"Americana" or "roots music" seem to be terms that have been thrown around loosely these days. But, if we take these terms in their simplest forms, we see that "Americana" or "roots music" is music that is based off of America's rich, and diverse, musical history. Yet, while it's origins come from long ago, it is also music that sounds fresh, while remaining timeless, as it continues to contribute to our musical landscape. Matt Ray's "Old Crow" is an album does just that. Composed of twelve tracks written and arranged by Ray, "Old Crow" taps into many musical traditions while maintaining a consistently unique and engaging overall feel. If one wants blues, they need to go no further then the title track, or the blues infused "Nothing's Gonna Change". Want folk music? Ray offers us "Them Heroes" and "Too Much I Wanna Know". Maybe one prefers traditional country music? In this case, we get the Hank Williams-style "Let Me Fall Into You". If straight up rock and roll is your thing, we are given the funky "Old Time Band" and the rollicking "Don't It Make You Wanna Dance?". From the pre-World War II old time style of "The Ranger's Lament" to the jug band offering of "Come Out On Top" Ray has created a cornucopia of sounds for the ears. Recorded under the guidance of Minnesota legend Rich Mattson at Sparta Sound, Ray has assembled a top notch crew of musicians. From Grammy Award winner John Ely's delicate lap steel guitar, to the rhythmic force of Mattson himself on bass, to a collection of unknown friends, the musicians sound as if they have played together all their life. Albums like "Old Crow" don't come around that often. It is very rare when a musician can strive for a very diverse sound AND cohesiveness and actually achieve this. "Old Crow" does. If you want to take a quick trip down America's roots of music seen from a modern perspective, start your ears here.