Music incorporates a plethora of genres that differ in even the most subtle ways. Some genres are more obscure than others– especially when artists combine them. While finding the right amalgamation is challenging, it is a particularly tasteful and creative concept – one that Railroad Earth performs expertly.
The New Jersey-born group consists of six members, Todd Sheaffer with lead vocals and acoustic guitar; Tim Carbone with violin, electric guitar and vocals; John Skehan with mandolin, bouzouki, piano and vocals; Andy Goessling with acoustic guitars, banjo, dobro, mandolin, lap steel, flute, pennywhistle, saxophone and vocals; Carey Harmon with drums, hand percussion and vocals; and Andrew Altman with upright and electric bass.
Each member, having mastered multiple instruments, creates an incredibly diverse and unique sound – and rightfully so, as stated in their bio, “the members of Railroad Earth aren’t losing sleep about what ‘kind’ of music they play – they just play it.” Setting out to create acoustic music in 2001, the band has come a long way since then. Having released their newest album, “The Last of the Outlaws,” on January 14, 2014, it has become the seventh in an interesting blend of celtic, folk, rock, bluegrass and jazz.
The 15-track album contains sonorous and warm tracks like “The Last of the Outlaws,” which start with slow percussions and ease vocals in with acoustic chords. The simple instrumentals and soft vocals illustrate the sad, yet accepting stories told within the lyrics. Other tracks that are appropriately titled like “Chasin’ a Rainbow” and “When the Sun Gets in Your Blood,” introduce a much more upbeat and fast tempo that houses persistent drums, fast chords and jittery riffs that all but move with a spirit of their own.
Regardless of what music one prefers, Railroad Earth finds a way to gratify even the most dubious listener with their skillful blend of various colorful acoustics and penetrating vocals. You can see them perform live in Charlotte at the Fillmore Thursday, April 3 at 8 p.m.. Tickets are available for $20 via The Fillmore Charlotte website.