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About the video
Chatham County Line performs "Bacon in the Skillet" at the Take Root Festival
in Assen, Netherlands on Oct. 1st 2005
About the artists
Based in Raleigh, N.C., Chatham County Line consists of flatpicker Dave Wilson,
banjo picker Chandler Holt, upright bassist Greg Readling and
multi-instrumentalist John Teer. The guys first met in 1996. Wilson was playing in
Stillhouse, a rock 'n' roll band with a freewheeling Crazy Horse bent and a
passion for both the Byrds and the Band. He was also living in the Blue House,
an infamous Raleigh crash pad and romper room for the area's hottest young
musicians. Wilson had been fooling around with traditional acoustic music with
another Blue House regular. Before long, Readling, who was just learning to play
pedal steel, came over to jam.
Somehow, Holt got wind of a massive party one night at the Blue House where
Stillhouse, in its earliest incarnation, would be playing. He and Teer, tired of
playing with people enraptured by the Southern rock thing, were intrigued "to
hear these guys playing original country music that didn't suck," as Holt recalls.
At the party, they befriended Wilson and began occasionally sitting in with
Over a beer one night, Wilson asked the guys if they were interested in starting
a bluegrass band. At the same time, Wilson and Readling, who'd quickly become
a pedal steel ace, joined the Carbines, Tift Merritt's band. The boys recorded
and toured with Merritt, and Chatham County Line was often pegged as the
opener. Producer Chris Stamey saw them open for Merritt and offered to record
them and landed them a deal with Yep Roc Records.
Dubbing themselves "new traditionalists," CCL toured America for a year,
bringing home tales of wild, serendipitous adventures, such as their "guerilla
bluegrass" escapades in Times Square and Grand Central Station after their
August 14, 2003, gig was canceled (that was the date of the massive New
England blackout that left NYC in a state of commotion). During a cross-country
trip in July 2004, the band joined Arlo Guthrie at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival
in Oklahoma, then picked up the best new bluegrass band award at the
RockyGrass bluegrass competition in Lyons, Colo.
In fall 2004, the band teamed with Stamey again, heading into Mitch Easter's
famed Fidelitorium to record a batch of songs live to analog tape. The resulting
album, Route 23, was released on Yep Roc in 2005, while Brian Paulson
stepped in behind the board for 2006's Speed of the Whippoorwill. Since taking
their act on the road, Chatham County Line have been named Best New
Bluegrass Band at the 2004 RockyGrass Competition in Lyons, CO, while
receiving similar honors at the 2006 Indie Music Awards. They released IV in
2008. ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide