Riding on the City of New Orleans

28 June 2019

This past week, we were honored to perform for the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad in the “Mountain Rails Live” series.  “Mountain Rails Live” is a train ride that takes passengers (and the band) through historic LaVeta pass to an outdoor concert stage at Fir Station, Colorado (population zero – elevation 9,400 feet).  It takes about 2 hours to get to Fir Station, and the time passes quickly as we travel through the beautiful countryside enjoying the view and the company of our fellow travelers. 

When we arrive at Fir Station, everyone gets off the train and the band plays a concert in this beautiful mountain setting.   All too soon the concert is over and we all get back on the train for the ride back to the station. 

In preparation for this concert, we brushed up on John Denver’s version of the song “City of New Orleans” written by Steve Goodman.  John’s version is a little bit different from Arlo Guthrie’s version – and as tribute performers we wanted to stay true to John’s version of the song.

Jim Standing in Front of the Club Car at Fir Station

A Couple of Fun Facts:

  1. When we got to the departure station in Alamosa, CO, we learned that the train car we were going to be riding in was the actual car that Steve Goodman rode when he wrote his famous train song!   
  2. John Sommers joined us for this trip!  We always have a great time when John is able to play out with us, and we’re sure he had a memorable time!  Of course, we performed “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”…. It’s always more authentic when the song’s author is performing!!!

The entire experience was nostalgic and entertaining! We are filled with gratitude and admiration for Ed Ellis, the CEO of the St.Louis and Rio Grande railroad, and the many people that work so hard to preserve history and provide a fun, memorable experience for the passengers.  On the way back from the concert, Ed got out his guitar and sang a special verse to the “City of New Orleans” that he wrote after purchasing the famous club cars that Steve Goodman traveled in:

Now days on the City of New Orleans,

You may find yourself travelin’ different tracks,

The coaches, club cars, diners all have scattered,

I don’t think they’re ever comin’ back.

But the cars are warm and comfortable and seldom are they really full,

Rollin’ ‘cross Colorado plains,

As friends share stories, food and song,

This train of memories rolls along,

The world will wait, while we’re ridin’ on this train.

Jim Curry, John Sommers and Ed Ellis Inside the Club Car

Comments

  1. Posted by: María

    It was great fun singing along on the trip.

  2. Posted by: Anne

    Thanks for coming along on the trip Maria! It’s always great to see you and Keith!

  3. Posted by: James Weston

    I feel SO fortunate to have found you folks in Antioch Ca. when a friend invited me to his place to go hear your concert. When I need an inspirational moment or fun uplifting song I go to your music and listen to my hearts content. Thank you, James

  4. Posted by: Sylvia Jordan

    It seems that I made an error trying to post my comment so I will try again! I surely wish that I could have been along for the train ride & then the wonderful concert!! I know that both were fantastic!!

  5. Posted by: Tony Glotzbach

    My wife and I will be seeing you and Jim once again but this time in Millersburg OH very soon. We will look for an opportunity to meet you and share some stories about the senior citizens that enjoy the music of John Denver as performed by us. I love what you guys do.

    Tony and Mary Beth

  6. Posted by: Anne

    Tony and Mary Beth: We are looking forward to our return trip to Millersburg! See you soon!

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