Chain Station Travels The Backroads Of Bluegrass And Mountain Music

Article Contributed by Michael J. Med… | Published on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

As winter in the mountains prepares for its annual retreat, seasoned string band Chain Station ushers in the spring touring season with the release of Backroads, an album of original bluegrass songs inspired by the highways, landscapes and residents of the band's Colorado home.  The full length record is set for release on May 3rd. 

High-lonesome harmonies. Fiery fretwork. Acoustic instruments. Those ingredients of traditional bluegrass music are all present, tucked into an 11-song tracklist that not only nods to Chain Station's appreciation for the old-time heroes of the genre, but also pushes the band into new territory. After all, Backroads isn't your grandfather's roots music. Produced by international banjo champion Kyle Tuttle, it's a modern album rooted in creative arrangements and inspired performances — an album that will please newgrass fans and traditional listeners alike.

"We met around a campfire," explains co-founder Alex Thoele, "and we've been putting that loose, organic vibe onstage ever since. We call it mountain music, because that's where we formed. That's where we live. And that's what we do."

The band's third studio recording, Backroads also serves as an introduction to Chain Station's newest member, Chris "C-Bob" Elliot, whose banjo and baritone harmonies help thicken the group's sound. With Jon Pickett and Jarett Mason rounding out the lineup, Chain Station's members take their time on several of Backroads' tracks, stretching songs like the title track past the five-minute mark. It's a move that not only highlights the musical chemistry between all four members, but also shines a light on the primal energy of their live shows. Having spent years supporting bands like Del McCoury Band, The Devil Makes Three, Hot Buttered Rum, and dozens of others, Chain Station has developed a stage show that's energizing and electrifying.

Like its name suggests, Backroads could serve as an appropriate soundtrack for a road trip. "When we were recording," Thoele remembers, "we were thinking, is this something we'd want to drive through a mountain pass while listening to? So many of our fans listen to our albums while driving, so we kept that in mind and it influenced our creative process."

Maybe that's why the songs on Backroads often mention the mountains, wind, and other natural hallmarks of a joyride through the American West. Other songs, including the positive-minded "Half Full," deliver messages of optimism. A love letter to both their home and their genre, Backroads is Chain Station at their very best: inspired, expanded, and eager to hit the highway.

Listen To The Title Track Of The Album “Backroads” Here:

Chain Station 2019 Tour:

4/6 & 4/7- The Apres Buttermilk- Aspen CO

4/18- S.D Strong Distilling- Parkville MO

4/19- Chasers- Effingham IL

4/20- Dockside Bar & Grill- Ottawa IL

4/25- Cold Shot- Appleton WI

4/26- The North Street Cabaret- Madison WI

4/27- Ladies Of Bluegrass- Green Bay WI

5/2- Bourbon On Division- Chicago IL

5/3- The Livery- Benton Harbor MI

5/4- Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom (record release concert)- Denver CO

5/17- Road To Rich’s Tie Dye Party- Ramah NM

6/14- Palisade Bluegrass & Roots- Palisade CO

6/20- Moccasin Creek Festival- Effingham IL

7/5 & 7/6- Pembina River Nights- Rangeton Park, Alberta Canada