This month, our selected artist is Chatham County Line, a North Carolina quartet returning for their fourth appearance in LA at McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica this Friday, July 20 (tickets still available here). The Sitch got to chat with lead guitarist/vocalist/all around good guy Dave Wilson just before they left for their west coast tour…
We’re all Raleigh boys. We were all in a separate rock & roll bands, but we grew tired of that and struck a chord with each other. We played some shows together and hung out — lots of playing music on the porch, lots of drinks.
Something clicked about the way the four of us sounded. I was infatuated with Gram Parsons, Steve Earle, and Del McCoury. I went to see Del and nearly pooped my pants from the experience. His voice was (and is) from another planet. When you listen to our first and second records, you can hear that we are really striving to be bluegrass nuts. By our third record we were writing our own stuff and finding our own voice, while still staying in that bluegrass vein.
I realized I was not born to write about drinking and murdering and adultery and all that. We kept the style of bluegrass around us, but started writing the songs we liked with the instruments we had. Sometimes those limits make you more creative and push you so much further than you would have gone before.
John Hartford is the man that we all appreciate. He is the perfect balance of amazing musicianship and humor.
Bill Monroe, The Virginia Boys, The Osborne Brothers – all those usual heavy hitters – clearly have a big influence on our knowledge of the genre. But we don’t necessarily listen to that stuff in the van because there is so much great music out there today in so many other genres. We’ve been playing Dawes and Jonathan Wilson and a whole host of other stuff lately, and to be honest, we use that for inspiration just as much as the masters.
We’re about to start our West Coast tour, which we’re really psyched about. Starting in Seattle and heading south. I think this is our fourth show in LA . The last time we were here we played at The Echo. McCabes [Guitar Shop, in Santa Monica] is great because people care about the music and can really hear what you’re doing. We’re just excited to have a nice, intimate show in LA and promote the new album.
Oh, and we’re bringing Alec Baldwin in as our new lead singer. Got to do something to stay relevant against our North Carolina rivals, The Steep Canyon Rangers…
You can learn more about Chatham County Line and check out their new live album, Sight & Sound, via their website, http://www.chathamcountyline.com. Join the Sitch as we check out CCL’s live set at McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica this Friday, July 20.