It’s a mid-tempo ballad, of the sort we used to get with regularity from Ronnie Bowman, written by Thomm Jutz and Tim Stafford about what’s left behind when the railroads pull out of a community. For almost 150 years, small towns popped up along US railway lines in support of freight and passenger traffic on the major railroads. What may have begun as a simple watering spot for the steam engines might grow into a train station, with a town building out from what could come and go by train.
Then when automobile and truck traffic took over much of the railroad’s appeal, not to mention the addition of airlines, there wasn’t much reason for these towns once the trains stopped running. That is precisely the story in this song.
Williams has long worked as a sideman in bluegrass from his home in Kentucky. He toured several years with Tim Shelton in NewFound Road, before founding NewTown with Kati Penn.
Railroad Town Without A Train comes from his debut solo project with Mountain Fever. Jr sings the lead supported by Adam Steffey on mandolin, Aaron Ramsey on guitar, and Jeff Partin on reso-guitar and bass. Williams and Partin add harmony vocals. The video finds Jr tooling around town in a vintage Camaro convertible, accompanied by a variety of railroad scenes.
Have a look/listen…