Electric Trains are a hoot

By Wally Robinson - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Fri., Jul. 29, 2011
Electric Trains Band takes part in Stafford's Summer Concert Series. Photo by Wally Robinson.
Electric Trains Band takes part in Stafford's Summer Concert Series. Photo by Wally Robinson.

The four middle-aged guys who make up the Electric Trains band are a fun-loving and irreverent group who happen to like trains, large and small, and the songs that have been written about them. They brought their music and goofy good humor to Stafford’s Heritage Park as part of the Arts Commission’s on-going Summer Concert Series.

“This whole thing got started when I invited my buddy Duke York to come over to play some music while my electric trains were running on the setup I had in my barn at the time,” said leader Jack Collins. “That was back in 2002, if I remember right, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

The duo began playing at model railroad shows and was so well received they decided to take the act out on the road. They recruited their old friends Charles Spencer and Rick Spencer (unrelated) to round out the band and expanded their songbook to include all manner of transportation tunes, including trucks, buses, cars, mules, horses, boats and spaceships. After all, there can’t be all that many songs about trains out there, right?

“Oh, man, you can’t believe how many train songs there are,” Collins said in a conversation prior to the concert. “Every time we play somewhere, and we play a lot, somebody always, always comes up and says, ‘Can you play this one?’ or ‘Do you know that one?’ It’s truly amazing.” He then excused himself to use the portable facilities.

“Wow,” laughed Charles Spencer. “That’s the first time he’s ever left us on our own with the press.”

“Yeah,” said Rick Spencer. “I guess we’d better take the opportunity to trash him.”

“Best not,” said York. “This guy might just quote you.”

Collins returned, and the show went on, a rollicking performance with all four men offering vocals while playing guitar, bass, mandolin and banjo.

Three concerts remain on the Summer Series schedule. For more information, call 860-684-9500.

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