US Rails On the Hill Session at Kettle Pot Tracks (on-site at Steel City Coffee!!!)

I met US Rails through Ben Arnold: I didn’t really know a ton about them going into the session, but knew that I love Ben’s music, and that anything he’s part of is going to be solid. I knew Matt (Muir) prior to the Rails session, and was so glad to see his kind, familiar face outside of my home studio comfort zone—oh…and about that—this was to be our very first on-site session. I talked to Ben about having the band in, but their hectic touring schedule really precluded them making it to me.

So, well, Ben had this great idea that we do it in the venue basement just a few minutes before they were to play to a packed house. After talking to Eli at Steel City, I took his answer, “whatever Ben wants is fine with me,” to mean that we were going to give it a shot.

We did, and we had a blast! The guys in the band—Tom, Joseph, Scott, Matt, and Ben—were each and all giving with their time and talents. We are so happy to present you with US Rails, OFF the Hill and live from Steel City Coffee in Phoenixville, PA.

So… When/why/how/where did The US Rails get started? That is to say can you give us a comfortably-abridged bio?  

As in most cases, we are all musicians as well as friends from the Philadelphia area. In the early 2000′s Scott Bricklin, Joseph Parsons, Matt Muir and myself along with Jim Boggia were in a band called 4 Way Street which had a label deal with BMG. We put out 2 records and disbanded after a few years. Life went on…Bricklin ended up marrying and moving to Paris, France. Joseph ended up the same in Germany, Tom moved to Austin, TX. But little down the road, a few of us simply decided that we still enjoyed making music together so we recorded an independent record in France, did a few shows and got signed by Blue Rose Records in Europe. We all continue to create music independently, but get together as often as possible to record and tour.

Why did you chose these songs for On the Hill?

 In the five minutes we thought about it I guess they were the songs that best represented us as a strong harmony vocal group. They feel comfortable in a “camp-fire” acoustic setting. Also, I have done On The Hill before so it seemed we should introduce people to Jp, Scott and Tom.

What else is going on in The Rails world? What’s next?

 In April we will head back to Europe for a month of shows presumably in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and The Netherlands. We will also begin recording a new record next year sometime. Meanwhile, everybody is kinda doing their own thing. 

Where can we see and hear more of you? 

We have a lot of video up on the ‘tube. We have a website and we are all individually searchable for sure. As for live and local, we don’t have any current plans for US dates. It is very difficult to afford to play in the US so it happens when it happens…


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