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in movin' on down the line

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Chatham County Line is four young to youngish guys who make music that has an old soul. Rock backgrounds be damned, the members of the band--vocalist/guitarist/chief songwriter Dave Wilson, fiddler/mandolinist/main harmonizer John Teer, banjoist Chandler Holt and standup bassist Greg Readling--have embraced the suit-and-tie, one-mic approach to bluegrass. More importantly, bluegrass fans have embraced Chatham County Line, to the tune of the fellas walking off with Best New Band honors at Colorado's Rockygrass Festival.

The quartet's brand new Route 23 is full of tales that feel sprung from the black-and-white TV era. Granted, the events of the title track could have taken place five years ago or 50, but the use of the semi-antiquated term "service station" sets the song in another time. And the restless and randy "Engine 709" could pass for a contemporary of Johnny Horton's great "I'm Coming Home" in both sound and subject. The CD release party is Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Lincoln Theatre. And speaking of homecomings, openers Tres Chicas have just returned from a nationwide tour with Tift Merritt. The show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8.

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