An Evening With Railroad Earth

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Wed, Jan 29

An Evening With Railroad Earth

Doors: 8:00 pm
Start: 9:00 pm
Age: All ages
Price:$48 GA / $70 Reserved

“Carrying on the tradition of improvisational, genre-spanning music laid forth by the Grateful Dead, Railroad Earth mixes folk, country and rock with a bluegrass sensibility” - NPR

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Event Information

Genre: Bluegrass, Jam Band


ALL AGES: 18+ w/ valid photo ID, under 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.


Reserved seating is available for $70 and guarantees a seat in the reserved section. If necessary groups will be paired together at tables. Seating is based on time of purchase and the configuration of groups.


There is a ticket limit of 4 GA OR 6 RESERVED per customer based on address, credit card, email address, or other information. Multiple accounts may not be used to exceed these ticket limits. Limits for each show may vary and are listed on the individual show purchase page. 


Digital Delivery is only valid if purchased from Belly Up, Aspen. Do not purchase Digital Delivery from unauthorized sources as they may be lost, stolen or counterfeit, and if so, are VOID. Additionally, we may be unable to verify that tickets purchased from third parties are valid and in such case, you may not be permitted entrance to the show.  Remember, there are no exchanges or refunds. 


DIGITIAL DELIVERY OF TICKETS WILL BE ON A DELAY FOR THIS SHOW, and will be emailed to the address you provided prior to the show date, typically within a week of the show, but may be as late as the day prior. This gives us the ability to monitor for purchases which may not adhere to our ticket policies. You will receive an individual email for each ticket purchased with your ticket attached. Each ticket must be readily available on your phone or printed and brought to the event.  All WILL CALL tickets will be released to the original buyer or authorized transferee only upon presentation of a valid picture ID. 


Orders exceeding published limits, or any tickets purchased for resale, or the resale or attempted resale of any ticket at a price greater than face value is a violation of our ticketing policy and we may cancel a portion or all of such orders without notice.  Ticketing violations may result in the  prohibition of future ticket purchases. In each such case, service fees charged for the purchase of tickets may be retained by Belly Up, Aspen.  We reserve the right to change the delivery method from Digital Delivery to Will Call for release on the night of the show.


Supporting acts may be changed or cancelled without notice, however such change or cancellation is not grounds for refunds.


Belly Up Presale: Wednesday, October 30 @ 2pm MT


Public Onsale: Friday, November 1 @ 2pm MT

Railroad Earth

There’s a great scene in The Last Waltz – the documentary about The Band’s final concert – where director Martin Scorsese is discussing music with drummer/singer/mandolin player Levon Helm. Helm says, “If it mixes with rhythm, and if it dances, then you’ve got a great combination of all those different kinds of music: country, bluegrass, blues music, show music…”

To which Scorsese, the inquisitive interviewer, asks, “What’s it called, then?”
“Rock & roll!”

Clearly looking for a more specific answer, but realizing that he isn’t going to get one, Marty laughs. “Rock & roll…”

Well, that’s the way it is sometimes: musicians play music, and don’t necessarily worry about where it gets filed. It’s the writers, record labels, managers, etc., who tend to fret about what “kind” of music it is.

And like The Band, the members of Railroad Earth aren’t losing sleep about what “kind” of music they play – they just play it. When they started out in 2001, they were a bunch of guys interested in playing acoustic instruments together. As Railroad Earth violin/vocalist Tim Carbone recalls, “All of us had been playing in various projects for years, and many of us had played together in different projects. But this time, we found ourselves all available at the same time.”

Songwriter/lead vocalist Todd Sheaffer continues, “When we started, we only loosely had the idea of getting together and playing some music. It started that informally; just getting together and doing some picking and playing. Over a couple of month period, we started working on some original songs, as well as playing some covers that we thought would be fun to play.” Shortly thereafter, they took five songs from their budding repertoire into a studio and knocked out a demo in just two days. Their soon-to-be manager sent that demo to a few festivals, and – to the band’s surprise – they were booked at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival before they’d even played their first gig. This prompted them to quickly go in and record five more songs; the ten combined tracks of which made up their debut album, “The Black Bear Sessions.”

That was the beginning of Railroad Earth’s journey: since those early days, they’ve gone on to release five more critically acclaimed studio albums and one hugely popular live one called, “Elko.” They’ve also amassed a huge and loyal fanbase who turn up to support them in every corner of the country, and often take advantage of the band’s liberal taping and photo policy. But Railroad Earth bristle at the notion of being lumped into any one “scene.” Not out of animosity for any other artists: it’s just that they don’t find the labels very useful. As Carbone points out, “We use unique acoustic instrumentation, but we’re definitely not a bluegrass or country band, which sometimes leaves music writers confused as to how to categorize us. We’re essentially playing rock on acoustic instruments.”

Ultimately, Railroad Earth’s music is driven by the remarkable songs of front-man, Todd Sheaffer, and is delivered with seamless arrangements and superb musicianship courtesy of all six band members. As mandolin/bouzouki player John Skehan points out, “Our M.O. has always been that we can improvise all day long, but we only do it in service to the song. There are a lot of songs that, when we play them live, we adhere to the arrangement from the record. And other songs, in the nature and the spirit of the song, everyone knows we can kind of take flight on them.” Sheaffer continues: “The songs are our focus, our focal point; it all starts right there. Anything else just comments on the songs and gives them color. Some songs are more open than others. They ‘want’ to be approached that way – where we can explore and trade musical ideas and open them up to different territories. But sometimes it is what the song is about.”

So: they can jam with the best of them and they have some bluegrass influences, but they use drums and amplifiers (somewhat taboo in the bluegrass world). What kind of music is it then? Mandolin/vocalist John Skehan offers this semi-descriptive term: “I always describe it as a string band, but an amplified string band with drums.” Tim Carbone takes a swing: “We’re a Country & Eastern band! ” Todd Sheaffer offers “A souped-up string band? I don’t know. I’m not good at this.” Or, as a great drummer/singer/mandolin player with an appreciation for Americana once said: “Rock & roll!”