Saturday, May 20, 2017

Been in the back-room dealin' Been on a long hook reelin', Crashed in the shed and I awoke in a sunny bed ... and I still got a long way to go

Railroad Earth represents all the types of music that we wish we were able to experience in the 1960’s. During a time when The Band-loving hippies of yesteryear swayed in unison with their eyes closed to Levon Helm’s ballads, when the Beatles left listeners sobbing over the lack of unity in the world, when folks stomped the wood of New Orleans porches to the beat of a steel string and the twang of a banjo. Known for their extensive improvisation and seamless narratives, Railroad Earth takes listeners on a journey through all of life’s emotions.

Nobody puts baby in a corner, or Railroad Earth in a box. Railroad Earth transcends the depths of acoustic, lyrical and sensory bliss, not dimension a light show that rivals visual connoisseurs, like PHISH and Pretty Lights. Their fractals are off the chain.

Vocalist and songwriter, Todd Schaeffer, had been writing lyrics for songs his entire life. When Todd found Tim Carbone (violins), John Skehan (mandolin, piano), Andy Goessling (acoustic guitar, banjo) and Carey Harmon (drums, percussion) they formed the perfect quintuplet for success. In no time at all, they added Andrew Altman (upright bass), named themselves “Railroad Earth” after Jack Kerouac’s short story “October in the Railroad Earth,” and took to the festival circuit. Not surprisingly, they played at the Telluride Bluegrass festival in the first year of their tour and were offered a record deal by Sugar Hill Records on the spot.

Sixteen years of critically acclaimed albums, singles, sold out shows and epic musical roots magic explosions later, Railroad Earth is a national sensation.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

I've got so much honey, the bees envy me

Bunny Wailer, 2014 
Reggae is a musical genre with Jamaican roots dating back to the 1960’s. Before that time, reggae was in its infancy, gaining influence from calypso, American jazz, rhythm, blues, New Orleans R & B and even artists like Fats Domino (pretty cool, huh?). Reggae blossomed into a genre of its own and evolved further out of ska and rocksteady to become the unique sound style it is today.

Reggae is a musical method that is heavily reliant on the bass guitar as percussion. Peppered elements of African music, jazz, and blues interweave, while performers characteristically sing of political woes, religion, social criticism, and love’s confusion. An often off-beat rhythm and upbeat tempo create a thick, yet buoyant musical texture that transports the listener to an easy breezy beachy place.

Close your eyes, let the music take you to a wood-floored tiki hut, tasty beverage in hand, friends chillin’, volleyball in the distance, groovy feelings, shorts, no shoes, hammock swinging, as you look up at the evening sky and relax in utter bliss to a live reggae lullaby. 

Toots & the Maytals
Bob Marley, Kingston
Kingston, Jamaica