When it comes to bluegrass, you know to expect some amazing picking and excellent harmonies. On the new album Sharing the Covers Chatham County Line provides abundant amounts of both. The twist on this album is that it is full of cover songs – and not just covers of traditional bluegrass songs.
If you’re familiar with “People Gonna Talk” by James Hunter, you know how good it is with his soulful voice. Well, this version is pretty good too with the addition of John Teer’s mandolin, which is highlighted throughout the song. This version also features some harmony vocals that bring the song from soul to traditional bluegrass.
You’ve probably heard the original version of “Walk Don’t Run” by The Ventures. You’ve never heard it quite like this. Instead of some reverb surf guitar, this song is powered by Chandler Holt who takes the lead with the banjo while Dave Wilson plays rhythm guitar. Through it all, Greg Readling lays down a bass line that is pretty true to the original.
The banjo also plays a big part in the cover of Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How It Feels.” Like the original, this begins with some harmonica. The melody of this one is not that different than the original, but the banjo – used more as an accent in this song – is an addition you didn’t know the song needed.
The album closes with “Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar,” originally performed by the Delmore Brothers. With a melody that features only piano and vocals, this one has the feel of a gospel song. Don’t be surprised if you want to tune out the rest of the world when you hear this one.
While you don’t necessarily expect a bluegrass band to cover the likes of Wilco (“I Got You [at the End of the Century”]) or The Rolling Stones (“The Last Time”), the band also covers more likely artists like The Louvin Brothers (“My Baby’s Gone”) and John Hartford (“Tear Down the Grand Ole Opry”). No matter the original artist, this band brings its own twist to the song and injects it with some harmony vocals that can give you goosebumps. Sharing the Covers was released on March 8 and is available everywhere now. Order your copy here.