Who are the members of your band?
Bobby Ristau – bass and harmony vocals
Bobby is an Americana Roots bassist and harmony singer. Bobby’s love of old time country and bluegrass music had its roots years ago when he first heard his friend’s dad, singer songwriter Johnny Richards, sing and pick guitar. Later he began his 36 year professional music career with the Armed Forces working with the band Smoke. Smoke’s popularity evolved from its ethnic mix of players from both the Army and the Air Force. Smoke toured and played Army camps and Air Bases throughout a 13 month stay in South Korea. Returning home, he began singing and playing bass and guitar with several New York Capital Area bands including, Country Cookin’ and Cheers. He has recorded albums and played with The Fortunate Few and Capital Soul Revue. Bobby has worked with Jim Gaudet and The Railroad Boys since the band’s beginning in 2006.
Sten Isachsen – mandolin and harmony vocals
Sten, one of the founding members of the RR Boys, has appeared as concerto soloist with the University at Albany Orchestra and the Ithaca College String Quartet, possessing a Bachelor and Master of Music in Guitar Performance from Ithaca College. He is a founding member of the Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet and he is also a member of the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, a string trio in residence at the Schuyler Mansion, the Pruyn House and Schenectady County Community College. A dedicated teacher, Isachsen is member of the faculty at Schenectady County Community College, which oversees an outstanding undergraduate music studies program, and the State University of New York at Albany. He maintains a private studio in Delmar, NY. In addition to his influence on the Capital District guitar studies community, Isachsen is owner, engineer and producer at Bender Studios, a recording facility inDelmar, NY.
Mat Kane – fiddle
Picking up the fiddle at the tender age of five, Mat Kane was exposed to bluegrass early on through playing with his uncles, singer-songwriter Kieran Kane and instrumentalist Richard Kane of the O’Kanes. After graduating from college, Kane lived in Beijing, China for two years where he played electric violin with Chinese rock legends Shazi, Cui Jian and Tang Dynasty. After moving back to the United States, Kane became the fiddler for the cajun/country band The Doc Marshalls for seven years. Presently he’s a proud Railroad Boy and stylistically mixes it up with his electronic rock project, The Disposable Rocket Band.
Jim Gaudet – guitar, lead vocals and songwriter
Jim is a singer/songwriter – but without all the microscopic self-examination and tedious political correctness. Mostly, he’s a storyteller – and he does it extremely well. Whether singing about a baseball hero, a family feud, bank robbery, or murder, Jim’s straightforward approach is remarkably refreshing. Few mix candor and comedy as well as Gaudet and his voice, like warm syrup on charcoal, carries the humanity and the humor with equal aplomb.
Gaudet’s journey began as a flat picker, not a singer, playing mandolin and guitar for the Lost Country Rounders. Gaudet has a lifetime of songwriting and stage work with a long resume of bands and now, with the help of The Railroad Boys, he is anchoring his deft wordplay and savvy song-craft in the classic roots music that so thrilled him as a young man. It’s a unique, driving style, firmly-based in Americana and Gaudet’s own guitar work is now more fiery than ever, characterized by forceful, percussive rhythms that lack for easy comparison.
It’s coming on 6 years that Bobby, Sten and Jim have been together and Mat has been with the band for one year.
What is your band’s musical style/genre?
Although the bluegrass community has welcomed us with open arms, we don’t have a banjo so we’re not straight ahead bluegrass, we don’t have any drums so we’re not country, we’re a little too up-tempo and aggressive to be labeled as folk so we really don’t know where we fit in, so our home-made description is “Original, Acoustic, Americana Roots.
Do you have a philosophy about your music?
Knowing that what we do is all original music, the big challenge for us is to gain support from those who are hearing us for the first time. Our philosophy is to engage and connect with each and every audience, and leave them smiling. My feeling is that everyone loves to be told a good story and that is what I strive to create, stories in song.
How did you choose the name for your band?
The Railroad Boys name came about as a result of a recording project, which was actually the way the band came together. “The Railroad Boys” was the name of the first song that we recorded together. So when we decided to go out and book some work we needed to use something and that’s what ‘the boys’ decided.
What is your favorite venue/festival to play?
Indoor Venue: Caffe Lena’s, Saratoga Springs, NY
Favorite Festival appearances 2012 Grey Fox, Oak Hill NY
Wintergrass Seattle WA
Katy Daley Show, WAMU, Nashville, TN, IBMA
We make it a point at every live performance to offer up what we refer to as “humorous anecdotal stories” not to be confused with “Jokes”.
The new CD, The Reasons That I Run, will be ready for our appearance at the Joe Val Festival in mid Febraury, 2013. The official release will be Friday, March 1, at the Linda Norris Auditorium in Albany NY; sponsored by WAMC 90.3 and WEXT 97.7.
You will find links to Facebook and You Tube on the band’s website.