Chatham County Line
“Birmingham Jail” by Chatham County Line, from IV (Yep Roc):
Like a classic ’50s muscle car, the neo-traditionalist Chatham County Line echoes with its picking a different age whose beauty still rings true today. The North Carolina quartet varies its speeds from loping, pedal-steel ballads to racing bluegrass with the fiddle and banjo engaged in a fevered game of tag. Rife with ringing three-part harmonies and the innocence of a simpler time, CCL leverages its nostalgia with occasional modern-day political overtones (“Tennessee Valley Authority,” “Company Blues”) to accompany traditional country themes of hardship, lost love, crime and, of course, trains. The band’s latest, IV, adjusts the pace upward slightly while delivering another fine batch of songs.