The IBMAs Are 'Living In Raleigh Now'

Sep 29, 2014

Chatham County Line wrote "Living In Raleigh Now" to commemorate the International Bluegrass Music Festival's move from Nashville.

The world's premier bluegrass music event is all this week in Raleigh. The International Bluegrass Music Association's annual gathering and Festival used to be in Nashville but moved to Raleigh a year ago.  

Tens of thousands of people attended last year and city officials say visitors spent more than $10 million on food, hotels and entertainment.    

The organization has since decided to put down roots and committed to holding the event in Raleigh for the next six years.  

Chatham County Line's Dave Wilson wrote a song about the move; it's called "Living in Raleigh Now."

"We had the good fortune of going to Louisville where it was originally held, they had it in the Gault House there and it was just this amazing thing that took over this historic hotel and then we went to it in Nashville and we always thought it was just a side show to all the other country music stuff that was going on there," Wilson said.  

"And then when it finally arrived in Raleigh, we didn't know what to expect but the community and the city really left nothing out. And everyone came out, and it was such a community effort. And it was the only thing going on that weekend, so we really felt like it had almost come back home in a lot of ways." 

 When the band decided to shoot a video for the song the director mapped out a Beatles-esque romp through Raleigh.  Early in the video the band finds a series of paintings of bluegrass luminaries Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs -- both of whom are mentioned in the song. 

 "We knew from that moment that we were going to steal those folks and carry them around our town," Wilson said. 

 The band wanted the video to show off their hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.  They made a list a couple of pages long of their favorite spots.  But the director made them whittle it down. 

 "So, we just picked a few things that were easy to get to and had good parking and so fit in a few of our favorites like Char-Grill, and the alley behind the pour house, rose garden..." 

 The video for this song ends with the band playing in an empty Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh.

  "That's to represent if we actually played Red Hat, how many people would show up," Wilson joked. "That's not true."

 "From the beginning of the song, when we're playing ... a beautiful small outdoor amphitheater, we wanted to end up in the place where we're gonna kinda stake our claim this year: And that's the Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh."

  Chatham County Line performs as part of the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival this Friday at noon in downtown Raleigh.  They also play live in the WUNC Studios Wednesday October 1 at 8 p.m. during a special two-hour broadcast featuring three other bluegrass bands.