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The best kept secret in music


"RAIL performs Rockin the Rivers"

RAIL performs at “Rockin the Rivers”
Montana’s Largest Festival
Rail Rocks RTR

Hello all you people, hope you’re feelin’ good…gonna give you the show…just like you knew we would…yeah!

The show of the summer this year for me was the Rockin’ Rivers Rockfest in Three Forks, Montana, featuring Headpins, Joan Jett, Foghat, Ted Nugent and my personal favorites this year....RAIL! It was a time to leave our every day lives and become the Party Animal/Rock Fans we all have hiding inside us. A time to go back to the days when all was fun and responsibility was none…

It all started a few months back when I was reading the Rockin’ the Rivers Yahoo Group message board. My friend the Commish mentioned that a Seattle based band from the 80’s called “Rail” was back together doing a few performances and maybe, just maybe, we should get them for Rockin’ the Rivers. RAIL? Like, RAIL, the very first MTV Basement tapes winners? No Way…. I about fell off my chair. I LOVE THOSE GUYS! I thought, “No Way…. can it be the same group I thought was larger than life back in the early eighties?” Could it be the guy with the furry boots? Could it be the band I voted for over and over again when they were in the very first MTv Basement Tapes Contest?

The website was listed and I immediately went there to check it out…. and YES! It was the same band that played at my local bar in Great Falls, Montana, The Red Barn, and later at our Montana State Fair. Wooooo Whooooo! They are still all together! I went to the Rail Yahoo message board and posted a big “Hello” to Kelly and the guys, and gave them a little info on the old Red Barn, which is now a casino. Kelly wrote back and I told them I hoped we could see them at Rockin’ the Rivers this summer… and guess what? It happened!
My husband and I buy our tickets for Rockin' the Rivers as early as possible, usually in December. It is an exciting time of anticipation as we wait for each band to be announced and confirmed. Each year the staff and management never cease to amaze me with the fun, exciting and diverse show they put together. Usually we have one band in particular that we are going to see. In 2000 it was Sammy Hagar....In 2001 it was the Headpins....and in 2002 it was RAIL. The timing of the event always seems to conflict with the Montana Fair here in Billings, and this year I had Row 4 seats for Poison. When I heard RAIL was confirmed for Rockin’ the Rivers, I immediately sold my Poison tickets as I knew I just had to be there for them.

I ordered their re-released CD’s right away and decided at that point that I would be getting RAIL License Plates of some sort for my car. (They make great autograph material also!) Each year I get license plates for a specific band at Rockin’ the Rivers. This year it would be RAIL! Hmmm... what to get… what to get… maybe “CHEATER”… no… hubby didn’t care for that one (can’t say I blame him!)… maybe “BKST LVR”… no - not that… how about “DMD DSHR”… no… how about “RAIL&CO”…Yeah! That’s the one! So I ordered the plates and started to get really excited for the festival.
In the meantime, I set up a banner layout and got that to the sign shop, and made up a T-Shirt from the “Now” and “Then” Pictures on the website and I was ready to meet one of my all time favorite bands. My husband often teases me by asking, “Which band are you going to stalk this year?” or “You know they have laws against this kind of thing now. There is a fine line between being a fan and a fanatic!” Really, it is just my nature to go a bit overboard on some things…

As time drew near the excitement grew, and finally it was time to go. We loaded up the truck and headed for Three Forks. The weather was great…not to hot and cooler at night. We got there on Friday, and I was watching all around for the Rail guys. It was then I remembered I FORGOT to take the license plate off my car! Now What? The whole reason for coming, to see Rail, and I FORGOT the license plate! Thank God for angels among us….One of the Yahoo’s from the message board heard me say I forgot the plate, and offered to call his daughter in Billings, Montana, and ask her to go get it and bring it when they came later in the evening. Man did he save me! Thanks Greg (aka Happycamper)!
I finally spotted Kelly from across the arena. I went up and introduced myself and also met Brett, the Webmaster of the Rail site. We talked for a minute and he said the others would be in soon. They made their way to the Commish’s camp and we caught up with them a bit later, just as the call from the other guys came in. “They are here,” Kelly said and we went to meet them. It was like Déjà vu. All - Montana newspaper release

