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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Artist of the Day: Railroad Earth

Railroad Earth surpasses the average bluegrass experience. The classic elements are there- the acoustic instrumentation (fiddle, banjo, oh hey- a bouzouki) and down home lyrics with songs like “Been Down This Road” and “Hard Livin.” They also got their start when their demo earned them a spot at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival back in 2001. But even a bluegrass neophyte can appreciate their unique sound, their jamming prowess and the great light show. Drums and amplifiers also take this a bit outside the realm of by-the-book bluegrass. And while Railroad Earth isn’t your average jam band, they are best listened to live. These six guys play together like only true musicians can, and yet it feels effortless and looks fun. Unfortunately, they aren’t gracing the South this summer, but for those road-trippers out there they will be at the 10K Lakes, Wakarusa and Rothbury festivals. For those who aren’t venturing outside of state lines this summer, check out their 2006 live double album Elko.

Who’s Who: Todd Sheaffer (Vocals, Acoustic Guitars) Tim Carbone (Violin, Vocals) John Skehan (Mandolin, Bouzouki, Vocals) Andy Goessling (Acoustic Guitars, Banjo, Dobro, Mandolin, Flute, Pennywhistle, Saxophones, Vocals) Carey Harmon (Drums, Percussion, Vocals) Johnny Grubb (Bass)

Formed: 2001 in Stillwater, New Jersey

Label: SCI Fidelity

Latest Release: Amen Corner


-Julie McCollum

Listening to “Waggin’ the Dog” by Railroad Earth

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