NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WKRN) — Can country music help prevent the next school shooting? That’s the question on the minds of Grammy-winning band Old Crow Medicine Show.
Lead singer Ketch Secor and guitarist Mike Harris spoke to News 2 about their desire for change following the deadly Covenant school shooting.
“Louder than a gunshot, mightier than a bullet,” Seko sang while playing the fiddle at the band’s East Nashville studio.
The band hopes that these lyrics will resonate and play chords well beyond country music’s fan base.
What’s louder than a gun? Is it greater than the pain inflicted on the community affected by the mass shooting? Such thoughts overwhelmed the singer’s mind on March 27, while waiting in line to pick up and drop off his third graders, and tears streamed down his face.
“I thought, ‘Nashville, the last nail in the coffin.’ What if that’s true? What if the last corpse lays on the ground and a child is killed at your school and ends here in Music City?” explained.
As artists, he said, they have their own unique lens on American society.
“You can see all the stripes. You can see the reds and blues, right and left all coming together in the front row,” said Secor. “This is great. Looking across the country music audience, we know that country musicians like us have a unique opportunity to demand safe schools for our children now.”
A father and co-founder of Nashville’s Episcopal School, he cured heartache with action and wrote an op-ed in the New York Times titled “Country Music Can Help America Wean Its Gun Obsession.” I have written.
“This is what activism looks like. It starts as soon as it’s needed and then relentless,” he said.
Secor is working hard with his own band on board. He has met with senators in Washington, written and released protest songs and videos, and met face-to-face with gun store owners to seek common ground to encourage change.
“We sing and talk about it,” Harris explained. “As someone who grew up in the South and grew up in a gun and hunting culture, this is something I am very passionate about. I think.”
According to Secor, what was louder than the guns was the collective voices standing together, inspiring other musicians to use their platform as well.
“I wish a star bigger than the Old Crow Medicine Show cut songs like this and wrote songs like this. We’ve got a platform, and that’s great.” said Secor. “We’re telling the people and they’re listening. We’re telling gun owners because there are gun owners in the audience. Because there are liberals in the audience. But , I really hope someone with a larger audience can stand up for the Covenant Schools, and I think a lot of what I’ve been trying to do is that, Stephanie, someone in the music industry can stand up and say, ‘Now Print out what happens when you say ‘enough’.”
The band has partnered with 97Percent, a bipartisan group of gun owners and non-gun owners who launched the “Aim for Change” petition as part of their goal to reduce gun-related deaths in America. Additionally, Secor joins 97Percent’s Advisory Board as part of its commitment to this cause.
“I’m not doing it for me,” he said. I am doing this for William, Evelyn, Harry, Mike, Cynthia and Katherine. ”