After a decade together, the good-natured guys of Chatham County Line are keeping everything in balance with a brand new album, Tightrope. You can easily hear the bluegrass influences that helped the band build a foundation in their native North Carolina. But you can also pick up on the pedal steel guitar and piano that set them apart from the pack.
The lineup is comprised of guitarist Dave Wilson, mandolin and fiddle player John Teer, banjo player Chandler Holt and bassist, pedal steel player and pianist Greg Readling, all of whom have been in the band for a decade. That sense of brotherhood is apparent in their lively video for “Tightrope of Love,” a tip of the hat to the historic basement bars in Raleigh.
Wilson says the song began as an instrumental that Holt had written.
“We recorded it at practice, and I heard something in Holt’s winding, chromatic banjo part that suggested the image of a tightrope walker,” he says. “I wrote lyrics to that and reassembled it, giving it a different life. We worked a lot on that song. Hours and hours, different versions. We talked about the lyrical approach together.”
Seeing the similarities between those lyrics and real life, the band shortened up the title for their newest project, which follows their 2012 concert film, Sight and Sound.
“We named the album after it because this is what this band does,” Wilson says. “We work together, walking this weird tightrope between bluegrass and acoustic music, creating this alternative folk country sound, and we choose to stay on our own narrow path. That image fit.”
Check out Chatham County Line’s “Tightrope of Love.”