Label: Yep Roc Records
This Raleigh, N.C.-based group fuses bluegrass and alt country for a sound that's as rich in harmonies as it is in banjo-friendly jams. With its harmonica-led intro, "Ringing in My Ears" is immediately likable, despite the fact that the lyrics set Paul Simon and Smokey Robinson song titles/lyrics to a fast-picking banjo and plucking mandolin. But the ease with which they marry two disparate styles is exactly what makes Chatham County Line such a force to be reckoned with. Other faves include the call-and-response-ish gem "Crop Comes In" and the gentle whirr that is "Out of the Running." Ten years and thousands of live shows into their career, Chatham County Line have developed into a sharp yet loose collective that entertains the old-fashioned way.