Album Review: Chatham County Line – Wildwood
With each album, Chatham County Line tests their limits a little bit more. The North Carolina quartet has morphed from the fairly straightforward bluegrass band found on their 2003 self-titled debut to a bluegrass-rock-alt-country hybrid on 2007’s excellent IV.
Fifth album Wildwood is a hit and miss record that fails to live up to the high standards set by IV. Though its inclusion of piano, drums, and pedal steel make it the band’s most musically diverse album, it’s the least interesting. Some of Dave Wilson’s best lyrics can be found on the album as he sings a tender lullaby (“Porcelain Doll”) and laments social injustices (“Ghost of Woody Guthrie”), but there are a few too many forgettable songs (the tepid “Honeymoon” and “Blue Jay Way,” to mention two) that drag down the rest of the album.
There are a few bright spots: the pensive “Alone in NY,” with Wilson’s mournful vocals and Chandler Holt’s delicate banjo licks, perfectly encapsulates the feeling of aloneness that can only come in a giant city full of strangers, while the Jayhawks-esque alt-country ballad “Crop Comes In” showcases CCL’s harmonies set to Greg Readling’s pedal steel. Closing track “End of the Line” is an acoustic boogie that harnesses the energy of Chatham County Line’s live performances, an energy that seems to be missing from several of Wildwood’s dozen tracks.
Wildwood isn’t a bad album, but it is disappointing, considering that Chatham County Line can–and has–done better work before.
- Both Kinds of Music: What an excellent team-up.
- Pam Wallace: A day like yesterday,...driving through Ohio countryside with leaves beginning to turn and cows lying in the pastures because every …
- Jackie Lester: My favorite part of autumn is seeing wooly bear caterpillars!
- Mike harris: Love fall with the warm glow of the sun and all the beautiful fall colors
- Richrd Simerson: Love good old bluegrass music
- Six String Richie: Studio A will be replaced with a dog park, condos and restaurants. Gentrification at it's finest.
- Denise Vernon: Full moon with smell of leaves burning.
- Lisa Phillips: Love the Radio Ramblers! My favorite thing about fall is everything pumpkin.....coffee, cookies, muffins, pie.....etc!
- Sabrina Parnell: Def the cooler temps, football, great food , holidays on the way ,and of course more good country music releases.
- Debbie W: the changing colors of the leaves