Photo Credit: John Wisdom
This past weekend, Railroad Earth delivered its 11th annual Horn O’ Plenty event at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Pa., approximately 70 miles outside The City of Brotherly Love. The two-night occurrence kicked off with a sit-in by Duncan Wickel on fiddle during the band’s initial stand. Then, the progressive bluegrass troupe performed their final show with bassist Andrew Altman and welcomed Patti Smith’s guitarist, Lenny Kaye, who is neighbors with the band’s fiddler, Tim Carbone, on their second and final night.
After Friday’s show got underway with the original “Walk Beside Me,” Railroad Earth dove into a segued selection of songs which included “It’s So Good,” “Saddle of the Sun” and “Seven Story Mountain.” They continued with choice selects on “Crossing the Gap,” which ran over into “Black Bear” and ultimately “Mighty River,” before they closed out the first set with “Birds of America.”
For Friday night’s second set, the band picked up “Birds in a House,” which flowed into “Monkey.” After a few more tunes plucked from albums such as The Good Life, The Last of the Outlaws, and Elko, the band brought out the night’s guest, Wickle, who added fiddle to “1759” and a set-closing rendition of “Fisherman’s Blues.” Finally, they landed on “Cold Water” from 2001’s The Black Bear Sessions for the night’s encore.
After finishing night one, Railroad Earth returned to the stage on Nov. 26 for their final performance with Altman, who ended his tenure with the band after 13 years on Saturday night. The bassist spoke candidly to the crowd during the start of the second set, touching on his journey with his fellow bandmates and friends and extending thanks and appreciation to fans.
Following the musician’s speech, the band returned to music and welcomed Kaye to the stage to assist on a mid-set “Blues Highway” and an ensuing Smith original, “Dancing Barefoot.” Railroad Earth concluded its final frame with “The Jupiter and the 119” paired with “Runnin’ Wild.” After exiting the stage, the band returned for its encore, which consisted of another thank you courtesy of Altman, followed by a powerful duet shared by the latter and Sheaffer on “ Long Way To Go.”
After this weekend’s festivities, Railroad Earth will take some time off the road before returning for their New Year’s Eve stand on Dec. 30 and 31 at The Vic Theatre in Chicago, where they will play alongside bluegrass great Peter Rowan. Tickets remain on sale and can be purchased here.
Scroll down to view this weekend’s setlist.
Nov. 25, 2022
Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, Pa.
Set I: Walk Beside Me, It’s So Good> Saddle of the Sun> Seven Story Mountain, Crossing the Gap > Black Bear> Mighty River, Birds of America
Set II: Bird in a House> Monkey, Bread & Water, When The Sun Gets In Your Blood, Hunting Song> Lonecroft Farewell, Driftin > The Bardo > Driftin’ > Come and Go Moon > Like A Buddha > 1759* > Fisherman’s Blues*
Enc.: Cold Water
*Featuring Duncan Wickel on fiddle
Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, Pa.
Nov. 26, 2022
Set I: Chasin’ A Rainbow> Happy Song, Elko, The Good Life> My Favorite Spot, RV, Farewell to Isinglass> Grandfather Mountain, The Great Divide
Set II: Andrew Gives Thanks, Black Elk Speak, Head, Only By The Light > Mourning Flies
12 Wolves, Blues Highway* > Dancing Barefoot*, The Jupiter and the 119> Runnin’ Wild
Enc.: Andrew Gives Thanks, Long Way To Go^
* With Lenny Kaye on electric guitar
^ With Todd Sheaffer and Andrew Altman trading off lead vocals
This performance was the band’s last with bassist Andrew Altman