Railroad Earth At The 9:30 Club- A Concert Review

Breaking news: The World’s Greatest Understatement was recorded last week when John Skehan of Railroad Earth told WRGW that the band likes to improvise at live shows.  Their concert at Washington DC’s 9:30 Club, occurring only a few days after the statement in question, delivered over two hours of spirited, cohesive, and impressive musicianship.  RRE certainly did play recorded favorites, but those tracks were more like guidelines— skeletons on which the band layered meaty muscles of creative, twangy, and fresh material.

New Jersey alt-country rockers Railroad Earth garner a broad spectrum of fans.  The (sold-out) 9:30 Club was packed not only with the hip youth of DC, beards flowing gallantly and vintage cowboy boots stomping, but also with middle-aged “real people”: balding dads in Grateful Dead t-shirts and career women gleefully twisting and shouting, shedding the stress of the week’s Department of Transportation woes, keeping up with their younger counterparts.  RRE’s preference for improvisation gives them a jam band-esque quality (hence the overwhelming presence of Dead paraphernalia) during their live performances that is not necessarily apparent in their recordings.

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An Interview with John Skehan of Railroad Earth

WRGW: Once again, this is John Skehan of Railroad Earth on air with us. Did I pronounce your name correctly?

JS: Yes, Skehan, that’s correct.

Alright, excellent. So let’s see, you told me earlier that you all are now at home, where is that exactly? Stillwater, New Jersey for me, the band’s based out of northwestern New Jersey. We’re kind of all spread around the state. We just got back from about a two week tour on Sunday.

And you still have some more dates coming up, correct?

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February has been a rip-roarin’ month for WRGW, and we’re only two weeks in.

This Tuesday, the 19th, we’re interviewing Big Gigantic and John Skehan of Railroad Earth! Twofertuesday, amirite?

Tune in at 2:30 to hear us chat with RRE’s amiable mandolin player, and stick around from 3-4 to listen for Big Gigantic!

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