Trail Mix – The Railsplitters

A tiny house.

For me, that’s a pipe dream. I have three kids, too much junk, and a spouse who shares my knack for never throwing anything out.

The notion of downsizing causes me to hyperventilate.

If I ever ended up on TV, it would be on an episode of  Hoarders, not Tiny House, Big Living.

Not so with Pete Sharpe, who shares a tiny house outside Boulder, Colorado, with his bandmate in The Railsplitters, Lauren Stovall.

The 200 or so square feet that Sharpe and Stovall call home proved fertile ground for the songs that became The Railsplitters’ just released record, Jump In.

This latest release continues The Railsplitters’ evolution as a band, with this new collection of songs showcasing their interests from outside the bluegrass world.

That the band would eventually diverge from the traditional bluegrass highway was almost a given. The band members have divergent origin stories; one was born in Brazil, one is a classically trained trombonist, one is a music educator, one has deep roots in jazz, and another hails from the Deep South.

All of those divergent sounds coalesce with The Railsplitters, creating a cohesive musical bond highlighted by a willingness to genre hop.

I recently caught up with Pete Sharpe to discuss life in a tiny house and the brand new record.

BRO – I have been reading about your tiny house. How are the acoustics?

PS – Not bad! We have to negotiate practice time so we don’t drive each other crazy. In the summer it works a lot better, as one person can practice outdoors. We’d love to have band practice in there, but we actually couldn’t all fit!

BRO – Biggest benefit to the tiny house? Biggest drawback?

PS – Biggest benefit is that you can pretty much always reach what you’re looking for from where you happen to be sitting. Biggest drawback is you pretty much always reach what you’re looking for . . . It’s actually been a great way to live for relatively cheap. Since we’re on the road so much anyway, it has worked out well.

BRO – The new record has you stretching your sonic wings a bit. Any trepidation pushing outside the bluegrass world for this record?

PS – A bit of trepidation, perhaps, but we’ve been on this path for a while now. We kind of left the traditional bluegrass world when we made the last record. Jump In just feels like the next step on the path. Everyone is writing new material and it just has been all over the place from a genre perspective, but we’re okay with that.

BRO – We are featuring the title track from the new record on Trail Mix this month. What’s the story behind the song?

PS – Dusty wrote that song on a bit of a dare. It’s all about taking chances, doing something that might be scary and not thinking too much about the consequences.

BRO – Back to your tiny house. If you could just have another 100 square feet and really indulge yourself . . .  

PS – We would build an even tinier house next to our tiny house and feel like we live in a mansion!

The Railsplitters have a pretty quiet tour schedule throughout both November and December until they pick up towards the end of the year with shows in Australia. That’s good work if you can get it right there, folks.

If you want to take a listen to the new record, point your browser right here for a free stream of Jump In. You can also check out the band’s website for information on the band and other tour dates.

Be sure to take a listen to “Jump In,” along with tracks from Greta van Fleet, Chamomile & Whiskey, Scott Miller, and many more on this month’s Trail Mix.

Places to Go, Things to See: