Led by primary songwriter Todd Sheaffer, New Jersey's Railroad Earth has spent the better part of a decade bridging the jam-band aesthetic to the rural impressions of folk, country and bluegrass. Sounding like the Band snuck in some recording sessions with the Grateful Dead during its “American Beauty” and “Workingman's Dead” period, Railroad Earth feels off the beaten path in its melodies. Sprinkling in instrumentation from guitar, banjo, mandolin, stand-up bass, pedal steel and others pieces of equipment makes for extensive live improvisations that can take on a handful of world music influences (reggae, Celtic, African). Railroad Earth is scheduled to perform at Brown's Island for Friday Cheers at 6 p.m. $2. 788-6466.