"RAIL Releases"

I received 3 CDs of the Classic Melodic Pomprockband RAIL. This band released 3 LPs in the 1980s and then vanished completely into obscurity. Now, just recently I discovered this band is still active, and they even released a new CD called 'Big world' in 1997. Well, let's begin with their first couple of albums that have all been re-issued onto 2 CDs. These two CDs are titled 'Arrival' and 'Adio', both albums contain excellent special video footage of clips of the band, and also included are several unreleased songs and demos, and many more rare stuff. If you're a fan of 80s AOR/Melodic Pomprock, then you will love these two CDs, as they contain about everything this wonderful American band did between 1977 and 1985. It's of course a total must if you're a RAIL fan!

Anyway, I always loved this band, and their powerful mixture of AOR, Melodic Hardrock and Pomprock that reminded me of bands like TRIUMPH and SANTERS. My favourite RAIL songs will always be "Fantasy" (TRIUMPH meets JOURNEY, incredible song!), "Hard girl to love", "Another side of blue", "Her majesty" (superb!), "The way" (very nice keyboardwork), "Don't take your love away", "Yes I am" (high class uptempo melodic Pomprock), "Cheater" (hello 70s ROADMASTER Pomp!), "Bandit", "Sirens" (heavy Pomprock), "The wizard" (lovely heavy Pomprock, with a beautiful chorus), "Two fisted night" (Pure Pomp, ROADMASTER/TOUCH style) and the semi-ballad "Forever yours".

As you can see, it's hard to pick out favourite tracks of mine, as RAIL was one of those bands that didn't had any weak song, you just loved of all their tunes! So these 2 CDs are really highly recommended, and besides, both CDs come with extended video footage that gives you an idea how popular they once were. RAIL was and will always be a Classic AOR/Melodic Pomprockband, and happily, the band went on, although it took 12 years before a new album was released.

In 1997, RAIL released a new CD, entitled 'Big world'. This new album was a little less rocking, but still it is another great release! Although they still played AOR/Pomprock, they now sounded a bit more like 70s STYX, TRADIA, DAVE BALDWIN… There are unfortunately only 8 tracks on the CD, but just like their previous records, it's all quality what we get to hear and not a single moment you're bored. The best tracks on 'Big world' are "Need your lovin'" (great hookladen uptempo AOR), "Fade away" (great semi AOR/Pomprocker like 70s STYX), "Spirit" (very good progressive AOR) and "Hold on" (lovely 80s AOR, very much like Classic TRIUMPH).

Well, it's just great to see yet another return of one of those legendary Hard Pomprockbands from the 1980s. Let's hope they will record another new CD in the future, as RAIL has so many qualities that shouldn't be left untouched. Happily, there's enough material to enjoy, and I can give you a good advice, purchase those 3 CDs, as they contain so many music and videos of RAIL that you will be pleased for a few hours for sure! Very soon an interview with RAIL about the past, present and the future. For now, go to their site at: http://www.railonline.net and e-mail them at: kelly@railonline.net

Rating: 9/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)

- European Press

"RAIL Arrival/Adio"


"Arrival" - "Adio" (Dynasty Records)

Rating: 90

These are the reissue on cd of the first three albums by Washington based band Rail which had its debut in 1981 and in 1997 another album ("Big World") was released.

So let’s start with "Arrival" produced by Mike Fisher (Heart) and featuring as bonus tracks three songs by Rail & Co (original name of the band) and a live version of "Gangbuster" plus several multimedial gifts making this reissue very interesting, even if songs are by force influenced by the time they were written and recorded (1981), but gives us untouched the burning and radio-friendly sound of this four piece made of Terry James (vc, bs), Andy Baldwin (gt, keyb), Rick Knotts (gt) and Kelly Nobles (dr). From the opener "Hello", passing thru pomp rockers "Cheater" and "Sirens" (with emotive keys), the nervous hard rockers "Backseat Lover" and "Make Me" (between Ted Nugent and Ac/Dc the former, the only Ted Nugent the latter), until the Styx-oriented "Seasons Of Change" you’ll find no weak moment, only energy, melody and passion.

