Recording the latest Chatham County Line album during the falls of 2014 and 2015 was a coincidence, says singer-guitarist Dave Wilson.
Naming the resulting studio effort Autumn (Yep Roc Records) and releasing it near the end of summer 2016 was by design.
“There seemed to be these holes in our schedule that we could use to work on new material,” Wilson recalls, “and when I reached out to Mitch Easter, his Fidelitorium studio was available [in fall 2014]. Our next break coincided with the same point of the year, and we decided to release the album [close to the] same season in order to let the songs be heard in the time that they were conceived and recorded.”
Wilson’s North Carolina-based, bluegrass-rooted band enjoys “some measure of ease” by not being tied to a major label, he says, and therefore isn’t forced to follow someone else’s schedule when making an album.
“We work at our own pace, and when we feel the material is strong enough and the recordings are the best representation of the songs, then we take a [band] photo and talk with the folks at Yep Roc about a release,” adds Wilson. “We waited nine months to release this record after completion merely so that we could tour the U.S. in her autumn months.”
The group’s fixation on the fall doesn’t end there: Chatham County Line collaborated with Big Boss Brewing Co. in Raleigh, N.C., to create a limited-edition beer appropriately dubbed Autumn, which arrived in late August, about a week prior to the album’s Sept. 2 release.
“I’ve always loved a seasonal brew,” Wilson says, “and we all felt like this record was a great excuse to have our friends at Big Boss brew one up for us.”
Wilson describes Autumn beer as “a brown ale with a malty front end and a slightly sweet aftertaste. It’s very drinkable when the thermometer hits the 50s.”
“It actually became a hot item here in Raleigh,” he adds, “and I’m sorry to say that even I do not have any left.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Chatham County Line on tour (schedule subject to change):
• Nov. 2: Tin Angel — Philadelphia
• Nov. 3: Jalopy Theatre — Brooklyn, New York
• Nov. 4: Rockwood Music Hall — New York
• Nov. 5: Club Helsinki — Hudson, New York
• Nov. 6: Club Passim — Cambridge, Massachusetts
• Nov. 7: O’Shea’s Olde Inne — West Dennis, Massachusetts
• Nov. 9: Club Café — Pittsburgh
• Nov. 10: Music Box Supper Club — Cleveland
• Nov. 12: Old Town School of Folk Music — Chicago
Photo by Patrick Shanahan