QUICK HITS: Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth talks success, setlists & venues

Over the past 15 years you guys have played throughout the country and have gained national recognition. What is the key to this success? What does the “Hobo Community” means to the band?

I’d say part of the key was playing a lot when the band first started. We regularly did 9 week tours. We also played some key festivals in the beginning that established us in various regions like Telluride Bluegrass, High Sierra and All Good. The Hobo Community are the best fans a band could ever hope for. Full stop.

Were there any other careers endeavors that you wanted to pursue before wanting to be a full time musician?

I always was either going to be a musician or an actor that was pretty much it.

How does the band go about choosing their setlists every night? Do you go through setlists throughout the years?

Our mandolin player John Skehan is our set list architect with some input from the other band members. We typically will not play the same songs as the night before or from the last time we played in whatever town we’re in.

Are there any groups on the scene that will have a break out year next year?

I’m going to say Fruition. They’re tearing it up just now and they have a new record coming out that’s really good.

What are some of your favorite venues throughout the country?

For me, my favorite indoor venues are the Fillmore in San Francisco and the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee but there’s a bunch of cool venues. The outdoor venue of choice would be Red Rocks.

How would you define success in your eyes?

On a personal level (and this goes for anyone, not just musicians) it’s doing what you you love. Railroad Earth has worked hard and we have been blessed with extremely kind fans who are part of our extended family.

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