Railroad Earth started out in 2001, a bunch of talented friends interested in strumming some rootsy music together. It began rather informally, but then picked up the pace when their five song demo earned them a spot at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival that June. Taking advantage of the opportunity, they quickly recorded five more songs, combined it with their demo tracks and released it as their debut, 2001's The Black Bear Sessions. That debut piqued the interest of Sugar Hill Records, who signed them and released two highly acclaimed albums, Bird In A House in 2002 and The Good Life in 2004 .Since then, they've cultivated a huge fan base, wound up by the band's unique acoustic hybrid sound. Railroad Earth has come to thrive in a live setting; as evidenced on their 2006 live album Elko, which essentially served as an emphatic end of Phase I for the band.