Country Music People March 2019 - Page 45

CHATHAM COUNTY LINE Sharing The Covers  1/2 I Got You (At The Century Of The Century) / People Gonna Talk / Walk Don’t Run / My Baby’s Gone / Bumblebee / Think I’m In Love / You Don’t How It Feels / Girl On The Billboard / Think Of What You’ve Done / Watching The Wheels / Tear Down The Grand Ole Opry / The Last Time / Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar Producer: not listed Yep Roc 42.19 song is why I love the kind of music we are all reading this magazine for, the way it can tell these stories with such skill and atmosphere. And why sometimes I am quite happy this isn’t in the mainstream charts, so we can keep it to ourselves and be quite smug at what the others are missing out on. As the songs progressed, I found myself finding a new favourite on each listen. Shrinks And Pills has an almost loose Southern Rock / Black Crowes feel and a top class honky tonk piano burst along the way, one to turn up loud. Pour It On builds up to conclude with a fantastic chorus that you can imagine will go down a storm in a live setting. As for the other tracks, I am going to let you go and discover them for yourselves and not spoil the surprise. So in conclusion, I think that if you have some time to really get into this album, it is one that you will cherish for years to come. On first listen much stood out but it has been after further plays that every track has been able to leap out. As I say, get those big headphones on, put everything else on hold for an hour and just...listen. You won’t be disappointed. Dave Watkins Bluegrass music used to be purist and back in the 1960s, bluegrass bands wouldn’t have covered rock, pop or soul songs as that would be tantamount to admitting they were listening to the new music. All that has changed and starting with the popularity of Hayseed Dixie (whose jokey name was a nod to heavy metal), there has been a succession of bluegrass bands who have covered hit songs from other genres. I’m not surprised as wherever a young musician grows up, he hears the music of the day on the radio. Chatham County Line was formed in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1999 and they have been recording since 2003. This is their eighth album and it is surprising that they haven’t got round to an album of covers until now. They had however been performing Wilco’s I Got You (At The End Of The Century) on stage. The album has a suitably comic cover so you can tell they are having fun. You can imagine their smiles as they run through the Ventures’ instrumental hit, Walk, Don’t Run. Their version of the Rolling Stones’ The Last Time starts slowly and mournfully and I was waiting for it to pick up steam and finish at breakneck speed. However, Chatham County Line spring a surprise by sticking to the slow tempo but adding majestic harmonies. John Lennon’s Watching The Wheels is okay but I never thought the melody line too strong and I don’t care for the group’s vocals. Beck’s ballad, Think I’m In Love, works better than the original and Leo Kottke’s Bumblebee is good fun. They perform John Hartford’s fine song about the Opry being moved from the Ryman Auditorium, Tear Down The Grand Ole Opry, which strictly speaking is meaningless today but still holds good. They are in home territory for their revivals of Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar (Delmore Brothers), Think Of What You’ve Done (Stanley Brothers) and My Baby’s Gone (Louvin Brothers). Charlie Louvin told me that his mother would have whupped them if they hadn’t sung at least one religious song in a live performance. How would Charlie’s mother have felt about Tom Petty’s You Don’t Know How It Feels? How unlikely to hear an old-time band going “Let’s get to the point, let’s roll another joint.” In 1965 Del Reeves’ Girl On The Billboard was a best-selling country novelty and it was so close to Roger Miller’s style that Del should have been handing over royalties. The downbeat vocal on this revival doesn’t suit the song and loses the song’s conversational drift. In short, it’s awful but fortunately it is the only truly bad track on the album. I remember James Hunter when he was with the UK pub band, Howlin’ Wilf and the Vee-Jays. He was discovered by Van Morrison and has since made solo albums. Here Chatham County Line sing his soul ballad, People Gonna Talk, which is the best track on Sharing The Covers. In short, this is a fine album, not consistently good but hugely enjoyable. Spencer Leigh New releases THE CLEVERLYS Blue – Mountain Home SON VOLT Union – Transmit Sound / Thirty Tigers LAUREN JENKINS No Saint – Big Machine SUSTO Ever Since I Lost My Mind – Rounder DELLA MAE The Butcher Shoppe – Rounder UNCLE WALT’S BAND Uncle Walt’s Band – MICHAEL MCDERMOTT Orphans – Pauper Sky Omnivore CASSADEE POPE Stages – n/a WANDERING HEARTS Wild Silence – Polydor MARCH 2019 - cmp 45