Railroad Earth can jam with the best of them and they have some major bluegrass influences, but they use drums and amplifiers (somewhat taboo in the bluegrass world).
What kind of music is it then? Mandolin/vocalist John Skehan offers this semi-descriptive term: “I always describe it as a string band, but an amplified string band with drums.” Tim Carbone takes a swing: “We’re a Country & Eastern band!” Todd Sheaffer offers “A souped-up string band? I don’t know. I’m not good at this.” Or, as a great drummer/singer/mandolin player with an appreciation for Americana whose name was Levon Helm once said: “Rock & roll!
The members of Railroad Earth aren’t losing sleep about what “kind” of music they play – they just play it.