Hit By a Train

Of course, it being in Texas, sold out, and at the end of April all means I can’t go to this event, but oh, I so wish I could. Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show are taking a week long, six city tour on a 15 car vintage train.  The Railroad Revival Tour says this about the choice to travel via train:

Today’s mass transit is built for speed and volume, which suits our modern lifestyle. But sometimes the notion of landscape and discovery is left behind. The RRT is an effort to re-imagine that landscape, the experience of the journey, and to re-discover what happens in between destinations. The inaugural Railroad Revival Tour train is more than 1,500 feet long. It features 15 vintage railcars pulled by 2 locomotives, and is set to travel more than 2,000 miles over tracks that stretch across five states.

I’m not sure if the act of the bands traveling by train will in fact reshape the music; I doubt the performances will be markedly different. Indeed, audiences won’t necessarily be going to see and hear differences. However, I think the act of collaboration and the spirit of such a journey will change their music down the line. Trains are a crucial image in so much of folk music and early rock n’ roll. I can only think the act of this journey will be produce something, even if the effects themselves are not immediate.


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