Chatham County Line
Chatham County Line
Launched a little more than twenty years ago in Raleigh, North Carolina, Chatham County Line built a devoted local following on the strength of their genre-bending live show—an intoxicating blend of bluegrass, folk, country, and rock and roll—before breaking out internationally with their 2003 self-titled debut. In the years to come, the band would go on to release eight more critically acclaimed studio albums, top the Billboard Bluegrass Chart four times, collaborate with the likes of Judy Collins, Sharon Van Etten, and Norwegian star Jonas Fjeld, earn two gold records in Norway (where they were also twice nominated for the Spellemannprisen, Norway’s equivalent of a Grammy), and share bills with everyone from Guy Clark and Lyle Lovett to Steve Martin & Martin Short and The Avett Brothers. NPR hailed the group as “a bridge between bluegrass traditions and a fresh interpretation of those influences,” while Uncut lauded their “powerful melodies and gorgeous harmonies,” and Pitchfork dubbed their music “timeless.” The band’s latest release, Hiyo, marks the band’s first release since the departure of their longtime banjo player and serves as something of a reintroduction to the roots stalwarts, complete with new sounds, new collaborators, and a whole new lease on life. Recorded at Asheville’s Echo Mountain studio with co-producer/engineer Rachael Moore (Kacey Musgraves, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss), the collection finds the trio—Dave Wilson (lead singer/guitarist), John Teer (fiddle/mandolin) and Greg Readling (bass/pedal steel), embracing change at every turn, experimenting with fresh sonic palettes and innovative approaches to their core instrumentation. The songwriting remains classic Chatham County Line here—rich, evocative tales of love and heartbreak, joy and sorrow, righteousness and revenge—but the settings have evolved to incorporate synthesizers, drum machines, and more electric guitar and percussion than ever before. Given the group’s string band roots and decades spent singing around a single microphone, the results are nothing short of revelatory, taking an enduring sound and injecting it with a thrilling new spirit of discovery and vitality.