Railroad Earth,
Bird in a House
(Sugar Hill, 2002)

It's pretty much a given that if a group of creatively talented musicians are put into a room together and given a chance to jam, magic will happen. Such is the story of Railroad Earth. Brought together at an informal gathering in January 2001, the group discovered a fellowship that could not be ignored and resulted in some of the best bluegrass music I've been privileged to hear in years. And then there's the matter of having a national tour schedule prior to even playing a first gig; apparently I'm not the only person blown away by this band.

Every track is unique, but a couple of songs float naturally to the top. The title cut, "Bird in a House," flows along sweet and rich with mandolin and banjo bringing to mind the traditional bluegrass I grew up listening to. "Peace on Earth" gets the job done as a good old-fashioned gospel song revved up with killer banjo licks, lightening tinged fiddle and harmonies you only wish you could hear on Sunday mornings. There really isn't a bad song on the CD and the joy these folks have found in their music and each other is readily evident from the first note.

Railroad Earth features the exceptional talents of Todd Sheaffer (trumpet, vocals and guitars), John Skehan (tuba, mandolin and piano), Carey Harmon (drums, percussion and vocals), Dave Von Dollen (valve trombone, bass, kalimba and vocals), Tim Carbone (piano, violin and vocals) and Andy Goessling (guitars, dobro, banjo, marxaphone, flute, pennywhistle, ukulele, clarinet and vox). Joining the band on pedal steel is guest Buck Dilly.

- Rambles
written by Sheree Morrow
published 25 April 2004

Buy it from Amazon.com.