Railroad Earth to jam the night away Sunday at Lake Tahoe

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Music lovers of many a genre will be ready to hop aboard the Railroad Earth express Sunday night at the North Shire’s Crystal Bay Casino.

Railroad Earth started in 2001 simply as “a bunch of guys interested in playing acoustic instruments together,” according to the band’s website.

“When we started, we only loosely had the idea of getting together and playing some music. It started that informally; just getting together and doing some picking and playing,” songwriter/lead vocalist Todd Sheaffer said. “Over a couple-of-month period, we started working on some original songs, as well as playing some covers that we thought would be fun to play.”

The band features Todd Sheaffer, lead vocals, acoustic guitars; Tim Carbone, violins, electric guitar, vocals; John Skehan, mandolin, bouzouki, piano, vocals; Andy Goessling, acoustic guitars, banjo, dobro, mandolin, lap steel, flute, pnnywhistle, saxophones, vocals; Carey Harmon, drums, hand percussion, vocals; and Andrew Altman, upright and electric bass.

The guys clicked upon those early days in 2011, and the band eventually recorded 10 tracks to make up their debut album, “The Black Bear Sessions.”

Since, Railroad Earth has released five more critically acclaimed studio albums, and one hugely popular live one called, “Elko,” according to the band’s website.

But as far as what “genre” the band plays, well, that’s a bit complicated.

As Carbone points out on the band’s website, “We use unique acoustic instrumentation, but we’re definitely not a bluegrass or country band, which sometimes leaves music writers confused as to how to categorize us. We’re essentially playing rock on acoustic instruments.”

So, with all those instruments, how can Railroad Earth be described?

In the band’s biography, Skehan offers this semi-descriptive term: “I always describe it as a string band, but an amplified string band with drums.”

Sunday’s show at the CBC includes a free Red Room after party with The Lil Smokies.

Visit www.railroadearth.com to learn more.


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