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Written by Stanfield Gray

Railroad Earth plowed fertile ground at the Music Farm last Friday with a revved-up crowd put in a fine mood by the generous folks at Sweetwater Brewing Company, who sponsored the show benefitting Charleston Waterkeeper. Proceeds from the event went toward protecting the Cooper River from pollutants and other threatsCharleston Waterkeeper and man about town, Cyrus Buffum, took the stage at set break to give thanks and share a short film highlighting the efforts to save the Cooper and other bodies of water across the Southeast. The Sweetwater/Railroad Earth tour visited Raleigh, Charlotte, Charleston, and Jacksonville, promoting similar campaigns to protect regional water quality.

Although tough to hear the remarks and film soundtrack, the crowd seemed to get the gist of the visuals and the general purpose of the evening—well-promoted by Sweetwater, as evidenced by the full capacity crowd and promotional items on display. Railroad Earth’s bluegrass meets Americana-style perfectly complemented the organic brew- and blue water- themed evening. In particular, fiddler/guitarist Tim Carbone pushed the band’s jams into sparkling sonic territory as lead vocalist Todd Sheaffer and company brought forth a fine selection of original tunes.

While the first set was polished and strong, the band brought it on home following the set break with stand out numbers, including “Old Dangerfield,” “Tore Up Over You,” “Dover to Dunkirk,” “Potter's Field,” “Stillwater Getaway,” and “Hard Livin’.” If “Saving the Cooper” continues to feel this fun, Sweetwater Brewing and the Waterkeeper Alliance should find plenty of good time support.

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