The bonus tracks section is introduced by pompous semi ballad "Forever Yours" rich of choruses and airy keyboards, the tortured "The Wizard" (a little like the best UFO) and the more linear "Two Fisted Night", all of them left out without reason from the official release. The period under the name Rail & Co. features three tracks ("Rockin’ You", "My Lovin’ Is With You" and "You’ve Got A Lot To Live") recorded in 1977 and emanating the feeling inside the band that was moving its firt steps.

"Adio" encloses the four tracks EP "Rail", produced by Pat Glasser (Night Ranger and thier keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald is featured as guest) released in 1984 for the Emi America, and the third album ("3"!) of 1986 for fourteen audio tracks. "1-2-3-4 (Rock ‘n’ Roll)" is a Joan Jett like song, born to open live shows, a little silly and banal but good for its mission, but the following "Fantasy" is one of the best tunes ever written by Rail, a strong pomp rock bouncing Triumph, Roadmaster and Journey in a ‘triumph’ of sounds and melodies. "You’ve Got To Give" is more on the hard rock side with echoes of Touch, Roadmaster and Santers, while "Hard Girl To Love" has a more commercial and cheerful approach.

Now it’s time of "3" opened by the difficult to assimilate mid tempo "Another Side Of Blue" and fast "Live With The Wind", but with hard pomp rock of "Diamond Dasher" (with a guitar duel) and "Her Majesty" Rail sign two stunning classics of the genre worth of being listened with pleasure also with nowadays mind!.

Some good stop-and-go mark heavy rocker "Speed Limit", "Don’t Take Your Love Away" and "Turn Out The light" play the pomp/AOR card, leaving to "Kings And Queens" the role of ballad althought with a peculiar treatment (a majestic intro of keyboards and a refined acoustic guitar waving for its developement) and "Song Of Solomon" is an acoustic instrumental song with the only Knotts under the spotlight.

If all of this is not enough for you, be aware that both cds are filled with interviews, videos, lyrics and other curiosities about Rail, so don’t hesitate to get a good piece of rock history.

Contacts: http://www.railonline.net
- European Review

"AOR Underground"

Hi Kelly,

Just a quick email to inform you that a review of your CD has been published in Powerplay magazine's AOR Underground Column that is written by myself. The issue you are featured in is No33 and the review is printed below.

Our next band have been a favourite of mine for over twenty years. They are Seattles very own Rail who have decided to release their three albums onto CD for the first time. Originally called Rail And Co they were a top live act in their local area. Changing their name to just Rail they supported Van Halen on their entire 1980 U.S "Women And Children First" tour as well as doing shows with the likes of Heart, Ted Nugent, Toto and Pat Benatar. They released their debut album "Arrival" in 1980 to critical acclaim and rightly so as it is a classic of it's time and features the likes of "Hello", "Cheater" and "Sirens". But it wasn't until 1983 that Rail got their big break via a contest on MTV called the "Basement Tapes". It was a contest that they would eventually win with their video for "Hello", beating thousands of bands in the process. For winning the contest they got a record deal with E.M.I and set about releasing an E.P called "Rail E.P" that featured four classic songs with the pomp rock overload that is "Fantasy" being the pick of a superb bunch. Moving on a year to 1985 and the band released the imaginatively titled "Rail 3" that carried on from where the E.P left off. Featuring even more pomp classics in the shape of "Diamond Dasher", "Don't Take Your Love Away" and "Her Majesty" this was a case of every home should have one. Now you can get all of these albums on CD for the first time ever and they come with several bonus tracks and some of the coolest Multi Media sections that I have ever seen on any CD. The "Arrival" CD has several bonus songs that never made the original album, as well as three songs from their Rail And Co days. The Multi Media section features videos for "Hello" and various interviews with the band. The other CD called "Adio" is a compilation of the "Rail E.P." and "Rail 3" albums and also features several videos including the superb "Fantasy" and a video that was shot at a reunion show in 2000. For me this was a real Blast From The Past and it took me right back to the early eighties when I first bought "Arrival" on import. These CD's should be sought out at all cost and I hope that they give you as much pleasure as they have given me. Check them out at www.railonline.net and tell 'em I sent ya.

