The Railroad Boy’s sound is steeped in the tradition of “Acoustic Americana Roots Music.” They deliver a dynamic blend of traditional mountain music fused with Gaudet’s diverse contemporary songwriting. Gaudet’s unique percussive rhythms become the perfect springboard for his voice to follow and his melodies are downright infectious. It’s typical during any live performance to see the band’s fans shouting right along on favorites like “So Far So Good.”
Gaudet has assembled a strong cast of characters in the Railroad Boys. Individually the Railroad Boys are Jim Gaudet on guitar and vocals, Bobby Ristau on bass and vocals, Sten Isachsen on mandolin, and Mat Kane on fiddle.
Jim Gaudet released “ReCalling it Quits” in 2007. Packed with some sixteen tunes it would seem the songwriter was hitting his stride. Gaudet’s Railroad Boys became the perfect foil for what is now happening with his music.
Albany NY Times-Union music critic Greg Haymes put it like this, “One of the most respected literate musical talents on the Capital Region scene, Jim Gaudet is the rare singer-songwriter capable of dancing across the tightrope that stretches between wit and wisdom. Gaudet pours out finely crafted, deceptively simple musical stories.” I say Amen to that!
Jim Gaudet is the kind of man who’s not concerned with category or trend, he’s a man who’s made his life out of following his own compass. This would explain why he chose to keep the 2009, CD project, titled “So Far, So Good” in-house and dedicated to the true live essence of the Railroad Boys sound.
“So Far, So Good” was the band’s first venture on the rails together and the result is a collection of memorable, hard driving, original compositions, featuring authentic three-part harmony and stellar musicianship. The Cd captures the spirit of the Railroad Boys while positioning the listener at the starting point of what will surely be a promising journey.
It’s no secret that Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys had a very good year in 2011. Coming off their second straight appearance at the 2011 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival held on Walsh Farm in Oak Hill, NY, Jim and his posse entertained festival goers with their hybrid folk grass, jokes and pokes. In August the band was off to the Podunk Bluegrass Festival in Hartford, CT., where the Railroad Boys were one of the “emerging band” finalists and where they also garnered the “fan favorite” title.
The next stop was a first time performance at the Bennington Irish Music Festival in Vermont and finally finishing out the summer 2011 festival season with a packed weekend of workshops and performances at the Golden Link Folk Society’s Turtle Hill Folk Festival in Rush, NY. The band performed at Turtle Hill along side songwriter Pierce Pettis, husband and wife musical duo Jay Unger and Molly Mason and others.
The big news for the summer of 2011 was the band’s second release titled “No Questions Asked.” The Cd is stacked with fourteen songs that cover an array of themes. From the opening song “This Town Blues” to the closing track “A Song for Father Young,” you get the sense that no topic is off limits for Gaudet’s microscopic detail. From love gone wrong songs like “Take Me Back” to “Don’t Get On that Train” Gaudet transports us. The total sum of “No Questions Asked” is exemplar of well crafted original song writing, stellar musicianship and impressive vocal harmony performances.
Jim Gaudet and The Railroad Boys have been very much encouraged and excited by their showing at the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Convention in Nashville Tennessee. They had two successful after-hours showcase performances.
2012 began with a showcase appearance at The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Boston, MA
Followed by two overwhelmingly successful sets at The 2012 Wintergrass International Music Festival, Seattle, WA
Jim Gaudet - Guitar, Singer/Songwriter
Sten Isachsen - Backing Vocals, mandolin
Mat Kane - Fiddle
Bobby Ristau - Upright Bass, HarmonyVocals
It's a Colorful Life (Label:Prime CD)
Give Up The Ghost (Label:Prime CD)
Recalling It Quits (Label:Mandella Hand)
So Far So Good (Label:In Real Life Enterprises)
No Questions Asked (Label: In Real Life Enterprises)
You Don't Know What I Know
Johnny was an Outlaw
Darkside of Lonesome
Born To Be Lonesome
Get Up John
Six Seconds In Dallas
Callin' My Name
Reasons That I Run
Nippertown.com, "Be Here Now"
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In the case of the new album from sublime roots singer-songwriter Jim Gaudet, “So Far So Good” just ...In the case of the new album from sublime roots singer-songwriter Jim Gaudet, “So Far So Good” just doesn’t cut it as a title. Really. He should re-name this sucker, “The Good Just Keeps Gettin’ Better.”
One of Nippertown’s very finest songwriters, Gaudet has a knack for crafting a mighty memorable melody – the kind that’ll get you singing along even on first listen. His delivery is wry and witty, often saying just as much with his pregnant pauses as he does with his lyrics. And lyrically, he’s poetic, literate and more than just clever.
After a string of excellent albums that culminated with “Give Up the Ghost” on the Prime CD label in 1998, Gaudet dropped out of the music scene for nearly a decade, but he came roaring back with with the sparkling “Re-Calling It Quits,” one of the best discs of 2007.
And fortunately we didn’t have to wait long for the follow-up, and this one is undoubtedly headed for the 2009 Nippertown Top 10.
