Chatham Ride Rabbits Again - Garden and Gun

Chatham Ride Rabbits Again – Garden and Gun

The last time we met the Chatham Rabbits, Sarah and Austin McCombie were on the heels of a long and strange trip home after a series of pandemic-related concert cancellations derailed their tour plans. But since then, the husband-and-wife duo hasn’t stopped gassing. In the midst of the venue closure, they attached a trailer to their truck and performed outdoor shows in nearly two hundred neighborhoods. They hosted six completely sold-out shows on a temporary spot on their North Carolina farm. And between gigs, they gave fans a glimpse into their rural lifestyle with regular video updates, chatting with cows and chickens between writing songs and frying fresh eggs.

This Friday, June 3, Chatham Rabbits will be releasing If you see me riding aroundWhich garden and gun Proud of the premiere below. They recorded the ten-song album partly at a lake house in Virginia and partly at Betty’s, a studio outside Chapel Hill owned by fellow North Carolina band Sylvain Esso. Songs like “Who Will Save the Trees” and “11 Acres” draw on the pair’s close bonds with nature, with the McCombies’ sweet family stumbles, gentle harmony finding the perfect backdrop in the country and the bluegrass-inspired chords that accompany them. Anyone who’s seen the warm duo on stage will find songs like “Foot of My Bed” or “You Never Told Me I Was Pretty” familiar, which embody the energy and compassion that make this rookie band so special.

Another treat for fans: In May, PBS premiered On the road with Chatham Rabbitsfour parts Serials that followed the duo through many shows and their daily lives.

G&G They gathered with the McCombie family to talk about their favorite new songs, the peace (and occasional chaos) of life on the farm, and the fan connections they made during their trip. Stream the album and read the interview below. If you see me riding around he is Available to order here.

Do you have a favorite song or moment on the album? What was especially fun to write?

Sarah: I think Austin would have different answers, but I’m very proud of the song “Abigail”. It’s the only song I’ve ever written and it kind of felt like it leaked. I wrote it about the Kentucky Back Horse Library, which was a program started by the federal government in the 1930s where women in the Appalachian countryside were paid to ride their horses in the Kentucky Mountains and carry library books to children who lived in really rural, hard-to-reach areas without Great school systems. I kind of stuck with the concept and let it flow. And it was a really fun song to write. I felt… I hate that I was about to say this, but it felt so effortless.

Austin: For me, the song that stands out the most is “You Never Told Me I Was Beautiful.” During the pandemic, when everything was called off, we had one of our fans in Charlotte reach out and said, “I really want to help you guys. Can I pay you to write a song as a birthday present for my husband Sam?” So we interviewed her and asked her to tell us why Love it and give us some inspiration. What really stood out was that her favorite thing about Sam was that he never told their granddaughter, Eleanor, that she was beautiful. Instead, he focuses on her personality and abilities. He always says she can do anything she wants. In the world we live in today, with Instagram and all kinds of things, it’s really special from grandfather to granddaughter – and Sarah always says this too – that the way you look is the least important thing to you.

This kind of fan interaction is not out of the norm for you. You’ve stayed with fans on tour, hosted concerts in your home, and made listeners feel part of the family. Do you consciously approach that relationship between fans and artists differently?

Austin: I’m curious what Sarah would say, because my perception from the outside is that she almost can’t help herself. It’s just so real. Sarah does not believe in remembering everyone’s names, children, and birthdays. You love to bring people.

Sarah: I have a FOMO friendship!

Austin: She wants to be everyone’s best friend. It’s just who she is. But I think for me, early in our career, I had a lot of issues with just ‘artist personality’. Like, I’m nervous! I got really nervous when I thought of walking on stage. How do I become an “artist”? I started to practice the idea that if I could always be the same version of myself on stage and in front of the fans I am around my friends, I wouldn’t have anything to worry about. He made all stage fright and fear really go away. In the end, I think that’s what created that atmosphere that we’ve been trying to achieve ever since. they were Not Mysterious artists. [Laughs]

Sarah: Early on, I think we they were Worried about being cute and having personality, but that’s just not us. It just started to happen naturally that we communicated with people. We’d stay indoors when we travel or… I mean, recently on Instagram, a woman who came to our concert in NYC texted us and said, “I’m coming to North Carolina on a business trip. Is there any chance you’re around? Can I meet you?” Guys?” And I said, “Yes, that’s our address.” [Laughs] She came and drank coffee and we introduced her to the animals. It’s simple for us to spend twenty minutes introducing a fan to our horse and sharing the jersey we’re working on, but it can be a huge thing for them. I know how I would feel if an artist I like did it for me. Not that we’re on the same level, but if Brandi Carlyle did, I’d freak out.

The last time we spoke, the future of your personal shows was uncertain. But you found a way to bring your music to the fans even when things were already closed. Tell me about it.

Austin: Sarah and I just bought a new Tourer on March 3, 2020. It felt like buying a beach house in 2007 – it was a really scary financial decision, but we had no idea what was coming. When everything shuts down, we gather our heads together and think, There is always an opportunity that comes from situations like this. See where it seems impossible, and keep playing. So we bought a flatbed trailer and hooked it up to the new touring truck. I put solar panels on top to power a battery system that powers our audio equipment. And we became like a musical food truck. [Laughs] It was so much fun.

Photo: Chris Friesina

I’ve also hosted outdoor shows at home on the farm. How do you think running a farm affected your career as a musician?

Sarah: You know, we run a farm and run our own business and be our own managers and play our own music… It’s like a huge and long Whack-a-Mole marathon. There are constantly things coming up that you wouldn’t have imagined happening. This applies to farm life, animals, electric fences, water and hay packages as well as music, broken strings, touring wagons, characters with band members, everything.

Austin: yes. But on the other hand, having our animals and having this farm to take home is one of the only reasons I think we can spend so much time on the road and grinding them. Because when we come here, it’s a haven.

#Chatham #Ride #Rabbits #Garden #Gun

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.