When Tim Carbone of New Jersey-based Railroad Earth named his side band The Contribution, he wasn’t kidding around.
That’s because The Contribution is releasing a single monthly, and all profits go to a different charity each time. Next up for this jam-band constellation is the release on June 16 of “Dream out in the Rain” (listen below). It can be bought via CDBaby and iTunes.
The receiving charity is the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and that hits close to home for a musician who lives along the river in Pennsylvania. “We feel blessed to be able to make this music and have it help people in need,” says Carbone, who plays violin and guitar and sings for The Contribution. “And we would like to empower those who share our passion and provide a resource for them to take action with us.”
According to its Web site, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network endeavors “to protect waterways, including the drinking water of nearly 17 million people, throughout the Delaware River Watershed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York.”
Since February, The Contribution, formed in 2010 and called a “jam-band supergroup” by Relix magazine, has been releasing one single a month and has partnered with nonprofits from across the nation. This gives Carbone and friends, including members of the String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic and New Monsoon, the chance to aid their favorite charities — while stretching out a bit from customary roles in their main bands.
“The songwriting in RRE, while being collaborative to a point, is largely Todd Sheaffer’s,” says Carbone, who plays mostly violin in Railroad Earth while also contributing on guitar and vocals. “The Contribution is a total collaboration between myself, Jeff Miller and Phil Ferlino” of New Monsoon.
Carbone’s latest work continues a decades-long career primarily with bands based in and around New Jersey. The Long Island native migrated to the Garden State after high school and soon was with N.J. mainstays Blue Sparks From Hell.
After a long run with Blue Sparks, he founded Kings in Disguise with Andy Goessling and others. Carbone and Goessling then went on to help form Railroad Earth in Sussex County in 2001. (RRE’s summer run includes a July 14 gig at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado and a rare New Jersey show Aug. 26 date at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.)
Although there are no dates scheduled for The Contribution, fans can look for its full album to be released on vinyl in the fall on LoHi Records.
Carbone says the compilation of the charity singles reveals the group’s love of 1960s pop and soul.
The Contribution is:
• The brainchild of Carbone (violin, guitar, vocals), together with Ferlino (keyboards, vocals) and Miller (guitar, vocals).
• Keith Moseley, bass (String Cheese Incident).
• Sheryl Renee, vocals (The Black Swan Singers).
• The drum chair has been occupied by Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident), Matt Butler (Everyone Orchestra) and, currently, Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic).
Tom Skevin is an award-winning journalist and music publicist who resides in Sussex County. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.