Chamomile met Whiskey in the winter. The soft blue of the cold sky was melding into the Blue Ridge mountains, and a crescent moon was on the rise. Marie Borgman and Koda Kerl had recently finished a cross country tour which had taken them across steep mountain ranges…to rocky coastlines, and lead them to the Redwood forest…it was there, underneath the towering trees that they realized they needed to start a band.
Upon returning home they embarked on an experimental journey, playing many shows with many talented musicians. But on an early spring night in Nelson County, on the stage of Rapunzel’s they realized they had found the members of Chamomile and Whiskey. The ever-so-smooth Tim Diebler on the upright bass, the ebullient and percussive genius of Brenning Greenfield, and the wily and capricious banjo playing of Ryan Lavin.
Chamomile & Whiskey’s music is passionate and eclectic. In minutes they take can take you from swinging your partner and stomping your boots to a soft and beautiful tear gently rolling down your face. Koda’s voice and lyrics seem to be equally soaked in whiskey. His songwriting has been described as “a mix of Dylan and Prince,” with shades of folk, funk, and rock. Marie Borgman’s accompaniment with the fiddle elevates the songs. Deft in the old-time and Irish traditions, she can have the crowd moving with each swing of her bow. The slower songs allow her to display her powerful poignancy with touches of gypsy and classical. Adding yet another dimension to the sound, Ryan Lavin’s versatility is a driving force in the diversity of the music. With his prowess with both banjo and guitar, as well as singing and songwriting, he seems to play a different role with every tune. Although he has spent most of his life in Ireland, his music is strongly rooted in blues and country…with perhaps a touch of pirate. All of this is held together with ease by the wonderful rhythm section. Whether he is behind the kit, or holding a washboard or djembe, Brenning drives each song with his mastering of so many different styles. Tim is in a similar vein. Whether bowing beautifully or pulling out a jazz solo, he shows depth in his understanding of music. On stage the five light up the crowd with their infectious energy and obvious affection for each other. The autumn of 2011 will see the bands first released recording, as well as many vibrant shows as they move forward they continue to create and evolve, feeding on their joy and friendship and the beauty of their home…the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The show starts at 8pm/$7. With special guests Freeman & Cody Mowrer.