Echoing some of the great folk, pop and rock unions of the 60’s and 70’s as well as the newest super-groups and dream bands spanning the globe these days, US Rails emerges as the underdog collective of songwriters, singers and musicians who deliver not just a night of cool songs and great harmony. US Rails leaves you with the kind of lingering memory that you may have experienced hearing some of these bands live for the very first time.
It’s in the sum of the parts, not the star of the show.
US Rails is five distinctive personalities who met originally while living in and around Philadelphia, PA but have since scattered all over the map to France, Germany and Austin, TX. Though US Rails has played shows in the United States, they are currently signed to the European label Blue Rose Records. Their first recording, produced in a cottage house just South of Paris, will be released overseas this spring.
Most of the members of US Rails were originally part of the Philadelphia group 4 Way Street (Sanctuary Records). Now, reinvented and rejuvenated, they are carrying on the tradition.
Quite possibly the first of the ‘Rails to release music in Europe, Ben Arnold made his first trip over in the mid 90’s while signed to Columbia Records. Though he only returns there occasionally, in the Northeast of the U.S. he has built a slow and steady cult following, consistently releasing new and different sounds and playing countless shows each year. Known for his Randy Newman-esque piano and guitar stories of challenge, failure and redemption, bluesy and indie collide in Ben’s rusty throated soulful growl. Always busy doing something music, he is also the lead singer for the Los Angeles based band Pistol For Ringo along with US Rails drummer Matt Muir.
Singer, bassist, guitarist – ist – ist – ist, producer, provocateur Scott Bricklin is simply a musicians musician. Soulful riot, screamer, dreamer and believer, Scott lives as an expat in Paris, France. A student of all British Invasion, Beatles and Stones. He was the driving creative force behind two other U.S. major label bands in the 80’s and 90’s and, where would the soundtrack to “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” be without him!?
Joseph Parsons has been living the life of a true troubadour for quite a long while. Giving lore, life and passion to everything he sings. From the simplest love song to an epic demand for conscience and responsibility. JP was the first member to venture out and take his moto-powered voice over to Europe way before any of the rest even had passports. He has paved the way for US Rails as well as more than a few other traveling American players. Having established a solo career in Europe, Parsons has released seven studio & three live CDs on Blue Rose Records. He currently tours regularly, lives and thrives in the Lower Saxony geography of Germany.
New Jersey was home to Tom Gillam for years. Rock and roll guitar was Tom’s weapon. That was until Gillam discovered the country-fried licks and chicken fried temperatures of Austin, TX. Practically a discographic encyclopedia of all things rock, pop and soul music pre 1975, Tom is a master electric slide player and a wailing singer fronting his own Texas based band Tractor Pull, playing shows all over, from The Lone Star State, to Europe and beyond. Delivering essentially the same rock ‘n roll message he always has, just with a little more twang!
Some drummers are just along for the ride. Matt Muir has his CDL. He has played every role in this band from studio rat to writer, co-producer and singer. His swinging sound and engaging grin behind the kit is just a small part of what Matt brings to the US Rails. Ben Arnold and Matt Muir both continue to kick it out living Philadelphia, PA.