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Strange Fascination

by Chatham County Line

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about

“Well, I guess we’re not a bluegrass band anymore because once you lose the banjo, you fall right out of that one,” says Dave Wilson, the guitarist, lead vocalist, and chief songwriter of Chatham County Line. He laughs because the North Carolina string band has been far removed from that genre’s confines for years, despite topping the Billboard bluegrass charts with its last three releases. On the band’s ninth studio album, Strange Fascination, they stray even further from bluegrass conventions in the midst of a lineup change that features dedicated percussion for the first time. “We’ve always seen ourselves as an Americana band that breathed through instruments that are conventionally considered to be bluegrass, so we’re replacing the banjo with drums and hoping we can up the ante a little.”

Fiercely dedicated to originality and honesty, Chatham County Line draws from a deep well of American roots traditions as often as a decade-spanning array of rock, pairing Wilson’s timeless songwriting—which often examines the human condition through a personal lens—with clever and skilled instrumental work. Twenty years into the band’s lifetime, Strange Fascination marks an important point in their slow and steady evolution, serving as both the final release with co-founding banjo player Chandler Holt— the first change to their line-up since 2001—and their first to feature drums throughout. Despite the potential for a radical shift in style, the album finds the veteran group reinvigorated by broadening their palette rather than attempting to completely reinventing their sound.

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released April 24, 2020

2020, Yep Roc Records

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Chatham County Line Raleigh, North Carolina

Strange Fascination marks a turning point in CCL's steady growth and evolution. It's the final release with co-founding banjo player Chandler Holt, the first line-up change since 2001, and the first w/ drums on all songs.

The core — Dave Wilson (guitar/vocals), John Teer (mandolin/fiddle/vocals), and Greg Readling (bass/pedal steel/piano)—now add percussion to its line-up - Dan Hall on drums.
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