When you have recieved this email I would be grateful if you could reply to me with your comments and if you have a website could you mention the magazine's webpage www.powerplaymagazine.co.uk on it. Copies of the magazine can also be obtained
from this site.

Please keep in touch and forward any future releases that you record, to my home address. Also any news items you may
have then email the relevant information to me.

Many Thanks

- Power Play Magazine

"The Real Rail"


RAIL are a classic Pacific Northwest hard rock band from the 80s who won the
MTV Basement Tapes contest in the mid 80s winning the grand prize over
40,000 other bands. As a result, RAIL was signed to EMI records and toured
the US with Van Halen. RAIL released 4 records in the 80s and 90s and in the
year 2000 was inducted into the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle
for their contribution to Northwest Rock and Roll. RAIL established their
online presence in 1999 in advance of their induction where they re-issued
their re-mastered recordings on CD. Fans from all over the world have
re-discovered RAIL and now the CDs are into their 8th printing. Since their
re-emergence to the live stage in the year 2000, RAIL has played at major
rock festivals through the Pacific Northwest and most recently Arizona where
they have performed with Ted Nugent, Joan Jett, Foghat, the B-52s,
Queensryche, Survivor, Rick Derringer, and many others. The real RAIL are
registered with Pollstar, the acknowledged authority on tracking the live
performances of all bands across the country. The real RAIL are registered
with the International Band Registry and are listed with ArtistDirect. RAIL
has been together with the same lineup for more than 30 years and are still
intact with same 4 original members, Terry James Young, Andy Baldwin, Rick
Knotts and Kelly Nobles. Due to the response from fans who have bought up
their old catalog, RAIL is once again working on a new CD to be released in
2004. RAIL will be playing numerous festivals again this summer. If you
would like to be notified of RAIL concerts, events and new merchandise,
please register at their official website http://www.RailOnline.net
- Brett Miller

"Rail ADIO"

RAIL "Adio" 2001 (Dynasty Records)

Rail is a band that started in the late 70´s in Seattle. The band took off in the 90´s but now they back.
"Adio" is a reissue of their selftitled EP from 84´ and their third album from 85´ plus bonus tracks.
This album is also remastered with a great sound.
Rail plays AOR with some rockier touch and pomp influences. If your into Triumph and Santers then this is a must for you. There is also some traces of Autograph on the rockier tracks and even Le Roux on the pompier tracks.
Listen to the great 80´s pomp/AOR-song "Fantasy", this is a great rocker in the veins of Triumph.
"Her Majesty" is a brilliant AOR-rocker with great guitars, keyboards and superb background vocals in the chorus.
"The Way" is a classic pomp song in the best Le Roux style with great harmony voclas.
The canadian AORster Triumph comes in mind on "Speed Limit" and "Turn Out The Lights, these two songs are supber and could have been on some of Triumph´s early 80´s albums.
On "Don´t Take Your Love Away" is a great AOR-song that reminds of Santers.
The rockier tracks on the album are little weak and don´t have the same quality as the rest of the more AORish ones.
But if your think that Triumph and Santers did some of the best AOR album back in the 80´s then Rail is a act that you should check out.

Contact them at:

Juha Harjula
- Italy press


First release was by winning a radio station best of contest, Second release an LP produced by Mike Fisher of Heart. Sold over 100,000 copies in Europe with GEM records. Third release won MTV contest for EMI release produced by Pat Glasser of Night Ranger. Fourth release mixed at Triad, home of Queensryche. Fifth release self produced and released. Listen at www.railonline.net or you tube under "Railtheband".


Feeling a bit camera shy


Performing with original members for over 20 years. Influenced by Rush, Queen, Areosmith, Grand Funk. RAIL toured the US with over 40 nation acts as well as sold out shows in the North West, Dever, Texas, Salt Lake City and much of the West. After opening for Van Halen in 34 cities RAIL won the MTV basement tapes for $100,000 and an EMI deal. MTV show 3 videos over 2 years in Hot rotation.