Ten years in, the four gentlemen of Chatham County Line have a lot to reflect on: sold Chatham County Line out shows in the US and abroad, appearances on national radio & TV, four solid selling records, and
four really dirty suits.
"We want to be the band that puts on the most professional show in the business of what we do," says singer/guitarist/songwriter Dave Wilson. "If you've taken your time to be there for us, we are going to prove we are there for you." It's that sincerity of showmanship and professionalism that has led to countless miles on the road for CCL. "We've worn out two vans by now and I've actually worn out a few ties as well," says John Te John Teer John Teer. "You ever er hear of someone wearing out a tie?"Teer plays mandolin and fiddle and sings high tenor for the band. It is this commitment that has fans driving hundreds of miles to see Chatham County Line Chatham County Line Chatham County Line at work on the road. "We've had fans travel from another country to catch a show," reflects banjoist Chandler Holt, continuing, "That's when you know you're doing something right." Releasing IV to critical acclaim in 2008, CCL was invited to be on Later. . . with Jools Holland on BBC 2 in the UK, alongside such acts as The Raconteurs, Nick Cave, and Bon Iver. "Now that was a party," muses standup bassist Greg Readling Greg Readling Greg Readling. "When you've got those guys coming up and introducing themselves to
you, all the miles just melt away."
The newest addition to their catalog, Wildwood, is no departure from the path CCL has been carving during its decade of existence. Another strong batch of songs, with solid melodies and lyrics, telling the tales of what all those years on the road have brought to them. "I guess I'm out of the running / Thanks for your applause," sings Dave Wilson on the track Out of the Running. "We may never grace the cover of Rolling Stone," Dave says, "but at this point, that is not something we care about. We might reach for the stars, but we're mostly concerned with making great music that speaks to us and our fans."
It's this sense of dedication that fuels songs such as Crop Comes In, a great showcase for the addition of drums to the band's usual all-string lineup. "Yeah, so we have Zeke Hutchins (Tift Merritt, Sara Watkins, Hotel Lights) sitting there in the studio on a rare break from the road, so lets put him to work," Wilson explains. "Though we're still going to tour as a four piece acoustic band, a record is something special, right?
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....more
Like most "tribute" type albums, this will probably be more greatly appreciated by fans of the musician playing the songs than by fans of the original artist, but I'll be honest: I was never particularly a massive fan of Guy Clarke (though I like his better known hits like those on Heartworn Highways and Together at the Bluebird Cafe). However, I do love almost everything Steve Earle does, including this, so it was kind of a "must buy" just for that reason. ivanerik