It’s no surprise that the band Railroad Earth took their name from Jack Kerouac’s flowing prose-poem, October in the Railroad Earth. Interspersed with memories of the past and the present, the story weaves a complex tapestry of impressions and reflections, all underlining the American history of the workingman. Much like Kerouac, Railroad Earth’s music captures the grit and soul of rural and urban America and translates it into something deeper than just music.
The six-piece ensemble crafts each song artfully, like a storyline in a novel about travel, wonderment, tragedy, and heartbreak. With the unusually soulful and deep writing and vocal delivery of principal songwriter, Todd Sheaffer, combined with instrumentation so colorful you might find them on the Appalachian Trail, Railroad Earth is bringing their slice of American culture on a hefty fall/winter tour spanning both coasts and every major market in between.
Mixing an unlikely blend of instruments to make up their well-traveled sound, the project features Todd Sheaffer (Lead vocals, acoustic guitars), Tim Carbone (Violin, vocals), John Skehan (Mandolin, vocals), Andy Goessling (Acoustic guitars, banjo, dobro, mandolin, flute, pennywhistle, saxophones and vocals), Carey Harmon (Drums, hand percussion, vocals) and Johnny Grubb (Upright bass).
In their relatively short tenure, the band has released five critically acclaimed albums and amassed an impressive national following with sold-out shows from coast-to-coast. They’ve also graced the main stages of some of the country’s most prestigious festivals, including; Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rothbury and the 10,000 Lakes Festival. And this past September, Railroad Earth performed for the first time at the legendary amphitheater, Red Rocks, in Morrison, CO. Yet, Railroad Earth remains surprisingly grounded and continues to stick close to their musical roots and influences – always striving to keep the next show is as inspired as the last.
Beginning in late September, Railroad Earth will be doing a series of short tours with pivotal performances in various parts of the country. But unlike the speed trains in Kerouac’s novels, this Railroad Earth is in no hurry “to get there fast”.