The members of Railroad Earth aren’t fans of the “jam band” label. They half-seriously describe their group as “an amplified string band with drums” and “souped up string band.” At least these musicians will agree that they are a bluegrass-influenced band with an affinity for on-stage improvisation. Railroad Earth began in 2001 as an informal gathering of friends interesting in playing acoustic music together. But not long after forming the band, they recorded a demo that their manager sent off to several music festivals. They were soon rewarded with a spot on the 2001 Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Since then, the band has recorded several albums: The Black Bear Sessions (2001), Bird in a House (2002) and The Good Life (2004). The group is touring in support of its new album, Elko. Railroad Earth and opening band, the Hackensaw Boys, perform 8:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Tahoe Biltmore, 5 Highway 28, Crystal Bay. Tickets are $15. Call (775) 831-0660.