Railroad Earth

Railroad Earth

  • Article by: Jennifer Farrar
  • Posted: 10/18/2011

Railroad Earth came barreling full-steam ahead through Nashville’s Mercy Lounge Saturday night.

The Americana, rock band that exudes bluegrass from their core, pulled their name, Railroad Earth, from a Jack Kerouac poem called, “October in the Railroad Earth.”

According to Tim Carbone, violinist for the band, the reason they landed upon that name was that “the vibe and soul of that poem pretty much encapsulates the vibe and soul of the band, from Todd's songs and lyrics to the music the band crafts around his lyrics.”

The multi-instrumental band demonstrated just how diverse they truly can be by playing the festival scene (where they got their start) to scaling it down a bit and showing how fully capable they are of playing the intimate, smaller venue.

“It’s an entirely different thing playing a small venue, says violinist Tim Carbone. “It’s easier to play to the (crowd) on a more personal level,” says violinist Tim Carbone. “However, the potential for a truly epic performance is present always.”

These guys know that coming through Nashville means tons of musical competition on any given night.

“If you do well in Nashville it’s a very good thing,” says Carbone. “A million bands try to do well and if you do, it really means something.”

Nashville seemed to be glad that Railroad Earth pulled off the tracks and made a pit stop here for a few hours of melodic bliss.

Many of the fans that piled into Mercy Lounge Saturday night were going two-for-two on shows for the weekend after catching Widespread Panic’s show the night before.

The show kicked off around 9:30 p.m. starting with “Bird in a House,” and from that first song it became apparent that these were dedicated fans. They knew all the words to that song and every song that followed.

The blending sounds of the violin, banjo, mandolin, guitar and various other instruments paired with Todd Scheaffer’s lead vocals shot a down-home, grassroots, happy-to-be-alive vibe through the rafters at Mercy.

The first set concluded with “Bringing My Baby Back Home” leaving the crowd amped up for the second.

By this time, an intoxicating energy had spun its way through the crowd. People were lost in dance and no longer seemed to notice the people standing around them.

The night progressed and the band covered songs from their past albums offering fans a wide variety of their favorites. As the night concluded, Railroad Earth encored with “Hard Livin’” singing, “I’m working on a new plain/ Working on Sunday morning/ Working on being forgiven/ For all that hard living.”

This could not have been a more appropriate close to a late night Saturday show.


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