Spending Valentine’s Day with my regular date watching a bluegrass band. What could be more fun?
Eloise mentioned that her cousin’s band would be playing NYC and rtb and I got tickets for the show. Since it was in one of our favorite clubs and the music was right in our wheelhouse it was a no-brainer. Rockwood Music Hall has three rooms plus an additional bar and is one of the best intimate clubs in NYC – this show was on stage two. I had gotten there early and saw a bit of a free show – one guy and guitar – that was pretty good. Then I had to go back outside into the cold and stand on line. rtb soon joined me and we didn’t have to wait too long before going in. There are only a few stools downstairs and a few tables upstairs. We choose two of the stools downstairs, which seemed like a good choice at the time but once the show started we had to struggle to see the band through all the people in front of us.
I love the set up for the band. One microphone, which they play and sing around. Everyone was dressed in suits and balanced themselves around one mic and they would not have looked out of place or sounded out of place at the original Grand Ole Opry. Many times I just sit back and closed my eyes pretending I was listening to the old radio broadcast. Out of Raleigh, NC, these guys are the real deal.
Chatham County Line is Dave Wilson (lead vocals/acoustic guitar/harmonica), Chandler Holt (banjo/vocals), Greg Readling (upright bass/vocals), and John Teer (mandolin/fiddle/vocals). Wilson was very funny with his between song banter.
Their original songs about love like “The Carolinian” – unrequited and real were beautiful. One of their most moving songs is “Birmingham Jail” about the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four girls.
They ended the night with Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make Through the Night” and their own “Let It Rock.”
By Carene Lydia Lopez