FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PBS NORTH CAROLINA FOLLOWS MARRIED FOLK DUOCHATHAM RABBITS IN A NEW ORIGINAL SERIES
The four-part series “On the Road with Chatham Rabbits” premieres Thursday, May 5,
at 8 PM on PBS NC.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 4/21/2022 — PBS North Carolina presents On the Road with Chatham Rabbits, a new limited series that shares the musical journey of Sarah and Austin McCombie of North Carolina folk and bluegrass duo Chatham Rabbits. This series follows the couple as they craft songs, care for their small Chatham County farm and navigate their relationship as up-and-coming musicians. It debuts on Thursday, May 5, at 8 PM on PBS NC and the PBS Video App, and will stream at pbsnc.org/ontheroad and on YouTube.
In the series opener, Sarah and Austin McCombie revisit their old stomping grounds in Bynum, North Carolina. They play a set at the General Store and get nostalgic during a visit to their old house, once the home of a mill worker who played in a string band called The Chatham Rabbits. Subsequent episodes find Chatham Rabbits playing to crowds both large and small, making new fans and friends and overcoming challenges of life on the road.
PBS North Carolina offers a sneak peek of the series at a free virtual screening on Tuesday, May 3, at 7 PM. After the screening, Chatham Rabbits will perform a mini-concert and take part in a Q&A with Executive Producer Heather Burgiss. To register, visit Eventbrite.com.
“As storytellers, PBS North Carolina searches for people who captivate with their authenticity. Sarah and Austin McCombie always share their lives in an emotionally open and charming way,” says Executive Producer Heather Burgiss. “As we follow them on their often challenging but always delightful journey of making music with Chatham Rabbits, we hope our viewers feel they are right beside them. Documenting stories like Chatham Rabbits inspires and gives hope that dreams can come.”
In 2018 Sarah and Austin took a big leap by resigning from their jobs as a Montessori teacher and financial advisor, respectively, to pursue their music careers full-time. That same year, PBS North Carolina met Chatham Rabbits in a Chapel Hill recording studio as they worked on their debut album, All I Want from You. Faced with the challenge of making ends meet while chasing their dreams, they considered selling their home and moving into their RV with their cat Biscuit and dog Ruby to save on expenses. That all changed when Chatham Rabbits were featured on My Home, NC and their unique folk sound found an audience. They will celebrate the release of their new album, If You See Me Riding By, at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw on June 3.
“It’s always been our dream to film a show about our lives as a married couple trying to make it in music while running a small farm, creating relationships with fans, growing a band and writing and playing great music,” says Sarah McCombie. “We feel so fortunate that PBS North Carolina has given us a platform to share the beautiful process of making music all across our great state.”
New episodes of On the Road with Chatham Rabbits air Thursdays, at 8 PM, on PBS NC starting May 5. Watch live or stream anytime online and on the PBS Video App.
Episode 1: “Dreams & Songs”
Premieres Thursday, May 5, at 8 PM
Sarah and Austin play a set at the Bynum General Store and get nostalgic during a visit to their old house. Later, they give a tour of their Siler City farm, introduce their menagerie of animals, write new songs and get ready for their upcoming tour.
Episode 2: “Catching It Big”
Premieres Thursday, May 12, at 8 PM
Sarah and Austin head with their full band to play big crowds at Doc Watson’s beloved music festival, MerleFest, in Wilkesboro. Austin fly fishes for trout with friend and musician Woody Platt of Steep Canyon Rangers. Sarah starts an impromptu jam session by the river, and the Chatham Rabbits get emotional as they honor a dear friend.
Episode 3: “Waters Run High”
Premieres Thursday, May 19, at 8 PM
Farm life calls as Sarah and Austin finish up their chores with the animals before heading out on the road with the band. Heavy rains threaten to cancel a coastal concert and flood their RV as they sleep in the parking lot. Good things outweigh the bad when Chatham Rabbits shine through on stage.
Episode 4: “My Fair Rabbits”
Premieres Thursday, May 26, at 8 PM
The North Carolina State Fair provides Chatham Rabbits a unique venue for music making. After the concert, Sarah and Austin explore fair food and take in the sights. Sarah pays a visit to her grandmother Nancy Jo for new concert duds and sewing tips. The band plays two amazing shows, and Sarah gets to hold her youngest fan.
On the Road with Chatham Rabbits is made possible by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) and its Come Hear NC project, which is designed to celebrate, support and help sustain North Carolinians’ groundbreaking contributions to American music.
About the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development. For more information, please visit ncdcr.gov.
About PBS North Carolina
As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third-largest public media market, PBS NC educates, informs, entertains and inspires its statewide audience on-air, online and in-person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS Kids and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, PBS NC serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state’s emergency services. Visit pbsnc.org and join the conversation at facebook.com/MyPBSNC and @MyPBSNC on Instagram and Twitter.
Kathleen Kramer, PBS North Carolina Marketing & Communications