When: Sat., Dec. 19 2015
CHATHAM COUNTY LINE ELECTRIC HOLIDAY TOUR
SATURDAY, DEC. 19
HAW RIVER BALLROOM, SAXAPAHAW—During the last decade, Raleigh acoustic favorites Chatham County Line have developed a spirited seasonal tradition—a special run of electric holiday shows, meant to end each year with an exclamation mark. It started as a single celebratory gig in 2003 but has grown into an annual mini-tour of the region. This year, the band skips its hometown and instead wraps up the run in Saxapahaw after passing through Asheville, Wilmington and Southern Pines. While Haw River Ballroom lacks the intimacy of those Decembers when The Pour House would seem to burst at the seams, at least everyone will have room to breathe—and maybe hear the music, too.
The first set will feature fare more fitting of Chatham County Line's modern string band style; expect a small preview of the band's self-produced seventh album, too, planned for a fall 2016 release. Early indications suggest the band continues to find fertile territory beyond the typical boundaries of Americana, which it has challenged more or less since releasing its self-titled debut in 2003. But following the intermission, Chatham County Line will crank up the volume and lean more on classic rock influences.
"It gives us a chance to plug in once a year and let our freak flag fly," explains John Teer, who typically trades his fiddle and mandolin for electric guitar during the amped-up second set. "I love playing electric guitar but don't get a chance to that often. Plus, we get to have our good friends along to jam."
Those friends—singer/guitarist Johnny Irion, bassist Jay Brown, drummer Zeke Hutchins—help back the electrified CCL. Each member of the expanded outfit selects a song to cover, too. "I think we all have pretty good taste in tunes," Teer says, "so it sets up a killer set of material." 8 p.m., $20–$22, 1711 Saxapahaw Bethlehem Church Road, Saxapahaw, 336-525-2314, www.hawriverballrom.com. —Spencer Griffith