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This reissue of self-titled breakout debut from Raleigh, NC's Chatham County Line marks the formation of one of acoustic music's strongest torch bearers. Chatham County Line
is a document of the band in its original line-up and in the first stage of its significant album to album evolution, culminating in its most recent album IV
. This first album finds the band in a more straightforward bluegrass mood, showcasing their stunning instrumentalism and the sharpening of their renowned harmonies. The album sees the quartet honing their craft on the traditional bluegrass instruments - mandolin, fiddle, banjo and acoustic guitar - and "one mic" live performance style that has become their trademark.
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Gifted singer-songwriter Dave Wilson's distinctive vocals and breathtaking songs drive the band's originality and unmistakable soulfulness. At the time of this recording Dave Wilson and fiddle/mandolin virtuoso John Teer were still splitting their time between commitments. Wilson was moonlighting as a member of Tift Merritt's backing band The Carbines and Teer was lead guitarist for country artist Thad Cockrell. Chandler Holt plays a custom Neckville banjo. He is as solid a five-string picker as they come, employing the three-finger style that originated in North Carolina and later popularized by Earl Scruggs. His Scruggs-style instrumentals and smoking banjo breaks are still a high point of CCL's live shows. Chatham County Line
also features original bassist Ned Durant, on double (or "doghouse") bass. Durant not only drives the band rhythmically but also completes its characteristic three-part vocal harmonies. Bassist and multi-instrumentalist Greg Readling replaced Durant on later albums.
Recorded with renowned producer Chris Stamey, Chatham County Line's debut self-titled album, now reissued on Yep Roc, is a meaty debut by a new generation of pickers who have updated and refreshed a quintessentially American musical style, making their mark on 21st century music in the process.