Back to the tracks
In 2011, the inaugural Railroad Revival Tour rolled through the South bringing with it a merry band of folk players and a sentiment that's as close as you can get to "the wandering gypsy" these days.
Transported on a vintage train, Mumford and Sons joined hippie-heavy Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and Old Crow Medicine Show to play a sold-out rock tour at pop-up venues throughout the U.S.
The tour was such an iconic moment in music history that it resulted in a documentary, Big Easy Express that premiered at SXSW 2012 and explored the nuances of a week on the road with some of modern music's biggest influencers.
Unlike the original tour — that included stops in Austin and Marfa — there's only one Texas stop on the tour this year: Old Town Spring (25 miles north of Houston).
This year's tour, announced Tuesday, is taking on a decidedly more rebellious identity, delving into the depths of outlaw country with troubadour Jamey Johnson and the Red Headed Stranger himself, Willie Nelson. They will be joined by the sounds of Band of Horses and John Reilly, who's breaking away from his widely known acting career to take to the rail with his Americana trio.
The 2012 Railroad Revival Tour, which includes seven stops between October 20 and October 28, begins at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, GA. From there, the train will roll into Memphis, TN before continuing its western trek toward the tour's final stop in Oakland, CA.
Unlike the original tour — that included stops in Austin and Marfa — there's only one Texas stop on the tour this year: Old Town Spring (25 miles north of Houston). "We had a stop we were looking at in Bastrop," says tour creator, Dave Conway. "But Willie had a handful of shows around Austin already so it made more sense to go somewhere new. Old Town Spring is a historical train town so it's a great fit."
Railroad Revival Tour has one pure, simple initiative: "Travel to different towns and connect audiences with good music." Early bird tickets for the fall tour go on sale Friday, July 27, and thanks to the tour's cross-genre appeal, you can expect this version to be as well-received as the last.
Along with some new stops, you can also expect, as Conway says, "a longer train, and some more great stories from the rails." To whet your appetite for the upcoming gypsy experience, watch the Big Easy Express trailer here:
Tickets for Railroad Revival Tour go on sale Friday, July 27.