. Before we recorded the track, I carved their names in my fiddle — Hallie, Evelyn, William, the three 9-year-olds, and Mike, Cynthia and Katherine, the three educators. I dedicate this song to them because I swore when the shooting came to Nashville, I was going to work my hardest to make it the last stop on this runaway train of murders, gun violence and terror. I stand up not knowing the answers as to how this will be done. I am a musician, not a politician. But I will use my voice from now on to demand the change our communities deserve. Won’t you join us in Old Crow Medicine Show and take a stand in your community, too?”
Secor, a father of two children and a co-founder of The Episcopal School of Nashville, has been a leading voice for change following the shooting at The Covenant School. He performed at a benefit concert at Belmont University’s The Fisher Center to support those impacted by the Nashville school shooting, as well as at a vigil held in downtown Nashville. He is also joining the board of the 97Percent.
On Wednesday (April 26), 97Percent and Wunderman Thompson launched the Aim For Change campaign, a petition featuring four gun reform laws that 97Percent’s research shows are supported by gun owners.
Of the band’s partnership with 97Percent, Secor said, “We’re proud to partner with 97Percent, an organization focused on pragmatic, impactful solutions that both non-gun owners and gun owners want, because we recognize the huge importance of getting through the gridlock on the issue of gun violence. Parents across America must set the example for politicians; the time is now for the Left and Right to come together at the bargaining table. As 97Percent believes, we’re never going to make progress without engaging gun owners. Old Crow hopes our partnership will be a calling to gun owners and sportsmen. The time to act is now and both sides simply must come together before the next innocent lives are lost.”
Listen to “Louder Than Guns” below: