Walking the Tightrope with Chatham County Line
Press Room Scribe: Let’s talk about “Tightrope.” What were the goals behind putting this record together? Can you talk about the thematic element of the tightrope and how it pertains to this batch of tunes?
Dave Wilson: We’ve always felt like we straddled the line between familiar strains of music, including bluegrass, folk, country, as well as rock and roll. The tightrope is a metaphor for the strain of a relationship in the song, but for the band it fits in several different ways.
PR: Let’s trace the roots of the band. How did this all begin?
DW: We all met at a Hardware Store Convention in Hilton Head in 1999. We had each silently bid on a really expensive titanium hammer and Chandler was the one to win it so we got into a conversation and one thing led to another and we found out that we all loved Bill Monroe and played bluegrass instruments. The rest is history.
PR: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it?
DW: Music flows from each of us without coaxing. It would exist whether anyone was there to hear it or not.
PR: Can you talk about the resurgence of sorts of American roots music in todays culture? What do you enjoy about seeing people beginning to appreciate this music more and more? How does Chatham County Line fit in to this resurgence?
DW: We have been around throughout the entire rebirth of folk and bluegrass music. We feel that people these days appreciate the finer and subtler things in life like a hand brewed beer or slow roasted tuna melt so that goes pretty well with quiet music surrounded by a story that you can understand.
PR: You guys have been to New Hampshire before… What keeps you coming back to the Granite State?
DW: Well, last time we walked down Main St. in Portsmouth and saw a guy watching pornography in the front seat of his car, so we really want to know why he was doing that. Hopefully we will bump into him again. The people also know a good song when they hear it, which is a trait we desire in our audience.
PR: You’re playing the Press Room. What do you know about the venue? What excites you about the show?
DW: We can’t wait to print our own paper on the vintage newspaper press and eat a Panini. Some say the sound there is excellent as well.
PR: How does Chatham County from a geographic standpoint, influence the music?
DW: The convergence of musical styles that exist in North Carolina, from the fiddle music of the mountains, to the piedmont blues, help to influence our sound that was born on the city streets of our Capital City – Raleigh, NC.
PR: What’s the greatest thing you’ve ever found in the green room?
DW: We judge green rooms on the amount of penises that have been drawn on the wall. Unfortunately, the Soap Box in Wilmington has now closed. They had an astounding collection of green room wall penises.
PR: When you step up to the bar, what is the beverage of choice?
DW: Soda Water and Lime is nice.
PR: What’s the soundtrack in the van right now?
DW: Three guys snoring and one humming the main score to “Once Upon a Time in the West.”
PR: What can folks expect when they come out to the show on Friday?
DW: A beautiful evening of handwritten, acoustically delivered songs that resonate with the history of the almost 2,000 shows that CCL has played over their decade plus history. As well as one really hot single member of the band that will spend the night locally… fiddle included.
PR: If you had a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be?
DW: I think a dozen 1924 Lloyd Loar built Gibson Mandolins would be quite nice. But please, don’t distract from the point I made in the question before this one… Thanks. Love, Dave.