Chatham County Line & Friends featuring Mandolin Orange, Libby Rodenbough (of Mipso), Bobby Britt (of Town Mountain), and Compton & Newberry

  • Dates: September 29, 2018
  • Venue: Red Hat Amphitheater
  • Location: Downtown Raleigh
  • Address: 500 S. McDowell St., Raleigh, NC 27601
  • Times: 5:30-7pm
  • Admission: Ticketed

About

North Carolina's own Chatham County Line has put together a special Wide Open Bluegrass set featuring several more artists who either live in or have ties to their home state, including Mandolin Orange, Libby Rodenbough (of Mipso), Bobby Britt (of Town Mountain), and Compton & Newberry. 

Chatham County Line
Based on looks alone, Chatham County Line conjures a sepia-toned timelessness by huddling around a single microphone on stage, playing  traditional string band instrumentation while clad in suits and ties. But for nearly two decades, the Raleigh, NC-based outfit has consistently crafted top-notch, original modern acoustic music that draws upon American roots forefathers like bluegrass inventor Bill Monroe and folk innovator John Hartford while acknowledging its own members’ backgrounds in rock ‘n’ roll bands. Characterized by poignant songwriting and inventive arrangements, Chatham County Line’s latest album, Autumn, sees the quartet working comfortably in its sweet spot. Built around songwriter/guitarist Dave Wilson’s clever lines and compelling vignettes, the record is a treasure trove of the wistful balladry and dynamic toe-tappers that have become the band hallmarks. John Teer (mandolin/fiddle), Chandler Holt (banjo), and Greg Readling (bass) add stellar three- and four-part harmonies for vocal highlights, while their impeccable yet unconventional picking—rooted in bluegrass but informed by a wealth of other influences—impresses without overshadowing Wilson’s rich storytelling. From elegant European concert halls to large American folk festivals, Chatham County Line has become a fixture on both sides of the Atlantic, where the musical relationships fostered by its consistent line-up are apparent through an unspoken chemistry that allows the freedom for improvisational flashes that seem as polished as the rest of its set. For a veteran ensemble that’s long made music on its own terms, perhaps its toughest task is now choosing which of the many gems from its seven albums get to shine in a given performance.

Mandolin Orange
Lean in to Mandolin Orange’s new album, Blindfaller, and it’s bound to happen. You’ll suddenly pick up on the power and devastation lurking in its quietude, the doom hiding beneath its unvarnished beauty. You’ll hear the way it magnifies the intimacy at the heart of the North Carolina duo’s music, as if they created their own musical language as they recorded it. Andrew Marlin anchors the band with fellow multi-instrumentalist and singer Emily Frantz. Released Sept. 30 on Yep Roc Records, Blindfaller builds on the acclaim of Mandolin Orange’s breakthrough debut on the label, 2013’s This Side of Jordan, and its follow-up, Such Jubilee. Since then they’ve steadily picked up speed and fans they’ve earned from long stretches on the road, including appearances at Austin City Limits, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Folk Festival, and Pickathon. It’s been an auspicious journey for a pair who casually met at a bluegrass jam session in 2009. As the duo’s songwriter, Marlin sharpens his lyrical prowess here, touching on broad themes of growing older and feeling helpless in a world torn by injustice. Sure, the album sounds classic, but it is rooted in the here and now of our daily headlines. They found kindred spirits in Clint Mullican on bass, Kyle Keegan on drums, Allyn Love on pedal steel, and previous collaborator, Josh Oliver, on guitar, keys and vocals. Holed up at the Rubber Room studio in Chapel Hill, N.C., they laid down the tracks in a week between touring. They’ve always been keen on the notion that drawn-out recording sessions don’t necessarily yield better results. A good song, and just one good take, will always shine through any studio sorcery. 

Libby Rodenbough
Libby Rodenbough plays fiddle and sings in Mipso, a band whose members met while they were all students at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is also a songwriter in her own right. Her background is in classical violin; her fiddle work is on the first track Mipso ever recorded. Mipso release their fifth album, Edges Run, on April 6, 2018 via a newly inked record deal with AntiFragile Music. Influenced by the contradiction of its progressive home and the surrounding rural southern landscapes, Mipso has been hailed as “hewing surprisingly close to gospel and folk while still sounding modern and secular” (Acoustic Guitar) and was recently recognized by Rolling Stone as an “ Artist You Need to Know.” The band brings a distinctly unique sound – full of wistful beauty, hopeful undercurrents, and panoramic soundscapes. Venturing ever-further from its string-band pedigree to discover a broader Americana where classic folk-rock and modern alt-country sounds mingle easily with Appalachian tradition, Mipso’s music is lush and forward moving, with lyrics that sear and salve in turn.

Bobby Britt
Grammy nominated artist Bobby Britt was born and raised in Chapel Hill, NC, and started playing fiddle at age five. In high school, he became fascinated with all styles of music, from Miles Davis to Wu-Tang to the Grateful Dead. At age 18, he moved to Colorado to join Rounder Recording Artists and internationally acclaimed bluegrass band Open Road. Later, he joined Asheville-based Town Mountain and has been touring with them ever since. Britt recently graduated from Berklee College of Music Roots Program, winning the department's largest scholarship, the Fletcher Bright Award. He also tours the globe with members of Della Mae, Berklee professor Joe K. Walsh, and David Grisman Quintet veteran Grant Gordy. 
Britt has played with all of the heavy hitters in the genre (Hiss Golden Messenger, Phil Cook, Mandolin Orange), and he is a winner of the IBMA Momentum Performer of the Year. While Britt's role for most of his musical life has been about supporting the musical vision of artists that he loves, he has recently completed his first solo album, Alaya, with Andrew Marlin, Emily Frantz and Josh Oliver of Mandolin Orange, as well as Allison de Groot. This marks an exciting new era of composing, performing, and recording exclusively as Bobby Britt.

Compton & Newberry
Mike Compton and Joe Newberry, masters of old-time mandolin and banjo/guitar, dig deep into early country music and blues. Their duet-singing, two-man string band ranges between traditional songs, instrumentals, "mother" ballads and original tunes. It’s not about the number of notes with Compton and Newberry, but telling the truth and respecting the song. Compton is a Grammy award winner, IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year nominee, a steady sideman for John Hartford from 1994 until Hartford’s death in 2001, and mandolinist for the Nashville Bluegrass Band. He is inarguably the world expert on Bill Monroe-style bluegrass mandolin, and he is also steeped in old-time fiddle tunes, early string band music and Delta blues. He’s entertained from Carnegie Hall and the White House to intimate house concerts. Known far and wide for his powerful banjo playing, Newberry is a prizewinning guitarist, songwriter, and singer to boot. In addition to his work with Compton, Newberry plays with old-time music legends Bill Hicks, Jim Watson, and Mike Craver, performs with guitarist Jon Shain, and was a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. He won the songwriting prize for “Gospel Recorded Performance” at the 2012 IBMA Awards for his song Singing As We Rise, and was co-writer, with Eric Gibson, of the 2013 IBMA Song of the Year for They Called It Music.