On the group's fifth album, Wildwood, Chatham County Line decided to take a leap musically, and it paid off big time.
At the risk of upsetting fans of traditional bluegrass arrangements, the group expanding their sound to include drums, piano and other instruments on the songs, though they're used selectively to compliment the most appropriate songs.
While the new sonic elements are great and add greatly to album, what makes Wildwood the band's best release to date is the solid songwriting.
The beautiful melody of "Crop Comes In" along with the sweet harmonies make the song an instant classic. "Saturdays and Sundays" is a raucous anthem tune that gets the head bobbing.
The blistering, foot-stomping bluegrass of "Heart Attack" will set your hair on fire while the shimmering yet somber banjo lines of the ballad "Honeymoon" make for some of the finest instrumental work on the album.
Wildwood is solid from the opening notes of the title track to the close of "End of the Line." The album is a sound of a band opening a new door and storming through with great success. This is an album you need to hear.
Wildwood will be released on July 13 via Yep Roc Records. Chatham County Line will launch the album with a big show at the Cat's Cradle on on Saturday, July 10. Birds & Arrows will open the show.
Chatham County Line - "Crop Comes In" (mp3)