On the Song Exploder podcast, host Hrishikesh Hirway talks to musicians who take apart their songs and, piece by piece, tell the stories of how they were made. Listen below.

Old Crow Medicine Show is a six-piece band from Tennessee who have been making music since 1998. They were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2013, and they won the Grammy for Best Folk Album in 2015 for their record Remedy. In this episode, bandleader Ketch Secor tells the story of how they made “Dearly Departed Friend,” one of the songs from that record. It’s a story song about a young military veteran returning home to a small town after seeing combat. Secor talks about his anti-war sentiments dating back to Operation Desert Shield, and how growing up in a small town and watching others enlist gradually helped to draw the threads of this song together, with some help from Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly producer Ted Hutt.

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Song Exploder: Old Crow Medicine Show Breaks Down Their Powerful Song ‘Dearly Departed Friend’