Mason Via joins Old Crow Medicine Show

“I’m living the dream,” 23-year-old Mason Via declared on his becoming the newest member of the Old Crow Medicine Show, in a phone interview this week. “Joining a band that I’ve listened to since I was a kid is wild.”

The Danbury, North Carolina, native moved to Nashville in early 2020. Hoping to establish a career in music, Via ran into a mountain of unforeseen obstacles. 

“The pandemic hit, the tornado hit…finally, for financial reasons, I had to move back home.”

Throughout all the challenges that 2020 afforded, Via kept following his dream. He auditioned for American Idol and made it into the top 40. 

“I was cut at the top 24 (in December 2020). The call for Old Crow Medicine Show came a month later in January 2021. Some of God’s greatest gifts come in unanswered prayers. I’ve always wanted to be in a bluegrass band, and then to get asked for something even bigger that I ever imagined, really is a dream come true!”

The young musician shared how it all came to be.

“Old Crow Medicine Show was looking for someone to audition. I unknowingly had a couple musical acquaintances refer me.”

Ketch Secor, fiddler and OCMS founding member, messaged Via on Instagram and suggested that he give him a call.

“We talked and Ketch asked some questions. He had spent some time in North Carolina, and wanted a young NC guy who had been to fiddlers’ conventions and festivals. He was looking for someone to sing and play guitar in the band.”

Via was invited to Nashville to audition.

“I listened to them in middle school. I learned their (Old Crow Medicine Show) repertoire. It felt larger than life to meet Ketch and the band.”

Their first meeting went well and everything just seemed to click.

“We just had an old time jam session. We sang an old Stanley Brothers’ a cappella, and some old country stuff like Louisiana Saturday Night. They said you’re doing good, come back tomorrow.”

He kept getting asked back. 

“We worked up two new songs of theirs together on one of the days. Ketch and I wrote a song. We hung out.”

Then Via returned to his native Tarheel State, but felt good about his audition.

“I got a call around the first of February that I needed to move to Nashville ASAP. They said, ‘Pack up your stuff, we need you.'”

So once again, Via made the move to Music City to follow his passion. This time, he had a set job waiting.

“Our first live show is on the Grand Ole Opry on May 11! How cool is that?!,” the emerging artist enthusiastically asserted. “Then we play in Florida on May 21 and Charleston on May 22. We will be touring all over the US throughout the remainder of the year.”

Via still has a couple of solo dates remaining on his agenda. April 23 and 24, he will open for the Infamous String Dusters, Sierra Hull and Justin Moses, and the Travelin’ McCourys at VanHoy Farms in Union Grove, NC. He will also be playing May 1 at the Stonefly Fest V featuring the Songs From the Road Band in Johnsonville, TN. The musical artist is slated to release his own recording of progressive bluegrass music later this year.

After those personal appearance dates, Via will devote his time and energies to the Old Crow Medicine Show, touring and recording with his longtime idols in their own unique musical style.

“We’ve got drums and pedal steel. It’s a little bit genre bending, but mainly Americana.”

Via is definitely elated to be a part of the Old Crow Medicine Show.

Affirming that dreaming big focuses on what you really want out of life, and forgetting about reasons why you can’t make it a reality, Via concluded, “It’s really boosted my self-confidence. It’s going to be a blast.”

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.