Virtual Interview: Timothy Carbone of Railroad Earth

31 May 2015

for The Lot Scene by Parker

We were fortunate enough to run into Timothy Carbone, fiddler for Railroad Earth, this past weekend at DelFest 8 in Cumberland, MD.  During our brief conversation we arranged for this virtual interview which we will bring to you now:

TLS: The late, great B.B. King just passed and it is widely known all his guitars were named “Lucille” throughout his life to help remind him: never fight over a woman.  Does your fiddle happen to have a name and, if so, is there a story behind it?  If not, what do you think of the practice of naming one’s instrument?

TC: No, I don't name my instruments but the BB King story's a good one. I saw BB in NYC in 1972 and he had TBone Walker come out and do the encores. He gave TBone Lucille to play and stood back and watched!

TLS: What is a completely inner-child worshipping, hysterical laughter-causing, completely soul-restoring thing you’ve done purely for fun recently?

TC: Well welcome to my life! I love making music with my friends Jeff Miller, Phil Ferlino, Keith Mosely and Duane Trucks, otherwise known as the Contribution. We recently tracked 3 songs for our next album and it was beautiful, hysterical and totally soul restoring.

TLS: We had the chance of seeing you at Bluegrass Underground — amazing show.  So, are you going to go all caveman now for the experience?  Ready to move underground and fiddle for your fellow troglodytes?

TC: Ha! Glad I'm not claustrophobic. That was an amazing experience!

TLS: Turning our thoughts to Merriweather and all that it was and all that it wasn’t.  We were there (we actually saw you down in the pavilion seats before we were aware of the scheduling issues). You read my review of it. We read RRE's statement the following day. Now that the dust has settled a bit and you have a few shows between you and that fateful night, what are your thoughts or feelings about the way things went down?

TC: Well it was unfortunate to say the least. We worked really hard on Terrapin and we felt what we were going to present would honor Jerry Garcia in highest way possible. At least it was a great hang!

TLS: So, then, how does it feel to go from an event that had such glaring planning/production issues to one like DelFest, a clear example of a well-run, well-executed festival experience?

TC: That’s like comparing pomegranates to apples. Mostly because they're 2 very different events. One can only imagine the monumental task of presenting the amount of artists that were put on at Dear Jerry. Scheduling at Delfest (and most festivals) is a much simpler,,routine situation. I think it's fair to say the producers of Dear Jerry were a bit overambitious. 

We couldn’t agree more with you there, Mr. Carbone.  Overambitious is a good word to use.  Many thanks to you, Tim, for taking the time to share a little with us about a few various subjects.  You candor is very much appreciated good sir!  There were some really great answers in there.  Already looking forward to our next chat!

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