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Railroad Earth 

When: Fri., April 11, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: $20 ADV, $23 DOS
These guys have been helming the burgeoning newgrass scene to some degree since the early 2000s. They quickly became known for an exciting live show that stretches the boundaries of whatever genre they happen to be tapping at the moment. Elko, Railroad Earth’s first live album, is mandatory listening. Top-tier versions of some of their best tunes appear on this one, and it’s the perfect entry point for the uninitiated. “Mighty River,” in particular, is just incredible. Andrew Altman weaves a groovy bass line beneath the band’s dynamic strings team (acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin). Bear in mind, though, that you’re in jam band territory with this crew. This song, like so many others in their repertoire, blossoms into a full-throttled shakedown with Tim Carbone throwing feral violin riffs into the mix with abandon. Lastly, props are due for one of the coolest band names on tour these days (culled from Jack Kerouac’s short story “October in the Railroad Earth”). (Sandy)

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