Chatham County Line

You ever stumble on new music and feel like it must have been made in the fields and barns of your tiny hometown?  That it would fit perfectly at that small music festival that they’re planning out at the restaurant in the cave out by the river?  That you could sit this (new to you) band down in the middle of the town square and that the population, young and old alike, would flock to hear the sounds of home?

From the first notes of a song, I can tell you if I like the band and their sound and further, I can tell you if said band will be relegated to just one measly (but most likely, rad) MP3 in my music player or if the band will live on my radar for the coming years.  I know what I like.  And I like Chatham County Line.

Years before my time, my great-uncle was a fiddler and on fine Saturday morn’s he gathered with his friends in our town square at the gazebo that used to reside there.  The locals would head uptown early for coffee and to pick up the next week’s feed and all would inevitably stop in the middle of town to convene and chat and listen.  They would talk of family and crops over the sound of a banjo, a fiddle, and a harmonica.  I’ve long lamented the loss of that time around here — this small town would be hard-pressed to find anyone these days that knows what a mandolin is, let alone how to play it.

In the meantime, while I mourn the loss of those much simpler and much more pleasant times, I’ve got Chatham to hold me over.  Like a more rock version of Horse Feathers but a subtler and more long-winded alternative to faves Megafaun, this band sounds just as much at home today in North Carolina as it would have 100 years ago in Missouri.  I suspect that a live Chatham show is quite the affair to witness and already they’re on my list of shows to see this year when they tour again.

Listen to ‘Crop Comes In’ below and when you’ve dug on that and you inevitably want more, pick up Chatham’s latest album, Wildwood, from YepRoc Records.  As a bonus, head over to the Live Music Archive and groove on some of Chatham’s performances from last year’s Pickathon.

Chatham County Line :: Crop Comes In

Chatham County Line :: Live at Pickathon at Pendarvis Farm, 7 Aug 2010