Chatham County Line : IV

Naming its recent studio effort IV doesn’t hint at the creativity bursting through Chatham County Line’s musical seams. Just like the eye-popping scenery of their native North Carolina landscape, there is more than meets the ear for these traditionalist bluegrass string pickers. chatham_county_line_iv.jpg

IV finds guitarist Dave Wilson matching notes with mandolin-magician John Teer and banjo-plucker Chandler Holt. A breezy rhythmic sway captures "The Carolinian," pushing Holt and Wilson to center stage with the swirling momentum of brash improvisation. "Chip of a Star" relies upon Holt’s sweeping chord changes, bringing to mind open meadows and 70s Nashville Neil Young sessions. Bassist Greg Readling holds down the bottom end on upright bass, giving "Chip" a modern, polished feel that distinguishes the charmer through its radio ready appeal. IV‘s throwback gem is "Let It Rock," a plucky rave-up destined to endear after the repeated live interpretations inside of Chatham County Line’s concert performances.

Producer Chris Stamey (Yo La Tengo, Alejandro Escovedo) captures the essence of CCL’s spirit and sound, whether it’s the charging "Let It Rock" or sweet melancholy of "One More Minute." IV‘s finest moment comes bristling through the passionate folk protest of "Birmingham Jail." It’s a stunner, and it raises Chatham County Line and IV up beyond bluegrass basics to a more elevated and enriched conscience.    

IV is out March 4 on Yep Roc Records.