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iTunes Review

Chatham County Line are an untraditional band in a deeply traditional genre. The Raleigh-based quartet play bluegrass as well as any contemporary American group; just check out the crisp picking and tight vocal and instrumental harmonies throughout the album. Yet their focus is on songcraft rather than technique. “The Traveler” and “Girl She Used to Be” are rich, melancholy love songs. Challenging arrangements adorn “Ships at Sea” and the soldier's elegy “Final Reward,” which features piano and a French horn. The band pick up the tempo with the standout “Tightrope of Love,” while “Sixteen Years” is a midtempo tune that borrows a melody line from Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire.” “Hawk” is a sparse and moving tribute to a World War II fighter pilot. The album's self-reflective lyrics are well crafted and poignant, touching on themes not usually associated with bluegrass. Befitting such mature material, Tightrope's pace is slower overall yet unfailingly affecting.

Customer Reviews

Best Yet

Raleigh, NC's hometown heroes have outdone themselves on this one.

Tightrope brilliance!

This is a masterful album from start to finish. Might be CCL's finest hour. Every song a new favorite. Highly recommended!

this is a great recording...

from the road-worn lyrics of, "the traveler", to the haunting piano on the historically-inspired, "final reward"; tightrope represents not only the latest chapter in the interesting musical journey of it's four members (whose soulful harmonies and tasteful, intricate playing continues to impress), but also dave wilson's fine songwriting and artistic vision at the recording's lush sonic helm.


Formed: 1999 in Raleigh, NC

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Merging a traditional bluegrass sound and first-class picking with pithy songwriting that often confronts personal issues and political matters head on, Chatham County Line are a North Carolina foursome who first came together in 1999. In the mid-'90s, guitarist Dave Wilson was a member of a country-rock band called Stillhouse, whose sound merged Gram Parsons and Neil Young, when he met Greg Readling, a pedal steel player who could also handle upright bass. Both were interested in the possibility...
Full Bio