April 7, 2005

Why Blog When....

...you can dance your ass off to extraordinarily fine music:


Put Railroad Earth on your must see many times list. Neither the commercial CDs or the downloaded live shows that I've listened to so far do justice to the live performance.

Some might call them blue grass oriented and I suppose they are but that label is overly constrictive. These guys play music! They are all fine individual players and when wrapped together something much larger than the sum of the parts rears up, grabs ahold of you, and takes you right to the core of what you need...you choose it.

We humans may be a bit underconfigured for this music. You really need 6 sets of arms and legs to dance with these guys. Especially when they are jamming!

Oh, you must be movin' ahead all the time. Even when they plumb sad themes or the underbelly of life the music does not let you dwell there. Especially during the first set there was a constant feeling that the big bang was about to occur, that all the forces of creation were gathering and driving forward to a great flowering.

I don't yet know Railroad Earth's music well enough to provide a full set list but here are a few (order not exact): Set 1: Storms: Set 2: Railroad Earth, Smilin' Like a Budda, Long Way to Go; Encore: Catfish John (beautifully done!). There was much, much more: the first set lasted over an hour and the second set started at 10:13 and ended at 11:30 (including encore).1

This was an all ages show and ranged from sub-teens to geriatric. Everyone was friendly, open to conversation and eager to talk about the band.

There were maybe 200 people in a relatively small venue which, thankfully, was non-smoking (the smokers could go outside or into the attached bar). If you wanted you could be stage front - 2 feet from the band. I found the sound to be a bit muddy that close and spent most of my time about 16-18 feet back in the center where the sound was pretty crisp.

There were 3 audiences taping rigs and they may have provided patches for more decks so I suspect this show should circulate soon.

A special treat was getting into the venue early, a good 90 minutes before show time, and being treated to the sound check while eating dinner.

1 Here is the full set list (thanks Scott!):

Railroad Earth
Bishop's Pub
Vashon Island, WA

I: Storms, Old Dangerfield, Bird in a House, Stillwater Getaway,
Railroad Earth, Place Where Songs Begin, Head

II: Cold Water, Mourning Flies, Moonshiner, Like a Buddha>El
Cumbanchero, Magic Foot>Luxury Liner, Sing for Me, Seven Story
Mountain, Long Way to Go>Fiddlee

E: Catfish John


Below the fold, in reverse order, is the menu for the rest of the weekend. Blogging will be very, very light!


Posted by Steve on April 7, 2005

I knew you'd have a good time. :) Have a great time tonight and Saturday, too! You're so Cheesy.

Posted by Kim at April 7, 2005 1:50 PM

Great review! Sounds like you got a bang-up show.

I wouldn't bet the setlist I sent you was 100% accurate -- they might have played RRE.

Posted by Scott at April 7, 2005 1:50 PM

Oh, they did play RRE. :)

Posted by Scott at April 7, 2005 2:02 PM
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