Railroad Earth w/ Whitewater Ramble
The Slowdown, 729 North 14th St.
8 p.m., $20 in advance/$25 day-of-show, onepercentproductions.com
Railroad Earth have risen above their standing as one of the brightest lights in the so-called newgrass movement and honed their craft into a act that channels alternative country, folk-pop, instrumental country and Dixieland-inspired jams. Primary songwriter Todd Sheaffer is never far from a pop hook, even when instruments like mandolin, banjo and accordion lead the musical way. The band, named after a Jack Kerouac short story, formed in 2001 in New Jersey. They quickly found themselves on the bluegrass festival circuit, starting off with the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado. But bluegrass is hardly the appropriate category for this band that often improvises live, without losing sight of the lyrical-focused acoustic gems that lie at the heart of their songs.