There is just something about the music scene in Asheville. It seems as though every band wants to play here, even in the middle of winter, and Asheville locals don’t seem to mind at all, because the Orange Peel seems to sell out no matter who is playing and on February 3rd, who was playing was Railroad Earth.
The boys from New Jersey, who got their name from a Jack Kerouac short story, have been together for over a decade now and show no signs of slowing down, because every time I see them, the audience keeps getting bigger and bigger. I even met a guy this night who traveled from Colorado for the show. He was doing Railroad Earth tour and couldn’t be happier to tell me this, out of the blue, as we were standing there waiting for the show to start.
And boy did it start? RRE came out blazing the pants off of us with their energetic bluegrass/rock/celtic/jazz sound and kept the crowd dancing, non stop, all night (well, except set break, of course).
One of the highlight was when, 2 or 3 songs in, Tim Carbone and John Skehan had a mandolin/violin duel on stage. It was intense and I, as the photographer, had a hard time keeping up with them as trying to photograph them by running back and forth and back and forth, in the photo pit, to opposite ends of the stage. I was exhausted.
The thing about Railroad Earth that keeps me coming back for more is the high energy and dancibilty of the songs. They rarely slowed down, which made for a very fun and happy Friday night in Asheville. And you could tell by the smiles on the audience members faces as well as the bands.
Asheville is a mecca for local musical talent, on its own, and Railroad Earth gave the opportunity to shine the light on a couple of our own favorites with banjo extraordinaire Jason Flornoy (from Larry Keel and Natural Bridge) sitting in on a couple of songs toward the end of the second set and Toubob Krewe’s Justin Perkins playing Kora for the first encore Goat.
02/03/12 (Fri) Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
Set 1: Head, Cold Water, Old Man and the Land, Gold Rush, The Cuckoo, Black Elk Speaks, The Man Who Invented Sin > Mighty River
(1) with Jason Flournoy on banjo
(2) with Justin Perkins on Kora