"Railroad Earth- They used to be my favorite but have been losing me the last 2 albums...somethings missing for me and I hope they get it back...Tim needs to stay away from the electric guitar and keep fiddling..they are all top knotch players and Todd's lyrics are deep"
Thanks again for your detailed response. I agree with almost everything you wrote. I did want to respond to your thoughts on Railroad Earth though. First off I agree that Todd's song writing is top notch. As far as Tim staying away from the electric guitar and the sound of the last two albums... well, I agree that the sound has changed a bit, but I like it (a lot). I think it may just be the evolution of the project. I think every band changes as it matures. Tim's use of the electric guitar, plus the addition of Andrew Altman, who sometimes uses the electric bass instead of the stand-up bass, has added a more rock-and-roll sound. Again, while some (I think a minority) of older RRE fans are bothered by this, I think the band's new material is great and so it has only increased my enjoyment of the band. They still play plenty of "old school" RRE sounding stuff and mixing in the "newer sound" has helped them expand their fan base. RRE was never a bluegrass band of course, and so the hard-core Bluegrass fans never really came out in droves to see them. All the while they were far to Bluegrass for most "mainstream" fans (ie deadheads). Thus the band has been/is stuck in between these two worlds...playing great music that slips between genres. Is it possible that they needed to become a little more mainstream to either (a) increase their fan-base or (b)remain economically viable (something I hope they do so they will be around for a LONG time)? I don't know but whatever the reason was for changing the sound I just love it and RESPECTFULLY disagree that "something is missing". The last time I saw RRE was in White River Junction, VT. They played in this old barn (Tupelo music hall) next to the river. Some old train tracks ran along the river and there was a few long-ago-aboandonded railcars laying around too which added ambiance. The snow was lightly falling and the band put on a show that I will never forget. Great music, great friends. Oh and I spoke to Todd outside before the show and asked why the show was announced just a couple of weeks before it happened. He said that they (the band) wanted to go skiing so they decided to put on a show last minute! Love the spontaneity. Don't get too down on Railroad!
And in response to: "Emmit Nershi band..Now that they have Johnny Grubb on bass watch out..hot damn I love this band"
I haven't heard to much of these guys yet, but what little I have heard is good. Definitely gonna check them out when I can. But I wonder why Johnny Grubb left RRE under the auspices of wanting to spend more time with his growing family and to pursue a career in computer software design (or something like that) only end up playing with another band. I've thought of asking this question on Earthboard but am afraid it will look like I am trying to start trouble, which I am not. Then again, there is no dumb-assed "karma button" on Earthboard so perhaps it is this board that I should be afraid to ask stuff on (rant over).
I have been a fan of RRE from the beginning. When I saw them for the first time it was something like their 8th show. I am not a big fan of the electric stuff but it has not kept me away. I seem to be one of the few that don't like the change. I like the "Railroad Earth" a lot more than "Amen Corner". I can understand the need to increase their fan. They will need to do this to keep going. So many other bands have changed their sound over the years and it has worked out for them that it may just do that for RRE.
As far as Johnny Grubb leaving RRE, this just my thought on the matter. Part of his leaving was that he never really wanted to be a full time touring band ( He said this when he left). Yeah he wanted and I think he still is doing computer software stuff. He brought a lot to RRE and brought them up a level. He was not their first bass player. People where worried when Dave Von Dollen left what would happen. When RRE started recording their own shows and selling sound boards Grubb had a lot to with it. He was a sharp guy in the studio as well. Also with Emitt Nershi band they will not be playing nearly as many dates a year as RRE will allowing him to spend more time with his family.