Railroad Earth: Amen Corner

rre-amencorner.jpgIt’s June, and festival season is about to kick off full swing.  This summer Railroad Earth, a band whose tasty slice of acoustic Americana fits snugly on open, outside stages, will be touring behind their stellar new release, Amen Corner

The disc offers what one has come to expect from RRE: a solid set of songs driven by great musicianship and singer/guitarist Todd Sheaffer’s lyrics. “Hard Livin’” typifies the uniqueness of the band – it’s dripping with John Skehan’s mandolin work, but the band incorporates a horn section and electric guitar on the outro.  Not quite bluegrass, definitely not rock…but stellar and a ton of fun.

“Right in Tune” is a great song, one of the standouts.  It’s a positive message about togetherness, two people who fit together perfectly, but describes the band as well.  Few acts that are at their best on stage can transpose that live experience to the studio, and Railroad Earth is one of those.  Amen Corner shows just how well the band has meshed over the years in pristine fashion.  Tim Carbone’s fiddle and the multi-instrumental genius of Andy Goessling don’t lose any of their vibrancy on disc. 

That said, it’ll be interesting to see how these tunes grow in that live setting over time.  “Crossing The Gap,” a frenetic tune, just begs to be played live.  It’s got a few brief instrumental interludes from Skehan, Carbone, and Goessling, but the potential here is great.

From the fast-paced, bass-driven “Waggin’ The Dog” to the leisurely stroll the band takes on “You Never Know,” Railroad Earth’s dropping their new disc at the perfect moment: the time of year where you roll down your windows and take a road trip.  After one listen, Amen Corner will be one you won’t forget to throw in the car.

Amen Corner is out June 10 on SCI Fidelity Records