Bluegrass or new grass? Chatham County Line is a bluegrass band that was formed out of the non-traditional mold of rock and roll. They have a very traditional, old time flavor and have written songs and tunes that come from the heart of bluegrass legends. Route 23 is the second album by this band with all new material. The songs are fresh and appealing, the instrumentals hot. Dave Wilson handles the lead vocals and has a pleasantly smooth voice. The other vocal harmonies blend well and are unobtrusive.
John Teer plays mandoline, fiddle and sings vocal harmony. Chandler Holt is on banjo and vocals. Greg Readling provides the bass, pedal steel and vocals.
The title song Route 23 is my favorite with its ballad quality telling the story of people's lives bypassed by progress. Nowhere to Sleep has a Woody Guthrie quality. Engine Number 709 is reminiscent of Jimmy Rogers. Dark Clouds may be a little too somber but for Stanley Brothers fans, but maybe not. Saro Jane is not the folk tune by the same name.
This band may have a rock and roll background but it is obvious that they listened to other music too. Rockygrass 2004 named them best new bluegrass band.
The album has twelve songs and two (great) instrumentals.
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