Chatham County Line Brings Rootsy Jams to Helsinki Hudson

Chatham County Line (photo Patrick Shanahan)

Chatham County Line (photo Patrick Shanahan)

(HUDSON, N.Y.) – North Carolina acoustic country-folk quartet Chatham County Line performs at Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, November 5, at 9pm. The group can do the high-lonesome sound with the best of them, but then turn around and stretch out on an improvisation that takes the audience on a ride into jazz or jam-band territory. Country-rock singer-songwriter Johnny Irion in the news lately for his new version of “Old Man Trump,” a song written about Donald Trump’s racist landlord father by none other than Woody Guthrie (his grandfather-in-law) warms up the crowd for the quartet.

While the group resembles a bluegrass outfit in instrumentation, plays bluegrass festivals, and even has won awards for its bluegrass approach, Chatham County Line is as much a songwriter’s band as it is a picking outfit. The group’s original songs betray the influence of classic roots-rock singer-songwriters like Neil Young, Gram Parsons and Bob Dylan.

For nearly two decades, the Raleigh, N.C.-based outfit has consistently crafted top-notch, original modern acoustic music that draws upon American roots forefathers like bluegrass inventor Bill Monroe and folk innovator John Hartford while acknowledging its own members’ backgrounds playing in rock ‘n’ roll bands.

Johnny Irion

Johnny Irion

Characterized by poignant songwriting and inventive arrangements, Chatham County Line’s latest album, “Autumn,” sees the quartet working comfortably in its sweet spot. Built around songwriter/guitarist Dave Wilson’s clever lines and compelling vignettes, the record is a treasure trove of the wistful balladry and dynamic toe-tappers that’ve become the band hallmarks. John Teer (mandolin/fiddle), Chandler Holt (banjo), and Greg Readling (bass) add stellar three- and four-part harmonies for vocal highlights, while their impeccable yet unconventional picking — rooted in bluegrass but informed by a wealth of other influences — impresses without overshadowing Wilson’s rich storytelling.

From elegant European concert halls to large American folk festivals, Chatham County Line has become a fixture on both sides of the Atlantic, where the musical relationships fostered by its consistent line-up are apparent through an unspoken chemistry that allows the freedom for improvisational flashes that seem as polished as the rest of its set. For a veteran ensemble that’s long made music on its own terms, perhaps its toughest task is now choosing which of the many gems from its seven albums get to shine in a given performance.

For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.




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