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Production Credits:

Railroad Blues Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: Country Mike's Greatest Hits LP
Written by: Country Mike and The Boys
Performed by: Country Mike and The Boys, Bucky Baxter (steel pedal)
Production Notes: Recorded and mixed in the Dungeon, engineered and produced by Country Mike and The Boys. Re-mixed with Mario Caldato. Mastered by Howie Weinberg.

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...


  • Train steam & whistle
  • Chicken cackles


  • The West - western part of the United States
  • San Francisco - second largest city in California
  • Panning for gold - to separate gold by washing gold-bearing earth in a pan

Sample & Reference Breakdown:

  • "...the hardworking pioneers of this country, settin out discoverin the West" - Between the 1820's-1850's, many colonial settlers headed "out west" for a better, richer life
  • "Started panning for gold just a-hoping he would find; the gold wasn't a-rushin, but Johnny kept on minin..." - A "gold rush" is a stampede of prospectors, merchants, adventurers, and others in pursuit of striking it rich. One of the most famous gold rushes was the 1848 California gold rush; the discovery of gold in California brough more than 40,000 prospectors out west within two years


Beastie Boys:

"[The Beastie Boys] are furious. They made this whole country album and Mike D's the singer on it, and I swear, those guys are off the hook. It sounds really good; they're good at all that shit" - Mix Master Mike, 1998

"At some point after Ill Communication came out, Mike got hit in the head by a large foreign object and lost all of his memory. As it started coming back he believed that he was a country singer named Country Mike. The psychologists told us that if we didn't play along with Mike's fantasy, he could be in grave danger. Finally he came back to his senses. This song is one of the many that we made during that tragic period of time" - Adam Yauch, 1999

Friends of the Band:

"[The Beastie Boys] made a whole country record which no one has heard or may even hear – which is hilarious. They should just put this stuff out – you know – Grand Royal, on a small level. It is classic." - Jill Cunniff, 1998

"Mike (Diamond) told me that when they recorded the country album, that Adam (Yauch) and he were wearing full western outfits and Adam was wearing a giant cowboy hat and cowboy boots. And they spoke in a southern accent. They’d go out to the pizza parlor in their outfits. They’d go downstairs outta the studio in their outfits and order pizza with the accents, cause they wanted to stay in character." - Gabby Glaser, 1998

"I mean it is really something not everyone knows about ‘em…how incredibly funny they are, side-splitting humor. Country Mike that’s his name. Ask him to sing Sloppy Drunks." - Jill Cunniff/Gabby Glaser, 1998

Press & Print Media:

"[A] curio like "Railroad Blues" [is a] helpful insight into the Beastie psyche" - Flipside, 1999

"The twang of "Railroad Blues" come[s] off as [a] novelty" - Rolling Stone, 1999


Released Versions:

Railroad Blues


No Known Performances in Concert.
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