Railaway
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Railaway

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Band Alternative Reggae

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If you've been to theHereford Fall Festival, Hereford Parade, or Recher Theatre inTowson, you've heard them.

If you've partied at University of Maryland, Towson University, University of Delaware or Virginia Tech, you've heard them.

If you've been at backyard get-togethers, bars or restaurants in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware, you've heard them.

And now you'll be able to hear the North County band RailAway any time, any place.

The five-man band is releasing its first CD on July 22 following a performance at the Recher Theatre. The CD, called "Dirty Water," features 11 original songs.

"We have been working on this CD for two years and paying for it by doing gigs" said guitarist Anthony Oliver, 23, a Baltimore City firefighter who is one of original three band members, along with brothers Chris and Brian Diller. "For us, this is like making it to the Super Bowl."

The band puts every dollar it earns into an account that pays for new equipment, gas to get to gigs and recording studio time.

The members — four graduated from Hereford and one from Baltimore Lutheran High School — said songs on the new CD are a collaborative effort.

Lead singer and guitarist Chris Diller, 23, wrote many of the lyrics, but said his brother Brian, 21, who plays bass guitar and Gordon Covington, 21, a pianist and singer, are naturals at music theory.

When he's not playing keyboard, Covington attends Towson University and works for a logging company. Brian Diller also attends Towson and works as a rehabilitation technician at Union Memorial Hospital.

"We're all different in our music, so it's like a melting pot when we write our songs," said Chris Diller, a graphic artist. "The beauty of this band is we're still young and passionate about our music."

Drummer Alex Waicker, 24, a realtor who lives in Towson, described the band's sound as "progressive rock/reggae," but it also plays everything from Jimi Hendrix and Steppenwolf to Billy Joel and the Beatles.

Kristina Salko, of Millers, heard RailAway at the Hereford parade and hired them to play at her family's Octoberfest for the past two years.

"We loved that they were local, but they're also very talented," she said. "We just let them play whatever they wanted and people loved it."

Mike Kirby, a 2005 Hereford graduate who attended University of Delaware, has booked RailAway a dozen times in Delaware.

"They played at fraternity parties and at the bar where I worked," he said. "They have a reggae-rock base, but can play a wide spectrum of music. They have a big following in New York and New Jersey, too."

Hereford's got talent

An electric guitar Brian Diller received for Christmas when he was 10 started him and his brother on their musical careers. Brian didn't play the guitar at first, so Chris picked it up and has been playing ever since.

Brian eventually came around and the two spent hours in their family's Parkton basement pretending to be rock stars. Anthony Oliver joined them, and they practiced and started writing their own songs.

Their friends didn't know they played until they entered Hereford High's talent show in 2006. The three were into skateboarding, so when they had to come up with a band name for the show, they picked RailAway, a skateboarding move in which the board is ridden down a metal railing.

The three Hereford guys recorded a six-song demo CD in 2007 and started getting calls to perform locally.

Covington, who knew Brian Diller from Hereford and Towson, was invited to join the group the next year. "I was blown away by how good they were," he said.

Waicker came on board after the Dillers' father, Dennis, saw him at a Towson deli wearing a drum manufacturer's hat and tapping his fingers on the counter as he waited for his order. He auditioned a week later and became the fifth member.

The band dynamics changed with two new members, and they immediately started working on songs for a CD. They also hired Justin Kinsey - Baltimore Sun


So what about the 120 degree heat index? That was the prevalent attitude among the crowd that came in from the furnace for live music at Recher Theatre. Friday’s CD release party for Railaway’s first studio album, Dirty Water, was hot hot hot with unofficial inner harbor temperatures reading a scorching 107 degrees.

Tim Han opened the evening; he was quite reminiscent of Sinatra, if Frank was Asian, and had just enjoyed a left-handed cigar. None the less, Han had the audience in stitches and his music was the perfect mood lightener for a hot and heavy night.

Burnworthy, a 4 piece of Towson natives, played some of their jazzy garage rock and a White Stripes cover, as fans slowly filed in. Many took their time getting out to Recher, but attendance was quickly boosted by a bus full of Railaway’s army, jamming the very music they were coming to see. Clad in homemade Railaway apparel, including one guy with a shirt claiming a level of knowledge of lead singer Chris Diller nobody is better off for knowing. The boys took the stage to riotous applause and proceeded to sear through their new album with through intent, adding a well placed cover of Red Hot Chili Peppers “Around The World”. They gave a strong, energetic performance all the way through. Check these guys out sometime soon on the local scene. Another example of Baltimore music rising. About time people took some notice. - SurfRhythm


Discography

Railaway EP (2007)
Spring Break Sessions EP (2008)
Dirty Water (2011)

Tracks from Dirty Water are currently featured on 97.5 HFS in Baltimore during their "Local Spotlight" shows.

Dirty Water is available on iTunes.

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Bio

A Baltimore-based band that considers their style of music to be in the genres of Rock & Roll and Reggae, Railaway has finally settled into their niche. Over the past few years, the five piece band has transformed their sound. With the addition of two new members, the former trio has developed into a professional act capable of drawing large crowds to concert venues throughout the Greater Baltimore area.

When the group first started out, becoming a band was never in the thought process. Chris, Brian and Anthony, the three original members, would hang out in the basement goofing around with a couple guitars. After writing a few original songs, they were encouraged by friends and family to perform at open-mics and talents shows. After a series of successful outings, the band jumped into recording their first demo. The result was a six song E.P. combining the styles of artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Dispatch and Sublime. This independently released, self-titled E.P., debuted in October of 2007 and sold well over 1000 copies in just over a year.

After recording their first demo the group continued to play shows on a regular basis, but in November of 2008, two new band members seamlessly stumbled into Railaway’s weekly basement practice sessions. The two new members were Alex Waicker on drums and Gordon Covington on keyboard. Their enthusiasm, musical ability, and spunk of personality instantly clicked with the three founding members and Railaway became the five-piece they are known as today.

Despite having to side-step a few speed bumps such as replacing thousands of dollars worth of stolen equipment and the band van catching on fire, the group finally raised enough money to record independently. They released their first full-length independent album, Dirty Water, and celebrated with a full-house show on July 22, 2011 at the Recher Theatre in Towson, MD.

While hard at work writing new material, the band has ended up on the bill supporting regional and national acts such as Rusted Root, Can't Hang, Ballyhoo!, and Badfish. From headlining music venues, to playing absurd college house parties or large fundraising events up and down the Mid-Atlantic, we share our music anywhere imaginable.