Alex has been playing and listening to a lot of bluegrass in the "exploding" bluegrass scene in NYC, so he was more than happy to have his home town buddy Jim Cunningham talk to the band about why they are not a bluegrass band. Jim has a near encyclopedic knowledge of music and a great sincere passion for it.
Railroad Earth Live at Fox Theater on 2007-04-06 (April 6, 2007) - Big Sciota
Railroad Earth Live at Whitney Chapel on 2006-11-24 - Big Sciota
doesn’t like to be labeled. They jam out when performing live, but they aren’t a jamband. They can play country, bluegrass, and straight up rock n’ roll, but you really can’t label them as such. What you can label them as is a very talented 6 piece band with a bunch of strings and some drums. For their fall tour which is currently on the east coast, RRE has shows on Halloween, New Year’s Eve, and two nights of fan appreciation at the Fox Theater in Boulder, CO. Below is an interview with fiddle player Tim Carbone who talks to us a bit about the tour, influences, and sharing the stage with others.
Jim Cunningham: I noticed that you took your name from a Kerouac poem. Have you ever written a song directly influenced by Jack or any other author?
Tim Carbone: Our song "Seven Story Mountain" shares the same spirit as Thomas Merton's "Seven Storey Mountain". My song "Crossing The Gap" has a line in it that says "...above my head just sky and stone." Stone and Sky was the name of the literary group that the author Gabriel Garcia Marquez belonged to in Columbia when he was a young man. I just flipped it around.
JC: Your current tour takes you all over the country, is there one particular city/venue that you prefer? If yes which and why?
TC: My favorite city to play in is San Francisco. It just feels like home to me. I probably lived there in another life.
JC: What is your favorite part about being on the road? Least favorite?
TC: There's more than one part. One of my favorite parts is seeing different and revisiting favorite places. Meeting and interacting with new friends and fans is another favorite part. My least favorite is being away from my wife, cats and home... in that order.
JC: You are playing NYE this year. What is it about this night that makes every band want to play?
TC: It's the biggest party of the year. What's not to like?
JC: You are also playing on Halloween. Are you planning anything special for that show?
JC: RRE has covered many songs over the years from Bruce Springsteen to the Grateful Dead. What has been your favorite cover to play live?
TC: My favorite cover to play is Acadian Driftwood by the Band.
JC: David Crosby once said that he had the most trouble covering The Beatles. Which artists do you find the most difficult?
TC: Frank Zappa... the Grateful Dead
JC: When you aren't touring and have some free time, do you enjoy going to concerts? Are there any bands out there that haven't "made it" yet that you feel should have more recognition?
TC: I love going to see live music. I have no clue what qualifies a band as having "made it" anymore but a few bands I would pay to see are Surprise Me Mr. Davis, Dr. Dogg, Slavic Soul Party and Great Lake Swimmers.
JC: A lot of bands on the scene today, you guys included, have special guests come on stage to perform with them. Who was your favorite guest to play with?
TC: Well there's a few. My favorites are Allie Kral from Cornmeal, Scott Law from Strings For Industry and Jeff Miller from New Monsoon.
JC: What was your most memorable moment on tour as a band?
TC: Sitting in with the Allman Brothers at Red Rocks.
JC: To readers who have never seen you in concert, how would you describe the RRE experience?
TC: Our music seems to connect with our fans on a spiritual level though our music is not overtly spiritual. There's a sense of interconnectedness and family in the crowd nearly each night we play.
JC: It has been a pleasure speaking with you and we appreciate taking time to sit down and talk with us. Good luck on the rest of your tour.