Chatham County Line

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Chatham County Line
Chatham County Line performing at MerleFest in 2013 on the Cabin Stage.
Chatham County Line performing at MerleFest in 2013 on the Cabin Stage.
Background information
OriginRaleigh, North Carolina, United States
Years active1999–present
Associated actsJonas Fjeld, Judy Collins

Chatham County Line is an American bluegrass musical group. Formed in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1999 from members of the band Stillhouse,[1] the band has released seven albums including six on the Yep Roc label (whom they were linked with by the producer Chris Stamey[2]), and have become popular in Europe[3] as well as their native United States.[4] Their most recent tour took in numerous European destinations, including the Lowlands rock festival in the Netherlands.[5] Chatham County Line made their Canadian debut in July 2009 at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, where they performed beside The Del McCoury Band and The Punch Brothers.

The members met in 1996 when lead singer-songwriter Dave Wilson was playing for Stillhouse. Wilson is the son of Charlotte poet Dede Wilson and was living in the Blue House, a Raleigh crash pad and romper room for the area's hottest young musicians. The other members are banjo picker Chandler Holt, upright bassist Greg Readling, and multi-instrumentalist John Teer. Wilson and Readling were playing in the Blue House as "Stillhouse" when Teer and Holt became intrigued "to hear these guys playing original country music that didn't suck" as Holt recalls. Holt and Teer befriended Wilson at the Blue House and began sitting in with the band. Wilson, over a beer one night, asked the others if they were interested in starting a bluegrass band.[6]

Chatham County Line began as an opening act for The Carbines, Tift Merritt's band. Chris Stamey saw them open a show, offered to record them, and landed them a record deal with Yep Roc Records. The band then went on to create five albums: Chatham County Line in 2003, Route 23 in 2005, Speed of the Whippoorwill in 2006, IV in 2008, and Wildwood in 2010.[citation needed]

The IV album includes a track, "Birmingham Jail", that tells the story of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, who were killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing. In The Washington Post, Allison Stewart writes:

The Raleigh-based bluegrass upstarts stock this tale of the 1963 Birmingham bombing with such gut-wrenching imagery, it's like they're trying to be depressing. You won't hear a more moving song all year.[7]

In addition to their ten solo albums, Chatham County Line have recorded three albums with Norwegian country musician Jonas Fjeld and were additionally brought on as the backing band onWinter StoriesFjeld's collaborative album with American singer Judy Collins. They have also played with the Norwegian sister duo Tove and Anita Bøygard.[8] To date, the band have achieved four number one albums on the Top Bluegrass Albums chart.


Title Album details[9] Peak chart
US Grass US Heat
Chatham County Line
  • Release date: June 3, 2003
  • Label: Bonfire Records
Route 23 12
Speed of the Whippoorwill
  • Release date: May 30, 2006
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
Amerikabesøk (with Jonas Fjeld)
  • Release date: March 4, 2008
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
Brother of Song (with Jonas Fjeld)
  • Release date: February 23, 2009
  • Label: Sony Music Norway
  • Release date: July 13, 2010
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
3 33
Sight & Sound
  • Release date: July 10, 2012
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
Western Harmonies (with Jonas Fjeld)
  • Release date: October 7, 2013
  • Label: Sony Music Norway
  • Release date: May 20, 2014
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
3 47
  • Release date: September 2, 2016
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
Sharing The Covers
  • Release date: March 8, 2019
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
Winter Stories
(with Judy Collins and Jonas Fjeld)
Strange Fascination
  • Release date: April 24, 2020
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. ^ Stillhouse biography Archived June 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Stillhouse homepage; Retrieved on 2007-09-11
  2. ^ AMG entry Allmusic; Retrieved on 2007-09-11
  3. ^ Kevin Crowe, "Chatham County Line Plays a Modern Kind of 'Grass," Metro Pulse, 2007; Retrieved on 2007-09-11. Accessed at the Internet Archive, 2 October 2015.
  4. ^ Label entry Archived September 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Yep Roc Records; Retrieved on 2007-09-11
  5. ^ Lowlands Festival line-up Archived 2007-09-21 at the Wayback Machine Lowlands Festival official site; Retrieved on 2007-09-11
  6. ^ CMT Biography,; Retrieved on 2009-11-24
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "BØYGARD - BLÅGRAS". Retrieved 2021-10-08.
  9. ^ Discography; Retrieved on 2007-09-11

External links[edit]