Local Wire

McDowell Mountain Music Festival

Of all forms of music, you're most likely to catch two complementary bands on the same bill at a jamband show. In this case, San Francisco four-piece Tea Leaf Green and rural New Jersey sextet Railroad Earth both take the indelible influence of the Band in divergent directions that, when stacked side by side, make for a most enjoyable night of music. A sort of post-bluegrass band (complete with amps and drums) the members of Railroad Earth prefer to think of what they do as "an amplified string section" or, more charmingly, "country 'n' Eastern." Meanwhile, Tea Leaf Green focuses on more straight-ahead rock 'n' roll but stirs in ambiguous traces of vintage R&B, Southern rock, and even-tempered smoothness à la early Wilco — all buoyed by the sprightly piano and Rhodes work of main songwriter Trevor Garrod. Both bands clearly also put songwriting — and songs — first. Obviously, both regularly stretch out their arrangements, but both are also known to play certain songs faithful to what you hear on the records. The ensuing back-and-forth between longer and shorter pieces gives each band's set a texture and depth that would get lost if either of them opted for the relentless swirl of extended jamming instead.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Saby Reyes-Kulkarni