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Album Review

Chatham County Line's second trip to the well proves to be just as refreshing as their first. Route 23 travels the same dusty back roads in the same open-top convertible, singing harmony-filled acoustic bluegrass songs that would do Bill Monroe proud. Recorded primarily around one microphone by producer Chris Stamey, the group croons and stomps with an authenticity that belies their young age. The mournful title track serves as an early highlight, with songwriter and vocalist Dave Wilson recalling the feeling of his own father's hardware store (here transposed to a service station) being left behind after the State re-routed the highway away from his place of business. This theme of a lost yesteryear knits its way through the entire album, carried by freight trains, reenacted in gunfights, and preached from the pulpit. Bright banjos and mandolins ring across these tracks, punctuated by the band's now-trademark harmonies and decidedly lo-fi studio techniques, making for a warm journey back through winding roads and Philco radios.

Customer Reviews

My musical rebirth

I love hard rock, punk, metal....and this band. Dang these boys can pick! The title song and Louisiana Freight Train are about as beautifully heart wrenching as it gets. Guess it's time to sell my soul to Bluegrass!

Simply put, as good as music gets!

I came across this album at the Fort Collins library of all places, and I figured what the hell, I like roots bluegrass. I thought it was a compilation of old time artists, but as soon as I began listening I realized it was just a single band. Needless to say, I was immediately hooked! In the vein of early Old Crow Medicine Show, these guys make American roots music sound the way it should, not overly polished but rough, scratchy and heartfelt. The first couple tracks remind me of Hank Williams, a sound I've always loved and can rarely find. Their instrumentation is awesome, vocals are incredible and the song writing is honest and true. God I love these guys! Looking forward to getting more of their stuff!


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