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Think spring at Penn's Peak this weekend

  • Railroad Earth
    Railroad Earth
Published February 10. 2011 05:00PM

It's a double-header weekend at Penn's Peak.

On Friday night, a crowd favorite - Railroad Earth - returns to the venue. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show.

Saturday night, forget the cold with Parrot Beach singing the songs of Jimmy Buffet. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 day of the show.

Members of Railroad Earth don't define 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."

Acoustic guitar/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."

Since then, they've released three more studio albums.

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!"

Parrotbeach is reputed to be one of the most exciting shows to hit the circuit in years.

They have been together for approximately 10 years, they met while playing in local club and original bands. The members of Parrotbeach hail from across our great nation, giving their sound a variation of musical influences.

Altogether Parrotbeach has collectively over 107 years of musical experience from live performances to the art of studio recording.

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