While most roots music heads will flood the sold-out Nickel Creek gig, a new moon rises on the coast. Jam bands (that term gives me the creeps, too) usually build fans like moss, but Railroad Earth has sprouted like bio-engineered superweed. The idea was to gather New Jersey's top musicians to jam on bluegrass standards. But Todd Shaeffer (formerly of NJ's beloved band, From Good Homes) messed things up by bringing original tunes. Before they'd played one legit live show, their demo got them booked on every major roots festival in the nation. Schaeffer's heart-wrenching songs, combined with a virtuoso fiddle player, acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, piano and sax, make like American Beauty-era Grateful Dead or even the Byrds. And man, that fiddle player freaks out something awful.