Railroad Earth Biography
Following in the footsteps of Phish, The String Cheese Incident and Grateful Dead, New Jersey outfit
Railroad Earth became one of America’s biggest jam bands thanks to their genre-hopping sound and
improvisational live shows. The brainchild of violinist Tim Carbone and film music supervisor-turned-
manager Brian Ross, the group began to take shape in 2000 when the former hooked up with multi-
instrumentalist Andy Goessling, mandolinist John Skehan and vocalist Todd Sheaffer to release
Railroad Earth tickets for various shows, and regularly perform at their hometown’s open mike event
named The Shindig. After adding bassist Dave Von Dollen and drummer Carey Harmon to their line-
up, the group recorded a five-song demo at Mixolydian Studios in Lafayette, performed to fans with
Railroad Earth tickets across the New Jersey live circuit and made their festival debut at Telleride
Bluegrass Festival. Their eclectic blend of folk, Celtic music, jazz, rock and bluegrass impressed a
watching Sugar Hill Records executive enough to offer them a deal and shortly after, the band
released their debut album, The Black Bear Sessions, and Railroad Earth tickets for an accompanying
tour. Following further festival sets at the likes of Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and High Sierra Music
Festival, 2002’s Bird In A House saw the number of Railroad Earth tickets on sale increase, and after
Johnny Grubb replaced Von Dollen in 2003, the band added to their discography with 2004’s The
Good Life. Recorded in front of their army of ‘Hobos’ during their 2005 spring tour, their first live
album, Elko, arrived in 2006, and was followed in 2008 by Amen Corner and Railroad Earth tickets
for an extensive run of live shows. After performing to fans with Railroad Earth tickets for a 2009
tour in Portland, Grubb left to be replaced by The Codetalkers’ Andrew Altman, who made his studio
debut on the band’s 2010 self-titled LP. The group then met the high demand for Railroad Earth
tickets by focusing their energies on touring for the next few years. But they eventually returned
with new material in 2014 with Last of the Outlaws, before selling out Railroad Earth tickets for a
second headline show at Morrison’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
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