While Gaudet fans will embrace the new CD with plenty of enthusiasm, “So Far So Good” is actually something of a departure from Gaudet’s earlier albums.
For one, this is a true band effort, and as befitting the first credited to Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys, the Boys – bassist Bob Ristau, mandolinist-lead guitarist Sten Isachsen and fiddler Tim Wechgelaer – get plenty of opportunity to shine in the spotlight.
Secondly, the album leans away from Gaudet’s usual folk-oriented approach and heads straight into high lonesome bluegrass territory. And these guys nail it. The vocal harmonies simply soar on original gems like “Get Up John” (not the bluegrass classic), “Jealous Heart” and the traditional “Hand Me Down My Walking Cane.”
But this isn’t just strictly a bluegrass album – not by any means. You’ll also find some whiskey-soaked roadhouse honky-tonkers (”Drive” and the love-gone-wrong nugget “Mind Over Matter”), a couple of chuggin’ train songs (the opening “Born to Be Lonesome” and the closing “Railroad Kill Bill”), some country twang (”Callin’ My Name”), a bit of finger-picking folk (”This Time”) and even some heavenly gospel (Gillian Welch’s “By the Mark,” the only cover song on the album).
In short, Gaudet has never sounded better or more confident. His voice is strong, and he takes more chances with it. Compare the title track with the version that Gaudet recorded for his 1994 album, “It’s a Colorful Life,” for example.
Much of the album was recorded live in Bender Studios in Delmar – the musicians playing all together at the same time, rather than layering on the one-at-a-time overdubs. And it shows. The proof is in the rich, warm, organic sound, which brings out the best in these stellar songs.
Gaudet, Railroad Boys get it right in ‘So Far So Good’
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The Albany-based Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys feature fiddle master Tim Wecgelaer, mandolin/guit...The Albany-based Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys feature fiddle master Tim Wecgelaer, mandolin/guitarist Sten Isachsen (who also produced), bassist Bob Ristau and Gaudet’s songs and voice. They have an easy going, laid-back and organic sound, so having an album titled “So Far So Good” seems just right.
And it is. Without trying very hard, the 11-song album easily finds the essence of the Railroad Boys — exceptional playing and chemistry, and Gaudet’s simple but elegant songs. A guitar playing just two notes with verve announces “Born to Be Lonesome,” and after hearing Gaudet’s plaintive moan, you’re likely to believe him. It continues with the hard-driving “Get Up John,” followed by “Call My Name,” which leans towards old-time country with bending guitar strings and fiddle (when country was country).
The lovely “This Time” could be in a movie soundtrack, while “Mind Of Matter” is about thinking and drinking. Title track “So Far So Good” is simply timeless.
David Malachowski is a guitarist, producer and freelance journalist living in Woodstock, NY.
WSPN-FM, Saratoga Springs, NY Review
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Until Jim Gaudet, only a limited few have had a more prestigious second coming. On the rare and tre...Until Jim Gaudet, only a limited few have had a more prestigious second coming. On the rare and treasured occasions that I get Jim and the Railroad Boys to play live in our studio, I am fully prepared to stop myself from exclaiming on the open mic things like, Holy ----“! I am thoroughly prepared for the seemingly push-button excellence, attendance to perfection, the technical mastery, and the textural harmony!
I am prepared for all of it until they start to play and they pulverize my expectations. And it’s not that they do it; its how.
The infectious good will, confidence, and general, “yep, we got it” outlook with zero ego attached make me feel like the “Lucky One” (title of one of Jim Gaudet’s earlier songs) – for I get to observe and enjoy the best in the business merely at the top of their game.
Arthur Gonick, DJ/Host, WSPN-FM, Saratoga Springs, NY
Otis Mountain Music Festival, Elizabethtown, NY, August 2008
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Jim Gaudet and the RR Boys can best be characterized as a folk/country fusion group performing Gaud...Jim Gaudet and the RR Boys can best be characterized as a
folk/country fusion group performing Gaudet’s well-crafted songs, filled with humor and insight. His instrumental mix might seem off putting to bluegrass or folk purists, featuring as it does both electric bass and guitar, but the music is entertaining and thought provoking.
His song “Found I'm Lost” and an audience participation piece called “So Far, So Good,” and "Split Pea Soup" all pleased. The band’s interactions are enjoyable. While well suited to coffee houses, clubs, and street concerts, this band is eager to broaden its audience and contributes good value to the festival scene.
Typical Set List
Born To Be Lonesome
Stuck In This Town Blues
Handle The Truth
The Wind Blows Cold
Lonesome Moonlight Waltz/Big Mon
Get Up John
So Far So Good
Callin' My Name
Johnny Was An Outlaw
You Don't Know What I Know
Battle of New Orleans
Set Lists vary according to the venue.
Generally each set consists of ten songs, fifty minutes.
90% of our material is original.
Covers include, Lonesome Moonlight Waltz, Big Mon, Hey Good Lookin', Battle of New Orleans, Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down, and I've Just Seen a Face
There are no upcoming dates at this time.