Last night may have been freezing and rainy, but that didn’t stop Knoxville from attending the Railroad Earth concert at The Mill and Mine.

The six band members took the stage with multiple instruments, and the air was instantly filled with foot-tapping, bluegrass melodies. As I looked around, the beaming crowd was filled with all types of different people who came together for one night just to experience this band.

Railroad Earth is known as a bluegrass band or mountain string band, but the band has a unique sound that pulls from other genres like rock, country and even jazz. Their use of multiple instruments ranging from the banjo to the violin proved each band member to not only be talented but masterfully artistic.

As the concert continued, I observed the light show behind the band. It almost felt like a classic rock concert with the multi-colored lights and spotlights pointed at the crowd. The light show gave the band’s music even more power and kept the crowd on their feet.

Towards the end of the concert, it was hard to find a band member that had not switched instruments at least once. I was highly impressed with the band’s ability to flow between genres while keeping the crowd fully engaged.

I stood for awhile near a fan who was very engaged in the concert and knew almost every word to the band’s songs. I asked the fan, Elliot Ross, if he had ever seen Railroad Earth live before this.

“I’ve seen Railroad Earth live three times and have been a loyal fan since 2011 and have loved every single moment of it. They throw kickass concerts and care about their fanbase. Every concert gets better and the band only gets more talented,” Ross said.

After speaking with Ross, I watched the crowd as they began to sing “Mighty River” and, by the crowd’s response, I could tell it was a well-loved song. People on the railing of the front row were dancing and yelling the words, while audience members in the back were swaying and singing to the music. The crowd’s participation made it apparent that Railroad Earth has a little something for everyone.

Front man of Railroad EarthTodd Scheaffer spoke to the audience as if they were his friends and he had known everyone for a long time.

High off the performance and music she just witnessed, crowd member Grace Yagodich introduced herself, and I asked her how she felt after the concert.

“To be completely transparent with you, I wasn’t some die-hard fan before this concert, I had only ever heard a song or two. But that stage presence and mix in different tunes and melodies really shocked me. Every member of the band was talented and involved. The show surprised me and I am happy to say they found a new fan in me,” Yagodich said.

Railroad Earth also made a fan out of me that night because of their mature and exuberant performance. The genre crossovers and fanbase are what made this concert so exciting and involved. The band kept the crowd indulged and filled Knoxville with bluegrass tunes. 

UT Sponsored Content