"A souped-up string band?"
Railroad Earth member Todd Sheaffer
Railroad Earth isn't part of a "scene." According to fiddler Tim Carbone, "We use unique acoustic instrumentation, but we’re definitely not a bluegrass band -- so that doesn’t fit. And I think the term 'jam band' probably refers more to the fans than to the band. I think these fans just like live music." When the band does elect to comment on a song via an extended improvisation, they really cook -- and have received the approval of no less than Grateful Dead bass player Phil Lesh, who knows a thing or two about jamming. Railroad Earth started out informally in 2001, as a bunch of talented friends interested in strumming some rootsy music together. Things picked up when their five-song demo earned them a spot at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival that June. Since then, they’ve cultivated a huge fan base, wound up by the band’s unique acoustic hybrid sound and by the environmental consciousness expressed in the band's writings, activities, and music. South Florida sacred steel bluesman Roosevelt Collier opens.